Europa Concert in Istanbul




Haydn, Mozart, Berlioz

The Berlin Philharmonic takes to the road every year to perform a unique concert-- called the Europa Concert-- in a different city in Europe. For their eleventh year, the city of choice was Istanbul, and this special concert was held in the city's oldest church, St. Irene.  Mariss Jansons conducts the orchestra in a program including Haydn's Symphony No. 94 (“Surprise”), which opened the concert with buoyancy and festivity; Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, which allowed the Berliners to display their unequalled musical skills; and Mozart's second flute concerto featuring Emmanuel Pahud as the soloist is the top dog of his generation, praised for his ravishing sound and his effortless phrasing.




Travelling has been a big part of Emmanuel Pahud's life from birth. His father worked for a U.S. company, and the family moved repeatedly during his childhood. However, this would only shape Pahud's international outlook for his future. Only six weeks after Pahud was born, his parents moved to Baghdad for one year. They moved again when he was 1 to Paris, where Emmanuel's younger brother was born. In 1972, they then moved to Madrid for two years, and in 1974, finally settled in Rome for four years. In their apartment building in Rome, lived the Swiss-French Binet family whose four children played musical instruments. The father (François) was a flautist who studied in Zurich and Paris but stopped performing in later years. At the age of four, Pahud first heard the flute. As the eldest son Philippe played the Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 1, K. 313 in G major, it set the course to a remarkable chapter of Pahud's life. He recalls: 

"I could hear the flute, the violin, the cello, the piano. I don't know why I chose the flute but maybe it was because the eldest son was playing it, so he was the one playing at the best level at that time - or because the father was also a flute player, so there was a kind of authority there. Anyhow, I said to my parents, 'I want to play the flute, I want to play the Mozart concerto that guy next door is practicing.'"  READ MORE



Mariss Jansons (born January 14, 1943) is a Latvian conductor, the son of conductor Arvīds Jansons. His mother, the singer Iraida Jansons, who was Jewish, gave birth to him in hiding in Riga, Latvia, after her father and brother were killed in the Riga ghetto. As a child, he first studied violin with his father.

In 1946, his father won second prize in a national competition and was chosen by Evgeny Mravinsky to be his assistant at the Leningrad Philharmonic. When his family joined him in 1956, young Jansons entered the Leningrad Conservatory, where he studied piano and conducting, although his father urged him to continue playing violin.   READ MORE




The building reputedly stands on the site of a pre-Christian temple. It ranks, in fact, as the first church built in Constantinople. Roman emperor Constantine I commissioned the first Hagia Irene church in the 4th century. It served as the church of the Patriarchate before Hagia Sophia was completed in 360. From May to July 381 the First Council of Constantinople took place in the church. It was burned down during the Nika revolt in 532. Emperor Justinian I had the church restored in 548.

Heavily damaged by an earthquake in the 8th century, it dates in its present form largely from the repairs made at that time. The Emperor Constantine V ordered the restorations and had its interior decorated with mosaics and frescoes. Hagia Irene is the only example of a Byzantine church in the city which retains its original atrium. A great cross in the half-dome above the main narthex, where the image of the Pantocrator or Theotokos was usually placed in Byzantine tradition, is a unique vestige of the Iconoclastic art; presumably it replaced earlier decoration. The church was enlarged during the 11th and 12th centuries. --Wikipedia   READ MORE








Gregorio Allegri's Miserere

In February 1994 Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars performed on the 400th anniversary of the death of Palestrina in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, where Palestrina had trained as a choirboy and later worked as Maestro di Cappella.





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