Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and Dutch Radio Choir performs Rachmaninoff - The Bells

Rachmaninoff – The Bells (Kolokola) – Netherlands Radio Philharmonic

Conducted by the American conductor James Gaffigan, the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest (Netherlands Radio Philharmonic) and the Groot Omroepkoor (Dutch Radio Choir) perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s The Bells (Russian: Kolokola), Op. 35, a choral symphony written in 1913. The words are from the heavily onomatopoeic poem “The Bells” by Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849)) which was not published until after his death in 1849, and very freely translated into Russian by the symbolist poet Konstantin Balmont (15 June [O.S. 3 June] 1867 – 23 December 1942). Marina Rebeka, soprano; Sergei Skorokhodov, tenor; Andrei Bondarenko, bass. A High Definition video Published by the Avrotros Klassiek channel.

Rachmaninoff dedicated The Bells to Dutch conductor Willem Mengelberg (28 March 1871 – 21 March 1951), and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, a symphony orchestra in the Netherlands, based at the Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw (concert hall). Mengelberg was famous for his performances of Mahler and Strauss with the Concertgebouw Orchestra.

There are four movements:

  1. Allegro ma non tanto: “The Silver Sleigh Bells” (Слышишь, сани мчатся в ряд) in A-flat major
  2. Lento: “The Mellow Wedding Bells” (Слышишь, к свадьбе зов святой) in D major
  3. Presto: “The Loud Alarm Bells” (Слышишь, воющий набат) in F minor
  4. Lento lugubre: “The Mournful Iron Bells” (Похоронный слышен звон) in C-sharp minor

Marina Rebeka

Marina Rebeka
Marina Rebeka. Photo: MarinaRebeka.com

One of the leading sopranos of our time, Marina Rebeka (born 1980) is a Latvian opera, song and concert soprano. Her performances as Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata are heralded as definitive portrayals of the role, and she is frequently lauded as a leading Rossini and Mozart singer of her generation.

Since her landmark performance at the Salzburg Festival in 2009, under the baton of Riccardo Muti, Marina has been a regular guest at the world’s most prestigious concert halls and opera houses, such as the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, the Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Amsterdam’s Het Concertgebouw, the Bavarian State Opera, Vienna State Opera, and the Zurich Opera House.

She collaborates with leading conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Antonio Pappano, Fabio Luisi, Marco Armiliato, Michele Mariotti, Thomas Hengelbrock, Paolo Carignani, Stéphane Denève, Yves Abel, Ottavio Dantone and Alberto Zedda. Her spectacular array of repertoire spans ranges from jewels of the Baroque era (Handel), Bel Canto masterpieces (Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti), and much loved works by Verdi (La Traviata), Tchaikowsky (Eugene Onegin), and Stravinsky (The Rake’s Progress).

Ms. Rebeka is also active on the recital and concert stage, having performed at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, the “Rudolfinum” Concert Hall in Prague, the Rosenblatt Recital series in London, Teatro alla Scala, and the Großes Festspielhaus Salzburg. She has shared the stage with venerated ensembles including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Filarmonici della Scala. She recorded Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle for EMI (Warner Classics) with the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia in Rome, led by Sir Antonio Pappano. Her first solo CD titled “Mozart Arias” was also released by the label in November 2013.

Sergei Skorokhodov

Sergei Skorokhodov
Sergei Skorokhodov. Photo: Ewa Krasucka

Born in 1974 (Leningrad/St.Petersburg), Sergei Skorokhodov is a Russian tenor. He studied as a chorister and choir conductor in Choral School named after M.Glinka (St.Petersburg). In 1998, he entered the opera/opera directing department of The State St.Petersburg Rimskiy-Korsakov Conservatory. In 1999, he joined the Academy of Young Singers at The Mariinsky Theatre. In the same year Sergei Skorokhodov made his Mariinsky debut as Guido Bardi in Eine Florentinische Tragodie by Alexander von Zemlinsky conducted by Valery Gergiev.

In 2003, he obtained a Diploma at Obraztsova International Competition in St.Petersburg. In 2004 and 2005 took part in Renata Scotto’s Master Classes in Accademia nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma.

During his time with The Mariinsky Theatre Sergei Skorokhodov toured with the Company in Holland (Concertgebouw, Amsterdam), France (Opera National de Paris), United Kingdom (The Barbican Hall, London), Sweden (The Royal Opera, Stockholm), Finland (International Music Festival, Mikkeli) and in Israel (Classics On The Red Sea Festival, Eilat).

Sergei Skorokhodov sang in operas of Donizetti (Lucia di Lammermoor), Bellini (La Sonnambula), Verdi (Nabucco), Puccini (Il Tabarro), Wagner (Lohengrin, Parsifal), Saint-Saens (Samson et Dalila), Shostakovich (The Nose), Prokofiev (Semyon Kotko) and Rimsky-Korsakov (Mlada, The Snowmaiden).

Apart from opera his repertoire includes a wide range of Russian and Italian songs.

Andrei Bondarenko

Andrei Bondarenko
Andrei Bondarenko. Photo: andreibondarenko.com

Andrei Bondarenko (born 1987) is a Ukrainian baritone opera singer. Despite his youth, he has already appeared at Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera, Teatro Colon, Cologne Opera, Sydney Opera House, Perm State Opera and Mariinsky Theatre. He also gave his role debut as Billy in Billy Budd in the first ever production in Russia (Mikhailovsky Theatre, St. Petersburg).

He sang in the theatre/opera project “The Giacomo Variations” alongside John Malkovich and has toured extensively with Larissa Gergieva. Andrei took part in the Salzburg Festival Young Singers Project, following which he returned to the Festival for Gounod Roméo et Juliette with Yannik Nézet-Seguin and Le rossignol with Ivor Bolton.

He has recorded Don Giovanni (title role) and Nozze di Figaro (Conte) for Sony Classics, Rachmaninov songs with Iain Burnside at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh for Delphian Records as well as the highly acclaimed Lieutenant Kijé Suite on the BIS label.

He won the 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition Song Prize, was awarded a diploma at the Ukrainian competition “New Ukrainian Voices” and won first prize at the international vocal competition “Art in the 21st Century” in Vorzel (Ukraine). He was a prize-winner at the 2006 International Rimsky-Korsakov vocal competition in St. Petersburg, the 2008 all-Russian Nadezhda Obukhova Young Vocalists´ Festival and Competition and the 7th International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition in 2010.

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