Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Launches Innovative Video Magazine for iPad

By Louise Burton on Sep 23, 2013 06:38 PM EDT

In its ongoing efforts to find innovative new platforms for presenting classical music, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam recently launched a video magazine, RCO Editions, available for iPhone and iPad. Each issue explores the life of a different composer and musical work, starting with Mozart.

The RCO Editions App is available for download at the App Store. The magazine will be published six times a year, and the first issue, "Mozart: On the Road," is free.

Mozart spent a third of his short life on the road, traveling between the musical capitals of Europe. It was these trips which inspired his "Paris" and "Prague" Symphonies. This issue invites readers to make intellectual excursions into and beyond these symphonies, through commentaries by John Eliot Gardiner and other noted interpreters of Mozart's music, as well as a documentary on Mozart's defining experiences in Prague.

The issue, published in English and Dutch versions, includes live video recordings of the RCO performing the two Mozart symphonies, expert commentary, notes on historical performance practice, sidebars about Mozart's contemporaries as well as video clips.

The second issue is also available. "Into the Light" focuses on Richard Strauss' tone poem Death and Transfiguration. Discussions of this work are augmented by musical excerpts of the RCO playing Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony, Strauss' Four Last Songs and Also Sprach Zarathustra.

Conductor Marin Alsop explains to readers how Stanley Kubrick's movie 2001: A Space Odyssey fits into this context, establishing the connection between music, philosophy and the 1968 film.

The RCO Editions project has taken into account current listening habits and the use of mobile technology. Readers can play the basic layer (the RCO concert video) on a large screen TV while, at the same time, using an iPad to browse through and read the enriched layers (background articles and interviews). There is also a timeline that allows commentary to be played back fully synchronized with the RCO performance.

This unusual format takes advantage of existing technologies to deliver a unique concert listening and viewing experience. RCO Editions requires an iPad running iOS 6.0 or later, to best experience the video and other multimedia aspects of the magazine.

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TagsRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra, RCO Editions, John Eliot Gardiner, Marin Alsop, Mozart, Paris Symphony, Prague Symphony, Richard Strauss, Death and Transfiguration

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