"Christiane Karg spun the beautiful melody with total control every time, in subtle gradations of pianissimo... Here we discovered that Christiane Karg’s vocal tone could flare out magnificently, as it did in the anger and hurt of Love has Lied."
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 33 in B Flat Major KV 319
Four Last Songs
Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88
Born in Feuchtwangen, Bavaria, Christiane Karg studied singing at the Salzburg Mozarteum and at the Music Conservatory in Verona. She is a member of the ensemble of the Frankfurt Opera where her roles include Susanna, Musetta, Pamina, Servilia, Zdenka (Arabella) and the title role of La Calisto. She returns to Frankfurt this season to sing Mélisande in a new Claus Guth production of Pelléas et Mélisande and for her role debut as Adèle (Die Fledermaus). In 2006 she made her auspicious debut at the Salzburg Festival and has returned to sing Amor in Orfeo ed Euridice with Riccardo Muti and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
She is a regular guest at the Theater an der Wien where she has sung Ismene in Mitridate and Telaire in Castor and Pollux. At the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich she has sung Ighino in Palestrina; at the Komische Oper Berlin, Musetta in La bohème and Norina in Don Pasquale; and at the Opera de Lille, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress. In 2010/2011 she sang Poppea in Lʼincoronazione di Poppea with Glyndebourne Touring Opera. She will make her debut at the Glyndebourne Festival this season singing the role of Aricie in Hippolyte et Aricie.
A prestigious concert singer, Christiane Karg has recently appeared with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Concentus Musicus Wien, Daniel Harding and the Dresden Staatskapelle, Yannick Nézet-Séguim and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Marek Janowski and the OSR, and Laurence Equilbey at the Salzburg Festival. She has also sung with Emmanuel Krivine in Paris, Josep Pons in Madrid, Paul McCreesh in London and Paris (Haydnʼs Seasons), Jonathan Cohen and Les Arts Florissants in Paris, and Thomas Hengelbrock for the opening of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (Solveig in Peer Gynt).
Christiane Karg is a committed and distinguished recitalist and has made excellent recital debuts at the Vienna Musikverein, Schwarzenberg Schubertiade, Wigmore Hall and Edinburgh Festival. Other recent appearances include the Mozarteum Salzburg, Philharmonie Essen, Philharmonie Köln, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and Innsbruck. In 2012/2013 she will make recital debuts at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Wien, Oper Frankfurt, and Musikfest Stuttgart.
Manfred Honeck has served as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since the season 2008/2009. After two extensions his contract will now run until the end of the 2019/2020 season. His successful work in Pittsburgh is captured on CD by the Japanese label Exton. So far, Mahlerʼs Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5, Tchaikovskyʼs Symphony No. 5 and Richard Straussʼs Ein Heldenleben have been released to critical acclaim. The recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 has won an ICMA 2012 Award.
With great success, Manfred Honeck and his orchestra present themselves regularly to the European audience. Since 2010, annual tour performances have led them to numerous European music capitals and major music festivals, amongst them Rheingau Musik Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Musikfest Berlin, Grafenegg Festival, Lucerne Festival and the BBC Proms. The 2012 tour focused on a weeklong residency at the Vienna Musikverein. In August and September 2013, concerts took place in Grafenegg, Berlin, Bucharest, Paris, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Lucerne and Bonn.
From 2007 to 2011, Manfred Honeck was Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart where he conducted premieres including Berliozʼs Les Troyens, Mozartʼs Idomeneo, Verdiʼs Aida, Richard Straussʼs Rosenkavalier, Poulencʼs Dialogues des Carmélites and Wagnerʼs Lohengrin and Parsifal as well as numerous symphonic concerts. His operatic guest appearances include Semperoper Dresden, Komische Oper Berlin, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Royal Opera of Copenhagen, the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg and the Salzburg Festival.
Born in Austria, Manfred Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Many years of experience as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and at the helm of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp.
He commenced his career as assistant to Claudio Abbado in Vienna. Subsequently, he was engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was bestowed the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993. Other early stations of his career include Leipzig, where he was one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra and Oslo, where he assumed the post of Music Director at the Norwegian National Opera on short notice for a year and, following a highly successful tour of Europe, was engaged as Principal Guest Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for several years. From 2000 to 2006 he was Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm and, from 2008 to 2011, Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he will resume for another three years starting with the season 2013/2014.
As a guest conductor Manfred Honeck has worked with leading international orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome and the Vienna Philharmonic. Orchestras he conducted in the USA include New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is also a regular guest at the Verbier Festival. In February 2013 he gave his successful debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the direct result of which was a CD recording together with Anne-Sophie Mutter (works of Dvořák) for Deutsche Grammophon. In the season 2013/2014 he returned to Bamberg, New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Rome, amongst others, and made his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
In 2010, Manfred Honeck earned an honorary doctorate from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Moreover, he has been Artistic Director of the “International Concerts Wolfegg” in Germany for more than fifteen years.
For Dvořák, 1889, in which he finished Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, was a successful year indeed. He was offered the post of professor of composition at the Prague Conservatory and the National Theatre premiered his opera The Jacobin. The general interest in his music was further boosted by his fruitful visits to England.
Dvořák was absorbed in work on his Eighth Symphony from 28 August to 8 November, with the bulk of the time spent at his summer residence in Vysoká, the place he felt the most at ease. Yet the idyllic creative atmosphere was disturbed by a dispute with his “chief” publisher, Simrock, which ultimately resulted in an interruption of their co-operation for three years. Dvořák’s opus 88 was hence published by the London-based Novello. The symphony was subsequently given the subtitle “English”. In its basic features – four movements and their tempo scheme – Dvořák’s Eighth retains the structure of a classical symphony. Nevertheless, the work is striking owing to numerous innovations and a varied succession of changing moods. As the composer himself put it, he strove to treat themes and motifs in other than the “usual, universally used and acknowledged forms”.
Symphony No. 8 was premiered, with Dvořák himself conducting, on 2 February 1890 at the Rudolfinum in Prague within the popular Umělecká beseda society concerts. On 24 April of the same year it was performed in London at a Philharmonic Society concert at St. James’s Hall. An English reviewer wrote: “Although, just like Brahms, striving to adhere to the Beethoven school, Dvořák is the only one who is able to employ a distinctly new element in a symphony.” The Viennese critic Eduard Hanslick described the piece as follows: “This is one of Dvořák’s finest pieces……His works demonstrate an original personality, and this personality breathes the refreshing spirit of something novel and original.”
Noteworthy too is Dvořák’s commentary following the London premiere: “The concert turned out splendidly, dare I say as well as any other before… I was called several times to the stage – by and large, it was as nice and sincere as at the premieres at home in Prague. So I am satisfied and thank God that it has turned out so well!”
Wed – Fri / 6:30 p.m. / Rudolfinum – Suk Hall or Western Lounge
Location is specified for each concert in the concert programme and navigation signs at the Rudolfinum.
Pre-concert talks are offered free of charge as a bonus before the evening concerts of the A and B subscription series. They are given by conductors, soloists and members of the Czech Philharmonic, as well as musicologists and music writers who take part in discussions or lectures which will prepare for the evening concert.
They are presented by Eva Hazdrová-Kopecká, Pavel Ryjáček or Petr Kadlec.
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