Claude Debussy

Preludes (Selection)

Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Concerto No. 2

Saleem Abboud Ashkar
Camerata Sazburg

“First of all, one should forget that the piano has hammers.”, Claude Debussy wrote about his Préludes, written in 1910-1930, in which he also follows the great tradition of the French harpsichord masters as well as Bach's piano preludes. Far from being a direct imitation of nature, Debussy recalls atmospheric images, dispersed in sound spots full of tenderness. The free, poetic design of the Péludes gives room for associations and indulges in melancholic synthesis of sounds and colours. Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major op. 19 was composed between 1788 and 1801 and is still in Mozart's tradition. Already in this early masterpiece, Beethoven's sense for tonal evolution and the particular musical inspiration becomes perceptible in a youthful manner.

(c) Luidmila Jermies
(c) Luidmila Jermies

Saleem Abboud AshkarBerlin based Israeli-Palestinian pianist Saleem Ashkar was born and raised in Nazareth. He completed his studies in Europe and, since making his New York Carnegie Hall debut at the Age of 22 under Daniel Barenboim, is considered one of the most interesting pianists of his generation. He performs regularly with conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Christoph Eschenbach, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti and Daniel Barenboim and works with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Filarmonica della Scala, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Leipziger Gewandhaus, the NDR Hamburg, the DSO and the Konzerthausorchester in Berlin, the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome as well as the Mariinsky Orchestra St. Petersburg. He appears regularly in recital series and concert halls like the Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall, the Mozarteum Salzburg, and the Wiener Musikverein, as well as at the festivals in Salzburg, the BBC Proms, in Lucerne, Ravinia, Rison, Menton and the Ruhr Klavier Festival. Saleem Ashkar is a dedicated recitalist and chamber musician, a longstanding Musical partnership was formed e.g. with Nikolaj Znaider. His current focus is a complete cycle of all Beethoven sonatas presented by the Konzerthaus Berlin in 2016/17, developed from his own idea, as well as in Israel, in Prague, at the Morgenland Festival in Osnabrück, and in Duisburg. Highlights of the 2018/19 season include concerts with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, as well as a Tour to Japan and Recitals at venues including the Rheingau-Festival, the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie as well as the Beethovenhaus in Bonn. In addition to his current recording project, the complete Beethoven Sonatas, his CD productions for Decca include recordings of both piano concertos by Mendelssohn with Riccardo Chailly and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, as well as Beethoven’s 1st and 2nd piano concertos with the NDR Symphony Orchestra under Ivor Bolton; for EMI he recorded a CD with Mozart, Schhubert and Brahms sonatas. As ambassador of the “Music Fund”, Saleem Ashkar supports musicians and music schools in conflict areas and developing countries.

© Pia Clodi
© Pia Clodi

Camerata Sazburgis one of the leading chamber orchestras worldwide. Invitations to the most prestigious venues from New York to Beijing complement the orchestra’s concert activities in their hometown, Salzburg.
The CAMERATA is one of the core ensembles of the Salzburg Festival and Mozart Week since 1956. The subscription series in the great hall of the International Foundation Mozarteum is a pillar of Salzburg´s musical life and CAMERATA’s Festival “Schubert in Gastein” offers an annual “Schubertiade” in the alpine landscape.

At the center of the repertoire, in addition to the works of Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert, is of course the work of our genius loci Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is above all the typical “Salzburg Mozart sound” that over the years has made CAMERATA an international ambassador and musical figurehead of the city of Salzburg.
Highlights in recent years have included appearances at the Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence, BBC Proms in London, Enescu Festival in Bucharest, Beijing Music Festival  and Carnegie Hall in New York. The CAMERATA has a close cooperation with the Wiener Konzerthaus and appears regularly in the Tonhalle Zurich, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Luzern, the Prinzregententheater Munich as well as the Cologne Philharmonie and the Philharmonie de Paris.

Personalities like Géza Anda, Sándor Végh and Sir Roger Norrington have shaped the CAMERATA sound. Musicians such as Heinz Holliger, Alfred Brendel, Philippe Herreweghe, Franz Welser-Möst, Pinchas Zukerman, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Teodor Currentzis, Matthias Goerne, Fazıl Say, Renaud Capuçon, Yuja Wang and Hélène Grimaud, among others, have been prominent partners of the CAMERATA in past years.

When Bernhard Paumgartner founded the orchestra in 1952, the artistic credo of each individual member was clear: making music on one’s own responsibility within the CAMERATA community. A maxim that the orchestra and its members live to this day. Long time mentors Bernhard Paumgartner and Sándor Végh shaped the world-famous sound of CAMERATA. After Végh’s death, Sir Roger Norrington, as chief conductor, had a lasting influence on the orchestra. Today Sir Roger is the Director Laureate of CAMERATA. His successors as artistic directors were Leonidas Kavakos and the French conductor Louis Langrée. Since 2016, the musicians at CAMERATA have taken artistic direction into their own hands.

Led by their concert master Gregory Ahss as “primus inter pares”, the musicians work together to interpret sound and its subtleties and the music behind the notes. In this way, even in the seventh decade of its existence, CAMERATA maintains a “joy of playing that is contagious” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung). CAMERATA  concertizes regularly with its artistic partners Renaud Capuçon, François Leleux and Fazıl Say and guest conductors such as Andrew Manze, Lionel Bringuier and Ingo Metzmacher to collaborate with them this season.
Recordings of CDs and CDs by well-known labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, DECCA, Sony or Warner Classics – many of which have won important prizes – testify to the excellence and dedication to music of the CAMERATA musicians from more than 20 nations.