Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy, born on August 22nd 1862 in St.-Germain-en-Laye, was first a glowing admirer of Richard Wagner, but soon turned away from the German musical tradition to develop a French national musical idiom. The style he arrived at was called...  more

"Prélude à `L'Après-midi d’un Faune´"

Not until I heard "L'Après-midi d’un Faune" for the first time did I know what music really is. No less an authority than Maurice Ravel was the one who used these words to express his boundless admiration for the work of his friend and colleague...


Hector Berlioz

Since sparking a furore throughout Europe with his "Symphonie fantastique" in 1830, Hector Berlioz (born on December 11th 1803 in La Côte St. André (Isère)) has ranked among the fathers of "program music”. This work then joined with Liszt’s...  more

Extracts from "Romeo and Juliet", Opus 17


Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven, born in December 1770 in Bonn into a musical family, attracted attention early in his life thanks to his outstanding musical talent. In 1792 the Prince Elector of Bonn sent him to Vienna to enable him to perfect his knowledge...  more

Symphony No. 7 in A major, Opus 92

Although described by Wagner as "the apotheosis of dance", the Seventh Symphony however does not follow an idea or program like the 5th and 6th, but is rather absolute music like Symphonies 1 to 4. The association with dance is more likely to go...


Valery Gergiev, conductor

Born in Moscow, Valery Gergiev initially studied conducting under Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory. While still a student, he won the Herbert von Karajan conducting competition in Berlin. In 1978, aged 24, Valery Gergiev became assistant...  more