Speak of the devil…
Vladimir Jurowski & Stuart Skelton
The demonic can be so beautiful, beauty that bring us to our knees. Franz Liszt knows how to seduce, to the point of aural ecstasy
Richard Wagner “Eine Faust-Ouvertüre” d-Moll WWV 59
Franz Liszt Zwei Episoden aus Lenaus “Faust” (“Der nächtliche Zug” und “Tanz in der Dorfschänke” – “Mephisto”-Walzer Nr. 1)
Franz Liszt “Eine Faust-Sinfonie”
in drei Charakterbildern nach Goethe
für Tenor, Männerchor und Orchester
Vladimir Jurowski - Conductor
Stuart Skelton - Tenor
Herren des Rundfunkchores Berlin
Justus Barleben - Chorus Master
Speak of the devil…
Faustian motifs span the entire history of music, even if only implicitly. Not only Goethe’s drama or Lenau’s poetry, but the very first, “original Faust” story, the principle of “recognise, intervene, dominate” at any cost, probably harking back to the Fall of humanity – Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Paradise. And what has become of society of today?
Franz Liszt, a Weimar resident by choice, was among those who neither cared about following in Goethe’s footsteps nor shied away from the demonic in dealing with the topic of the devil’s bargainer. Liszt, who became, dressed and identified as an Abbot in his later years, had no fear of confronting evil. On the contrary, the once legendary pianist, a seducer on the keyboard of life par excellence, left us with a “Faust” symphony whose musical intensity is imbued with unbelievable beauty. The resemblance to Richard Wagner’s seductive sonorities? Surely no coincidence!
Vladimir Jurowski - Conductor
Vladimir Jurowski has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin since autumn 2017. The conductor, pianist and musicologist Vladimir Jurowski takes on all challenges whether they be stylistic, technical or music-historical.
After receiving training at the Moscow Conservatory Vladimir Jurowski emigrated to Germany in 1990. Here he continued his studies at the music conservatories in Dresden and Berlin – conducting with Rolf Reuter; correpetition and song accompaniment with Semion Skigin. In 1995 he made his international debut at the British Wexford Festival with Rimski-Korsakov’s “Mainacht” and in the same year at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with “Nabucco”. Subsequently he was, among other things, First Kapellmeister of the Komische Oper Berlin (1997- 2001) and Music Director of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera (2001-2013). In 2003 Vladimir Jurowski was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and has been its Principal Conductor since 2007 and will stay on until summer 2021. He is also Artistic Director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra Yevgeny Svetlanov of the Russian Federation until summer 2021, Artistic Director of the International George Enescu Festival in Bucharest and Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in Great Britain. He works regularly with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the ensemble unitedberlin. With the start of the 2021/2022 season, Vladimir Jurowski will take on one of the most prestigious roles in German musical life in addition to his engagement with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, by becoming General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, a position for which he signed a contract in 2018.
Vladimir Jurowski is in high demand around the world as a guest conductor. He has conducted the major orchestras of Europe and North America, including the Berlin, Vienna and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. As a guest conductor, Vladimir Jurowski conducted Prokofiev’s “Semyon Kotko” with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest of the Netherlands in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, made his debut at the Salzburg Easter Festival with the Staatskapelle Dresden, debuted with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, performed with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra at the Lucerne Festival and conducted a unique project with the London Sinfonietta in Moscow to mark the UK-Russian Year of Culture. Together with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin he performed in Japan in spring 2019 and at the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest in autumn 2019.
The first joint CD by Vladimir Jurowski and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin from 2015 immediately marked a milestone. Alfred Schnittke’s Symphony No. 3 was followed in 2017 by a Strauss/Mahler recording and a CD of violin concertos by Britten and Hindemith with soloist Arabella Steinbacher. In 2020, a critically acclaimed recording of Gustav Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” was released.
Vladimir Jurowski has been the recipient of numerous awards for his achievements, including various international record prizes. In 2018, the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards named him Conductor of the Year. In 2016, he was bestowed an honorary doctorate from Prince Charles at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2020, Jurowski will be awarded the Order of Cultural Merit by the Romanian President in recognition of his work as Artistic Director of the George Enescu Festival.
Stuart Skelton - Tenor
Stuart Skelton is one of the finest heldentenors on the stage today, critically acclaimed for his outstanding musicianship, tonal beauty, and intensely dramatic portrayals.
During the 2020/21 season he sings “Tristan und Isolde” at the Festival d’Aix en Provence, “Jenůfa” at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and “Fidelio” with Opéra de Oviedo. Concerts anticipated for the season include performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestre de Lyon, Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris, and at the Verbier Festival.
Recent highlights include a Metropolitan Opera new production of “Tristan und Isolde” conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, a much-anticipated debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in “Die Walküre” under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano, a debut at Teatro alla Scala in “Fidelio” conducted by Myung-Whun Chung, a debut with the Salzburg Easter Festival in “Die Walküre” conducted by Jaap van Zweden, and “Lohengrin” at the Opéra national de Paris led by Philippe Jordan. Associated with “Peter Grimes”, he has sung the title role at English National Opera, Opera Australia, Opera de Oviedo, Tokyo’s New National Theatre, and in concert with the London Philharmonic under Vladimir Jurowski, with David Robertson and the Sydney Symphony, with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas, and with Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic.
Stuart Skelton’s robust concert calendar has included performances with Sir Andrew Davis and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen and The MET Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks , Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Antonio Pappano and Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra, and with Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
In November 2021 he makes his debut with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.
Highlights of an expansive discography include his first solo album “Shining Knight” in a program of Wagner, Griffes, and Barber accompanied by Asher Fisch and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Britten’s “Peter Grimes”, Schoenberg’s “Gurre-Lieder” and a Grammy Award-nominated Janáček “Glagolitic Mass” with Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, a Grammy Award-winning recording of Elgar’s “The Dream of Gerontius” with Sir Andrew Davis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony as well as with Sir Simon Rattle and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks.
Fri 26 November 2021 - 8 pm Philharmonie Berlin