How does a concert come into being? What goes on behind the scenes? How far do the artistic choices depend on the conductor, soloists and musicians? What does “performance” really mean? To answer these and many other questions, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Telecom Italia have joined forces to create PappanoinWeb.
The main protagonist behind the initiative – the first of its kind in – is Antonio Pappano in the dual role of conductor and pianist.
PappanoinWeb is a cycle of three concerts designed to guide music lovers through the various stages of preparation as they take place right through to the final performance. By visiting www.telecomitalia.com/pappanoinweb from 10 March, you will be able to view exclusive daily videos and backstage interviews with the conductor and soloists, from rehearsals to final performance of two symphonic concerts conducted by Pappano (Monday 14 March and Friday 16 September) and a recital of chamber music in which the pianist will by joined by Luigi Piovano on cello (Wednesday 16 March).
The three concerts will also be streamed live free of charge, during which you will be able to interact with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia and pose questions about the music or the performance in real time on a live blog manned for the occasion by a young music expert. The concerts will also be available via streaming on demand through the whole of 2011.
The concert to be broadcast online on 14 March (Symphonic Season 2010-2011, Sala Santa Cecilia 9 pm – first performance on 12 March, with replicas on the 14th and 15th) combines two major anniversaries in musical history to be celebrated by the Orchestra Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under the baton of Antonio Pappano: 100 years since the death of Mahler and 200 since the birth of Liszt.
By Gustav Mahler Pappano will be conducting the Symphony No. 1 in D major “Titan” and by Franz Liszt the Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major with the Russian virtuoso Boris Berezovsky, who will be performing for the first time at Santa Cecilia.
The evening will open with a rare performance of Verdi's Aida Overture. Verdi composed Aida for the opening of the Cairo Opera House to coincide with the inauguration of the Suez Canal. A year later, in 1872, the opera was to see its Italian premiere at La Scala in Milan and Verdi decided to replace the brief orchestral prelude with a completely new overture. However after listening to the rehearsal he was not convinced and chose to stick with the original prelude. The overture was given its first public performance in 1940 by Arturo Toscanini who was very fond of it.
Inspired by the novel Titan by German author Jean Paul, Mahler initially conceived his Symphony No. 1 as a tone poem in five movements, revising the form over the next 10 years to produce the final four movement work which was published in 1899.
The Orchestra di Santa Cecilia boasts a special link with Mahler dating back to the composer's appearance on the podium of the Sala Accademica on 25 March 1907. Mahler appeared at the Academy a second time, conducting the Augusteo Orchestra, on 28 April 1910. These performances are of considerable significance, given that Mahler very rarely conducted outside the Hapsburg Empire preferring to work mainly in Austria, Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands. The Santa Cecilia Orchestra had only recently been formed so the presence of the man considered to be the greatest conductor of his time was a historic event of great importance.
Franz Liszt meanwhile took 26 years to compose his Piano Concerto No. 1, mainly due to repeated adaptations of the solo part to keep pace with his increasingly sophisticated keyboard virtuosity.
Following the Rome concerts, Pappano and the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia will set off for a major tour featuring the same programme, with dates in the United Kingdom at Basingstoke, Manchester and Birmingham before going on to Athens, Luxembourg, Baden-Baden, Essen and Bruxelles.
Antonio Pappano is also well known as an outstanding pianist and among his great passions is a love for chamber music, in particular accompanying voice in refined lieder recitals or celebrated instrumentalists. For the 16 March concert to be streamed live Pappano will be accompanying Luigi Piovano, first cello of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Together with “his” conductor, he will perform a series of pieces ranging from the 18th century Sonata Op. 7 No. 6 by Giovanni Battista Cirri, the classical Beethoven Sonata Op. 5 No. 2, the late romantic Martucci (Two Romances Op. 72) and closing with the very romantic Brahms' Sonata No. 1 Op. 38.
The Preludio Sinfonico, an early work by Giacomo Puccini, partially reused by the composer in Bohème, will open the final concert in the PappanoinWeb series. On 16 September Antonio Pappano will be on the podium of the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia – following the Puccini – to conduct one of Rachmaninoff’s best loved works, his Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 played by the extraordinary Russian virtuoso Denis Matsuev. The concert will end with the majestic Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 " Pathétique" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
an initiative of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Telecom Italia
Monday 14 March - 9 pm
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Antonio Pappano conductor | Boris Berezovsky pianoforte
Verdi Aida Overture | Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 | Mahler Symphony No. 1 “Titan”
Wednesday 16 March - 8.30 pm
Antonio Pappano pianoforte | Luigi Piovano cello
Music by Cirri | Beethoven | Martucci | Brahms
Friday 16 September - 9 pm
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Antonio Pappano conductor | Denis Matsuev pianoforte
Puccini Capriccio Sinfonico | Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique"
All the concerts and commentary will be available free of charge at www.telecomitalia.com/pappanoinweb
Further info at http://www.santacecilia.it/pappanoinweb