Now Hear This: Scott Yoo’s Recommended Listening for a Classical European Music Tour

For the new miniseries Great Performances: Now Hear This, renowned violinist and conductor of the Mexico City Philharmonic Scott Yoo traveled across Europe and Morocco to chase the secret histories behind great classical composers and their masterworks.

To memorialize his travels, Scott shared his favorite locations, and curated recordings of works composed by Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Domenico Scarlatti, and George Frideric Handel in an original playlist for Great Performances

Hit play and read more below to experience the beautiful destinations that inspired these incredible composers.


Vivaldi: Something Completely Different

Piazza Del Campo, Siena, Italy. Image courtesy of Creative Commons,

 

Favorite City: Siena.  I was awestruck by the Piazza del Campo— which made me acutely aware that my field of vision was not sufficient to take it all in at once.

 

Basilica de Friari. Credit: Arcos Film + Music LLC

 

Favorite Place: Basilica de Friari.  To visit a working organ that was actually in use in Vivaldi’s lifetime— and then to play a duet with it— thrilling!

 

The Riddle of Bach

Bach House in Köthen, Germany. Courtesy of: Arcos Film + Music LLC

 

Favorite City: Köthen.  To stand outside Bach’s apartment, where he actually wrote many of his secular masterpieces, truly felt like a pilgrimage!

 

St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, Germany. Courtesy of Arcos Film + Music LLC

 

Favorite Place: St. Thomas Church in Leipzig.  It is where Bach worked for 27 years.  He was buried there.  We heard his music there, and it seems to live in the walls of the church!

Scarlatti: Man Out of Time

Tangier, Morocco. Courtesy of Arcos Film + Music LLC.

 

Favorite City: Tangier.  I’d never been to Africa before.  It looks different.  It sounds different (we visited during Ramadan).  It skipped the line of my bucket list of vacation destinations, and now my wife and I cannot wait to go back.

 

Plaza de España, Seville, Spain. Courtesy of Scott Yoo.

 

Favorite Place: Plaza de España in Seville.  Does another, more ornate public square exist?  No.  The views were stunning and majestic— making music there was unforgettable.

 

Handel: Italian Style

Courtesy of Arcos Film + Music LLC.

 

Favorite City: Rome.  The Colosseum.  Trevi Fountain.  The Pantheon.  And the most delicious gelato I’ve ever tasted.  What more could one ask of a city?

 

Courtesy of Arcos Film + Music LLC.

 

Favorite Place: The Metropolitan Cathedral Bologna.  Fabio Biondi and I nearly killed ourselves climbing up what seemed like dozens of flights of stairs, but the view of all of Bologna was so majestic, as if viewing the city by helicopter.

Don’t Miss Great Performances: Now Hear This —hosted by acclaimed conductor and violinist Scott Yoo– premiering Fridays, September 20-October 11 on PBS.