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Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, or, as it is often called, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, was founded in 1888, its first concert taking place on November 3 of that year. Concertgebouw means concert hall in Dutch, and the ensemble adopted that name from the lavish site where it has been based since 1888. The building, known for its splendid acoustics, houses a large auditorium (the Grote Zaal) and a small one (Kleine Zaal).

The Orchestra's first conductor was Willem Kes, who enforced a common etiquette on Dutch audiences previously unobserved: eating, late arrivals, and talking during performance were banned. Kes built the orchestra into a fine one, even if it still fell short of world-class caliber. Upon Kes' departure in 1895, the legendary Willem Mengelberg was appointed music director. He would serve for nearly 50 years in that capacity, molding the orchestra into a first-rate ensemble and making many famous recordings with the group.

During his reign Mengelberg took sabbaticals to conduct other orchestras in Europe and America, including the New York Philharmonic. During his absences, other conductors were engaged to serve as substitutes, including Pierre Monteux and Bruno Walter. While Mengelberg was highly respected and his orchestra widely admired, the repertory tended to be somewhat narrow, focusing largely on the Germanic sphere, especially on Beethoven and Richard Strauss. But he conducted works by Gustav Mahler, and the orchestra featured appearances by Rachmaninov and Prokofiev in performances of their works.

During World War II, Mengelberg sided with the Nazis, and after 1945 was banned from conducting the ensemble for six years. That same year Eduard van Beinum was appointed his successor. He broadened the repertory and maintained the orchestra's high performance standards during his 14 years on the podium. He died in 1959 during a rehearsal, and for the next four years, leadership of the orchestra was shared by Eugen Jochum and Bernard Haitink. Haitink was appointed chief conductor in 1963 and served in that capacity until 1988. During his tenure, the orchestra made numerous highly acclaimed tours and recordings.

Haitink's successor was Riccardo Chailly, who further broadened the repertory of the orchestra, and like his predecessors, produced a spate of critically acclaimed recordings. In 2004, Mariss Jansons was appointed conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Today the ensemble consists of 120 players and is widely considered one of the finest orchestras in the world.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Bruckner: Symphony No. 7

Title: Symphony No. 7 In E Major, Wab 107

1. Symphony No. 7 In E Major, Wab 107: I. Allegro Moderato

2. Symphony No. 7 In E Major, Wab 107: II. Adagio. Sehr Feierlich Und Sehr Langsam

3. Symphony No. 7 In E Major, Wab 107: III. Scherzo. Sehr Schnell

4. Symphony No. 7 In E Major, Wab 107: IV. Finale. Bewegt, Doch Nicht Schnell

x

Track List: Debussy: Orchestral Music

Disc 1
Title: Berceuse Héroïque for Piano (Or Orchestra), L. 132
Title: Images (3), For Orchestra, L. 122
Title: Jeux, Ballet, L. 126
Title: Marche Écossaise, Sur Un Thème Populaire, For Piano, 4 Hands (or Orchestra), L. 77
Disc 2
Title: Prélude à L'après-midi D'un Faune (Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Faun), For Orchestra, L. 86
Title: Nocturnes, For Female Chorus & Orchestra, L. 91
Title: La Mer, Symphonic Sketches (3) For Orchestra, L. 109
Title: Rhapsodie for clarinet & piano (or orchestra), L. 116
Title: Danses Sacrée Et Profane, For Chromatic Harp & String Orchestra, L. 103
x

Track List: Duo Piano Extravaganza

Disc 1
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Variations (5) On An Original Theme For Piano, 4 Hands In G Major, K. 501

1. Variations (5) On An Original Theme For Piano, 4 Hands In G Major, K. 501: Tema (Andante)

2. Variations (5) On An Original Theme For Piano, 4 Hands In G Major, K. 501: Variation 1

3. Variations (5) On An Original Theme For Piano, 4 Hands In G Major, K. 501: Variation 2

4. Variations (5) On An Original Theme For Piano, 4 Hands In G Major, K. 501: Variation 3

5. Variations (5) On An Original Theme For Piano, 4 Hands In G Major, K. 501: Variation 4

6. Variations (5) On An Original Theme For Piano, 4 Hands In G Major, K. 501: Variation 5

Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov
Title: Suite No. 2 For 2 Pianos In C Major, Op. 17

7. Suite No. 2 For 2 Pianos In C Major, Op. 17: I. Introduction: All Marcia

8. Suite No. 2 For 2 Pianos In C Major, Op. 17: II. Valse: Presto

9. Suite No. 2 For 2 Pianos In C Major, Op. 17: III. Romance: Andantino

10. Suite No. 2 For 2 Pianos In C Major, Op. 17: IV. Tarantella: Presto

Composer: Béla Bartók
Title: Concerto For 2 Pianos, Percussion & Orchestra, Sz. 115, BB 121

11. Concerto For 2 Pianos, Percussion & Orchestra, Sz. 115, BB 121: I. Assai Lento - Allegro Molto

12. Concerto For 2 Pianos, Percussion & Orchestra, Sz. 115, BB 121: II. Lento, Ma Non Troppo

13. Concerto For 2 Pianos, Percussion & Orchestra, Sz. 115, BB 121: III. Allegro Ma Non Troppo

Composer: Claude Debussy
Title: En Blanc Et Noir, For 2 Pianos, L. 134

14. En Blanc Et Noir, For 2 Pianos, L. 134: I. Avec Emportement

15. En Blanc Et Noir, For 2 Pianos, L. 134: II. Lent. Sombre

16. En Blanc Et Noir, For 2 Pianos, L. 134: III. Scherzando

Disc 2
Composer: Witold Lutoslawski
Title: Variations On A Theme Of Paganini, For 2 Pianos
Composer: Béla Bartók
Title: Sonata For 2 Pianos & 2 Percussion, Sz. 110, BB 15
Composer: Camille Saint-Saëns
Title: Carnival Of The Animals, Zoological Fantasy For 2 Pianos & Ensemble
Composer: Maurice Ravel
Title: La Valse, Poème Choréographique For Piano Or 2 Pianos
x

Track List: Haydn: 6 London Symphonies

Disc 1
Title: Symphony No. 94 In G Major ("Surprise"/"the Drumstroke"/"mit Dem Paukenschlag"), H. 1/94
Title: Symphony No. 100 In G Major ("Military") H. 1/100
Title: Symphony No. 101 In D Major ("Clock"), H. 1/101
Disc 2
Title: Symphony No. 96 In D Major ("Miracle"), H. 1/96
Title: Symphony No. 103 In E Flat Major ("Drumroll"), H. 1/103
Title: Symphony No. 104 In D Major ("London"), H. 1/104
x

Track List: Haydn: The London Symphonies, Vol. 1

Disc 1
Title: Symphony No. 95 In C Minor, H. 1/95
Title: Symphony No. 98 In B Flat Major, H. 1/98
Title: Symphony No. 104 In D Major ("London"), H. 1/104
Disc 2
Title: Symphony No. 96 In D Major ("Miracle"), H. 1/96
Title: Symphony No. 102 In B Flat Major, H. 1/102
Title: Symphony No. 103 In E Flat Major ("Drumroll"), H. 1/103

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Was visualizing a beautiful ballet being performed to this!!
Report as inappropriate
lkgrebnel
Pretty darned stunning. . .

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