Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette Michael Tilson Thomas
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- Hector Berlioz (1803 - 1869): Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette Op. 17, H. 79:
- 1Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette Op. 17, H. 79, Pt. 1: Introduction and Prologue19:46
- 2Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette Op. 17, H. 79, Pt. 2: Romeo Alone - Festivity at the Capulets'13:19
- 3Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette Op. 17, H. 79, Pt. 2: The Capulets' Garden - Love Scene18:21
- 4Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette Op. 17, H. 79, Pt. 2: Scherzo - Queen Mab08:38
- 5Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette Op. 17, H. 79, Pt. 3: Second Prologue - Juliet's Funeral Cortege10:29
- 6Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette Op. 17, H. 79, Pt. 3: Rome in the Tomb of the Capulets07:47
- 7Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette Op. 17, H. 79, Pt. 3: Finale - Brawl between the Capulets and the Montagues01:21
- 8Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette Op. 17, H. 79, Pt. 3: Finale - Friar Laurence's Recitative and Aria11:54
- 9Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette Op. 17, H. 79, Pt. 3: Finale - Oath of Reconciliation05:11
Info for Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette
Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony bring unsurpassed storytelling and musicality to their latest recording on the Grammy Award-winning SFS Media label: Berlioz’s dramatic symphony Roméo et Juliette. With a narrative that Berlioz deemed “too beautiful, too musical” to not be performed, this impassioned orchestral scoring of love and despair is further enriched by the vocals of Sasha Cooke, Nicholas Phan, Luca Pisaroni, and the SFS Chorus.
Roméo et Juliette is widely considered to be one of Berlioz’s finest and most daring works. His interpretation of Shakespeare’s iconic play was inspired by an 1827 performance of Hamlet, when he became enchanted by Irish actress Harriet Smithson in the role of Ophelia. She later became the inspiration for his Symphonie fantastique. Though his romance for her waned, his admiration for Shakespeare continued to grow over time. “Seeing Harriet play Shakespeare changed Berlioz’s life forever,” notes MTT in an edition of the award-winning series Keeping Score on Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Berlioz recalled in his memoirs after his first exposure to Romeo and Juliet “…by the third act, scarcely able to breathe—it was as though an iron hand had gripped me by the heart—I knew that I was lost.” This choral symphony in seven movements features both small and large choruses as well as the three soloists. With its vivid musical scenery and passionate finale, it is an immense and intricate work, spanning a range of emotions, and a true celebration of the inspirational and transformative power of love. These performances will be recorded for a future SFS Media release.
Grammy Award-winner Sasha Cooke’s versatile repertoire and contemporary taste have won her an esteemed place in the hearts of the opera world. Deemed a “luminous standout” by the New York Times, she is a graduate of Rice University and The Juilliard School and has recently performed with MTT and the SFS in Mahler’s Third Symphony and a semi-staged production of Das klagende Lied. Nicholas Phan returns to the SFS on the heels of his latest solo release, Gods & Monsters (Avie Records) and was previously named one of NPR’s “Favorite New Artists of 2011.” He has earned critical acclaim for his two previous albums (A Painted Tale and Still Falls the Rain) and received a Grammy nomination for his 2010 recording of Stravinksy's Pulcinella with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Pierre Boulez. Venezuelan-born Italian singer Luca Pisaroni made his debut with the SFS in 2015 as the bass soloist for the music from Stravinsky’s ballet Pulcinella. Other recent appearances in San Francisco include a performance of Fidelio with the SFS and performances at the San Francisco Opera as Figaro in Nozze and as Count Almaviva in Mozart’s classic comedy Le Nozze di Figaro.
Sasha Cooke, mezzo soprano
Nicholas Phan, tenor
Luca Pisaroni, bass-baritone
San Francisco Symphony Chorus
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
Michael Tilson Thomas
is Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestra Academy, and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. Born in Los Angeles, he is the third generation of his family to follow an artistic career. His grandparents, Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky, were founding members of the Yiddish Theater in America. His father, Ted Thomas, was a producer in the Mercury Theater Company in New York before moving to Los Angeles where he worked in films and television. His mother, Roberta Thomas, was the head of research for Columbia Pictures.
Mr Tilson Thomas began his formal studies at the University of Southern California where he studied piano with John Crown and conducting and composition with Ingolf Dahl. At age nineteen he was named Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra. He worked with Stravinsky, Boulez, Stockhausen and Copland on premieres of their compositions at Los Angeles' Monday Evening Concerts. During this same period he was the pianist and conductor for Gregor Piatigorsky and Jascha Heifetz.
In 1969, after winning the Koussevitzky Prize at Tanglewood, he was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. That year he also made his New York debut with the Boston Symphony and gained international recognition after replacing Music Director William Steinberg in mid-concert. He was later appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra where he remained until 1974. He was Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic from 1971 to 1979 and a Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1981 to 1985. In February 1988 he inaugurated the New World Symphony, a post-graduate orchestral academy. In addition to their regular season in Miami Beach, they have toured in Europe, South America, Japan, Israel, and the United States. New World Symphony graduates have gone on to major positions in orchestras worldwide. In 1991 Mr Tilson Thomas and the orchestra were presented in a series of benefit concerts for UNICEF in the United States, featuring Audrey Hepburn as narrator of From the Diary of Anne Frank, composed by Mr Tilson Thomas and commissioned by UNICEF. This piece has since been translated and performed in many languages worldwide. In 2011 the New World Symphony moved into a new campus designed by Frank Gehry.
In August 1995 he led the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in the premiere of his composition Showa/ Shoah, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Thomas Hampson premiered his settings of poetry by Walt Whitman, Renee Fleming premiered his settings of the poetry of Emily Dickinson and the San Francisco Symphony premiered his concerto for contrabassoon entitled Urban Legend. As a Carnegie Hall Perspectives Artist from 2003 to 2005, he had an evening devoted to his own compositions which included Island Music for four marimbas and percussion, Notturno for solo flute and strings and a new setting of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. Other compositions include Street Song for brass instruments and Agnegram, an overture for orchestra.
As Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra from 1988 to 1995, Mr Tilson Thomas led the orchestra on regular tours in Europe, the United States and Japan as well as at the Salzburg Festival. In London he and the orchestra have mounted major festivals focusing on the music of Steve Reich, George Gershwin, Johannes Brahms, Toru Takemitsu, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov and the School of St. Petersburg, Claude Debussy and Gustav Mahler.
Mr Tilson Thomas became the Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in 1995 and his tenure has been broadly covered by the international press. With the San Francisco Symphony he has presented eighteen festivals including ones devoted to the music of Mahler, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Wagner and American Mavericks.
His recorded repertoire of more than 120 discs includes works by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Mahler, Prokofiev and Stravinsky as well as his exploration of the music of Charles Ives, Carl Ruggles, Steve Reich, John Cage, Ingolf Dahl, Morton Feldman, George Gershwin, John McLaughlin and Elvis Costello. With the San Francisco Symphony label, SFS Media, his on-going series of recordings include the symphonies of Gustav Mahler, West Side Story, and works of Beethoven, Ives, and John Adams.
Mr. Tilson Thomas's television work includes a series with the London Symphony Orchestra for BBC Television, the television broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts from 1971 to 1977 and numerous productions on PBS Great Performances. Mr Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony produced a multi-tiered media project, Keeping Score, which includes a television series, web sites, radio programs and programs in schools.
Mr Tilson Thomas is a Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, was Musical America's Musician of the Year and Conductor of the Year, Gramophone Magazine's Artist of the Year and has been profiled on CBS's 60 Minutes and ABC's Nightline. He has won eleven Grammy Awards for his recordings. In 2008 he received the Peabody Award for his radio series for SFS Media, The MTT Files. In 2010, President Obama awarded him with the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States. 2016/2017