Repertoire Report- Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Thanks to Sven from Brainerd for sending us a collated list of Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s rep for 2008. I’m a huge Harnoncourt fan, even though he’s as likely to make me scream in horror as cheer in admiration, sometimes in the same piece. Just this weekend I heard his Hallelujah Chorus on Radio 3. It starts so slowly and softly and affectedly that I really couldn’t take it remotely seriously (I didn’t know who I was listening to, which makes it more interesting sometimes- my first reaction to the opening was “whoever this is is a fraud”). However, the performance really took off and came to a thrilling ending, full of fascinating touches and compelling ideas. In the end, it was a vivid example of why he’s one of the most interesting musicians on earth.

Anyway, his is the smallest list so far- less than 30 works, but several operas and even more single-work programs. What I like most about his list is that it seems like a declaration of principles- you can certainly tell which composers he feels most passionately about. I wish I could have heard all the big Schumann works.

Nikolaus Harnoncourt- 2008 Repertoire Report 1-       Bach: Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, Cantata BWV 38

2-       2- Bach- Freue dich, erloeste Schar, Cantata BWV 30

3-       Bach- Wachet, betet, Cantata BWV 70

4-       Bach- St John Passion

5-       Beethoven- Symphony no. 5

6-       Bruckner- Symphony no. 5

7-       Haydn- The Seasons

8-       Haydn- Symphony no 60 in C  Major

9-       Haydn: Symphony in G major No. 92 (Oxford)

10-   Haydn- In un mar d’acerbe pene. Aria from: L’anima del filosofo, ossia Orfeo ed Euridice, Hob. XXVIII:13

11-   Haydn- Ah, tu non senti, amico. Aria, Hob. XXIVb:10

12-   Haydn- Symphony in C major, No. 97

13-   Joseph Haydn: Symphony in A major No. 59 (Fire Symphony)

14-   Haydn- Fra un dolce deliro, aria of Silvia from L´isola disabitata

15-   Haydn- Ragion nell´alma siede, aria of Flaminia from Il mondo della luna

16-   Haydn- Salamelica, aria of Volpino from Lo speziale

17-   Mozart: Tiger! Wetze nur die Klauen, aria of Zaide from Zaide, K 344

18-   Mozart- Alma grande e nobil core, aria for soprano and orchestra, K 578

19-   Mozart- Hat der Schöpfer dieses Leben samt der Erde uns gegeben, aria of Weltgeist from Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots

20-   Mozart- Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio!, aria for soprano and orchestra, K 418

21-   Mozart- Idomeneo

22-   Mozart- Risolver non osa. Aria from: Il sogno di Scipione, KV 126

23-   Mozart-Di que sei l’arbitra. Aria from: Il sogno di Scipione, KV 126

24-   Mozart- Non ter, amato bene. Aria from: Idomeneo, re di Creta, KV 366

25-   Mozart- Coronation Mass

26-   Schumann- Faust Scenes

27-   Schumann- Paradise and the Peri

28-   Schumann- Genoveva

29-   Stravinsky- Rakes Progress

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

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1 comment on “Repertoire Report- Nikolaus Harnoncourt”

  1. Daniel Wolf

    The Schumann interest me as well; Schumann’s use of the orchestra seems to have received some welcome rethinking lately. But I’m very curious about Harnoncourt’s Rake’s Progress: it’s a piece both associated with a very different style of historically informed performance practice and very much of the twentieth century, quite a balancing act.

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