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Guide des Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad

The young take the high ground at Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad

Both lynchpin and enlightened monarch, Renaud Capuçon lifts the curtain of the festival in his third year as its Artistic Director
Biography
Church of Saanen
Church of Saanen

January 26 - February 3, 2018

Since its creation in 2001, the Festival des Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad has become the winter event for classical music lovers. During nine days every year, young talents, orchestras, internationally renowned artists and music lovers from Switzerland and abroad come together to this snow-covered setting to enjoy the most beautiful works of the classical music repertoire.

The Festival is organized around three cycles of concerts taking place in three exceptional venues. In the afternoon, the Gstaad Chapel gives pride of place to young talents with a series of concerts honouring a particular instrument. In the evening, the churches of Rougemont and Saanen delight the public with world-renowned soloists and orchestras. After the Saanen concerts, dinner parties with the artists and open to the public are held at the Gstaad Palace.

Since 2002, the festival has awarded the Thierry Scherz Prize to one of the young promising talents and offered him the opportunity to record his first CD with the label Claves Records.

Awarded for the first time in 2013, the André Hoffmann Prize rewards the best interpretation of a composer in residence's work.

For full information, visit the Festival des Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad website.

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Long on refinement, short on sparkle: Nelson Freire in Gstaad

Nelson Freire © Miguel Bueno
Freire convinces in Bach, but soft attack and heavy pedal use make for flat renditions of romantic works.
**111
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Lupu’s Mozart touches the sublime

Radu Lupu © Miguel Bueno
Radu Lupu produces Mozart so sublime as to delight the angels, Saraste and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra give us a lesson in poise, balance and blended sound.
****1
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Moreau and Kadouch play Rita Strohl in Gstaad

Edgar Moreau © Miguel Bueno
Edgar Moreau and David Kadouch make the case for ressurecting the work of Rita Strohl, thrilling in transformation of Racine's Bérénice into Cello Sonata form.
****1
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Full-bodied Brahms and Schubert from Arcadi Volodos

Arcadi Volodos © Miguel Bueno
Arcadi Volodos is a big man, and when he sits down to the piano, he produces a big sound. The extraordinary richness of timbre was obvious from the first notes of Brahms' 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118.
****1
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Russian Romantics from harpist Alexander Boldachev

Alexander Boldachev © Miguel Bueno
Alexander Boldachev gives a highly entertaining exploration of Russian music, by way of a battery of harp effects, several of his own devising.
****1
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