Just over five months since it launched, the online platform DG Stage – The Classical Concert Hall, in partnership with Siemens Arts Program, presents a further series of exceptional performances from some of the world’s leading classical artists. Its December and Christmas programme offers exclusive brand-new concert productions and landmark archive recordings, delivering the concert hall experience to audiences around the globe and building the Yellow Label’s virtual community of listeners and viewers.
The Oscar®-winning Hildur Guðnadóttir’s live performance of her acclaimed score to Chernobyl, created in partnership with Chris Watson and Sam Slater, comes to DG Stage on 4 December. The film is produced by the Barbican Centre, Unsound Productions and BFF | Best Films Forever Collective, and directed by Zoe Kahlert. It features the Icelandic composer’s recent concert version of her HBO soundtrack score, which took place at Warsaw’s new multi-arts Ephemera festival in September.
Conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, winner of Gramophone’s Recording of the Year 2020, takes the helm of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen in a concert to be shown on 12 December. Joined at the Konzerthaus Dortmund by Kirill Gerstein for the Schumann Piano Concerto and Weinberg’s Symphony No. 7, for harpsichord and strings, they will also perform Beethoven’s “Leonore” Overture No. 3 and a second piece by Weinberg – Aria, arranged for string orchestra.
The Yellow Label’s recording teams will capture Krystian Zimerman’s survey of Beethoven’s five piano concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle at LSO St Luke’s in London. The performances can be seen on 17, 19 and 21 December.
The sacred sounds of Advent and Christmas reach DG Stage on 23 December courtesy of the Sistine Chapel Choir, whose choristers are joined – in a historic collaboration – by Cecilia Bartoli, the first woman ever to record with the Choir. She sings Perotinus’s Beata viscera Mariae Virginis. This choral programme, recorded in the sublime surroundings of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, will be followed by a series of films from the Deutsche Grammophon archives.
Soprano Barbara Bonney and baritone Matthias Goerne appear with the Freiburg Barockorchester on Christmas Eve in a programme of Baroque Christmas music, including highlights from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah. Their festive concert, recorded at Freiburg Cathedral in 1999, also includes performances by German Brass and the cathedral’s boys’ choir.
On Christmas Day, DG Stage has a special gift for Wagner lovers. Exactly 150 years ago, Richard Wagner dedicated “Siegfried Idyll” to his wife Cosima on her birthday and arranged for it to be performed by a chamber ensemble in their Swiss home on Christmas. With that piece, the Bayreuth Festival 2020 marked what would have been its opening day at Haus Wahnfried – once Wagner’s home and now a museum devoted to his life and work – given by Festival Music Director Christian Thielemann and members of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra. The Bayreuth Festival and DG will offer this 20-minute treasure as a Christmas gift to all Wagner fans on the free tier DG Premium.
It’s 20 years since Sir John Eliot Gardiner completed his Bach Cantata Pilgrimage with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists. They prefaced their remarkable year-long journey with a highly acclaimed performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at Weimar’s historic Herder Church at Christmas 1999. The performance will be available on DG Stage in two parts, broadcast respectively on Christmas Day and 26 December.
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without The Nutcracker. Featuring Vasily Vainonen’s choreography and conducted by Valery Gergiev, this magical production of Tchaikovsky’s ballet was recorded live at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, where the work received its world premiere in December 1892, and will be shown on DG Stage on 27 December.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Métropolitain complete their DG Stage Beethoven symphony cycle on 30 December with their performance of Symphony No. 9, the composer’s crowning achievement. They are joined for the “Choral” Symphony by a quartet of internationally renowned Canadian soloists – soprano Marianne Fiset, mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb, tenor Frédéric Antoun and baritone Russell Braun.
Finally, DG Stage invites us all to celebrate New Year’s Eve in company with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and Andris Nelsons. As well as playing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, orchestra and conductor will welcome star pianist Evgeny Kissin for a performance of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2. This stunning concert will round off 2020 in style and provide a suitably uplifting ending to the first six months of programming on DG Stage, an initiative that continues to fulfil its aims, having so far connected audiences with approximately 50 great concert experiences.