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The Intimate Relationship between Word and Note: The Art Song

30 JUL 2014

published in: Concert

Franz Schubert at a picture by Wilhelm August Rieder, 1875
Since the beginnings of the German art song, Goethe’s poems have served as inspiration and bedrock of this musical genre, most commonly associated with the Austrian composer Franz Schubert. The same poet, occasionally even the same work and yet two totally different approaches to the text await the audience on August 5, 2014, when Christian Gerhaher and Gerold Huber give a song recital. The Goethe settings by Franz Schubert and Wolfgang Rihm – both have a focus dedicated to them during this Festival summer – were written about 170 years apart, and yet both composers manage to capture the atmosphere of Goethe’s poetry, creating independent works. These are interpreted by the versatile baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber, who have made outstanding recordings of Schubert’s cycles Die Winterreise and Die schöne Müllerin together.
On August 8, 2014 soprano Anja Harteros and pianist Wolfram Rieger dedicate a recital to songs by the German Romanticist Johannes Brahms and Franz Schubert. While Schubert preferred classical poetry, Brahms’ art songs set to music poets who were his contemporaries. The result of the collaboration between Harteros and Rieger, the song album Von ewiger Liebe, won the award Orphée d’Or.
A whole evening is dedicated to Richard Strauss’ songs, featuring the unusual but enchanting combination of soprano and harp. This highly unusual formation is made up by Diana Damrau and Xavier de Maistre. The two artists devote their programme to the anniversary of Richard Strauss and his art songs. These are complemented ideally by Antonín Dvořák’s Gypsy Melodies Op. 55 and songs by Bedřich Smetana, promising a truly special event for the evening of August 20, 2014.
Further recitals will be given by Anna Prohaska and Eric Schneider on July 30, 2014 and Thomas Hampson and Wolfram Rieger on July 31, featuring works by Richard Strauss. On August 15 the Grand Schubertiade follows, presented by Oliver Widmer and Friends. On August 17 Piotr Beczala and Kirstin Okerlund dedicate themselves to works by Schumann, Karłowicz, Dvořák and Rachmaninoff. The cycle of song recitals reaches its finale on August 24, when Elīna Garanča and Malcolm Martineau perform works by Johannes Brahms and Sergei Rachmaninoff.