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Weekend music guaranteed to spill your coffee and flatten your scones

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Music is not a soothing bubble bath for conductor Jukka Pekka Saraste.
Music is not a soothing bubble bath for conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste.

Toronto’s privately owned classical radio station wants us to associate music with a candelit bubble bath. But that’s no way to kill the winter blahs, so turn up the water jets for something more stirring. has two particular goosebump-raising treats to watch for free this weekend. It’s music to shove, spill, enrage and energise, starting with former Toronto Symphony Orchestra music director Jukka Pekka Saraste leading the Radio France Philharmonic.

Leos Janácek’s Sinfonietta comes with blazing brass choruses in this concert broadcast yesterday from Salle Pleyel in Paris. Saraste gives it a sobre but energetic reading and deftly turns the piece’s many shifting moods.

The concert’s guests are star pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard and percussionist Colin Currie, who make fine work of Igor Stravinsky’s Mouvements and some typically abstract pieces by the late Elliott Carter.

Bela Bartók’s Dance Suite rounds out a programme designed to spill water all over the bathroom floor and kill any and all notions of classical music as a sedative.

You’ll find the concert here.


With the body primed for action, it’s time to set fire to the soul with Hector Berlioz’s magnificent Damnation of Faust.

Being performed today at the Musikverein in Vienna with the Orchestra National du Capitole de Toulouse under Tugan Sokchiev, the concert arrives on the web for free streaming on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

The soloists are excellent: Olga Borodina is Marguerite, Bryan Hymel is Faust, Mephistopheles is sung by Alastair Miles and René Schirrer sings Brander.

You’ll find it here.

John Terauds



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