A corner of the loge - Mary Cassatt
A corner of the loge - M. Cassatt

I'm pleased with the song recitals programmed for next season in Barcelona. Despite some room for improvement, I like very much some of the singers who are coming and I really feel like listening to those others that I haven't yet heard live or singing art song. Beyond my personal likes, there is a better reference: most of these singers are scheduled in this present season or the next one at the Wigmore Hall in London (and, of course, at many other important venues in Europe).

Shall we review those recitals already programmed? I know that most of you don't live in Barcelona but, who knows, perhaps you are thinking about a city break (please remember that, unlike the ladies on the upper picture, you don't need evening gown).

  • Jonas Kaufmann and Helmut Deutsch. October 14th, Palau de la Música Catalana
    When Jonas Kaufmann sang Winterreise at the Liceu last March, I couldn't imagine he would be back to Barcelona six months later, great news! The program of the season’s first concert begins with my two favorite cycles by Schumann: Dichterliebe and Zwölf Gedichte von Justinus Kerner, what else can I ask for? The following songs are the Wesendonck Lieder, we talked about the Kaufmann and Deutsch's recording some months ago and we listened to Im Treibhaus. The recital ends with Tre sonetti de Petrarca by Liszt, a cycle that Kaufmann often sings (and very well).
  • Simon Keenlyside and Malcolm Martineau. January 21th, Gran Teatre del Liceu
    Also great news is Keenlyside's return to the Liceu with a recital, seven years after. The first part is all German song; the second one is French song, a usual combination. To begin with, again the Kerner Lieder. As you can imagine, I won't complain about listening to this cycle twice within three months, and even less if Keenlyside is who sings with his excellent version, but it’s a curious coincidence. I should stop saying that the Kerner Lieder is not usually performed, at least in Barcelona. The recital's second part begins with Don Quichotte à Dulcinée by Ravel and continues with a selection of mélodies by Fauré and Poulenc, two Keenlyside’s strong points. If you want to refresh how Keenlyside's Fauré sounds, we listened to Notre amour some time ago.
  • Joan Martín-Royo and Marco Evangelisti. January 25th, Palau de la Música Catalana
    The baritone Joan Martín-Royo also presents a recital with German and French song; first part is devoted to Beethoven and Loewe, the second one to Fauré and Duparc.
  • Andreas Scholl and Tamar Halperin.  February 10th, Gran Teatre del Liceu
    The countertenor Andreas Scholl has chosen an entirely German repertoire with classical and romantic Lied: Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Brahms, a beautiful selection from his recording "Wanderer": Despair, Du bist die Ruh, Das Veilchen, All mein Gedanken or the Mozart's lied that illustrates this post, Abendempfindung.
  • David Alegret and Rubén Fernández Aguirre.  February 12th, Palau de la Música Catalana
    The tenor David Alegret presents a German/Catalan program: the recital's first part he's performing Dichterliebe and at the second part two song cycles by Toldrà: L'ombra del lladoner and Garba. Some time ago we said that we would like to listen to more Toldrà at recitals, and here we are!
  • Elena Copons, Francisco Poyato and Alberto Puchades. February 26th, L'Auditori
    The season’s only recital at L'Auditori is entitled "Cabaret", and in addition to the singer and the pianist, the mimic Alberto Puchades also takes part. It's an interesting program with songs by Britten, Poulenc, Bolcom, Satie, ... Incidentally, it will be the third time in less than a year that two songs by Kurt Weill, Nannas Lied and Je ne t'aime pas / Wie lange noch? are performed: Ninna Stemme and Angela Denoke sang them this season at the Liceu.
  • Philippe Jarousski and Jérôme Ducros. March 25th Gran Teatre del Liceu
    One more countertenor singing Art song, in this case, mélodie. The Liceu's website doesn't give more details about the program, just the composers. However, with those and the recital’s name, “Opium", we’ve got enough clues to expect a selection of the songs performed in the beautiful album that Jaroussky released a few years ago; not long ago we listened to one of the tracks, Le tems des lilas by Chausson. Although we could also expect a new program and a new album, couldn’t we?
  • Mark Padmore and Paul Lewis. April 19th, Palau de la Música Catalana
    The tenor Mark Padmore has always been very focused on the song and it is a singer that I really want to listen. Along with Paul Lewis, he will perform one of the jewels of the repertoire, Die Schöne Müllerin.
  • Elena Copons and Francisco PoyatoMay 5th, Palau de la Música Catalana
    We are listening againt to Elena Copons and Francisco Poyato, this time with a completely different program, songs by Catalan composers: Toldrà, Mompou, Granados, Vives i Serra..
These are the song recitals scheduled at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Palau de la Música Catalana and L'Auditori; I expect some more from other cultural initiatives; as always, I will be posting them at the Concert Hall page when announced.

In addition to these recitals, there will be orchestral Lieder in three concerts:
  • Budapest Festival Orchestra, conducted by Iván Fischer. October 14th, Palau de la Música Catalana
    This concert includes the Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen by Mahler, performed by the baritone Tassis Christoyannis, and the Vier letzte Lieder by Strauss, sung by Christine Schäfer.
  • Camerata 432, dirigida per Antoni Ros-Marbà. March 23th, Palau de la Música Catalana
    Again Elena Copons, now performing the Wesendonck Lieder by Wagner, the orchestral version after having listened to the original with piano accompaniment in October.
  • Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, conducted by Emmanuel Krivine. April 24th/25th/26th, L'Auditori
    By October, if we were looking forward to listening to the Vier letzte Lieder again, we would have a new opportunity at L'Auditori, this time performed by Camilla Nylund.
Here is the Lied I promised: Abendempfindung (Evening sensations), with the same performers we'll be listening in the Liceu, Andreas Scholl and Tamar Halperin. Just one more thing: don't miss next week's post, there will be important changes!

Abend ist's, die Sonne ist verschwunden,
Und der Mond strahlt Silberglanz;
So entfliehn des Lebens schönste Stunden,
Fliehn vorüber wie im Tanz.

Bald entflieht des Lebens bunte Szene,
Und der Vorhang rollt herab;
Aus ist unser Spiel, des Freundes Träne
Fließet schon auf unser Grab.

Bald vielleicht (mir weht, wie Westwind leise,
Eine stille Ahnung zu),
Schließ ich dieses Lebens Pilgerreise,
Fliege in das Land der Ruh.

Werdet ihr dann an meinem Grabe weinen,
Trauernd meine Asche sehn,
Dann, o Freunde, will ich euch erscheinen
Und will himmelauf euch wehn.

Schenk auch du ein Tränchen mir und pflücke
Mir ein Veilchen auf mein Grab,
Und mit deinem seelenvollen Blicke
Sieh dann sanft auf mich herab.

Weih mir eine Träne, und ach! schäme
dich nur nicht, sie mir zu weihn;
Oh, sie wird in meinem Diademe
Dann die schönste Perle sein!

Evening it is; the sun has vanished,
And the moon streams with silver rays;
Thus flee Life's fairest hours,
Flying away as if in a dance.

Soon away will fly Life's colorful scenes,
And the curtain will come rolling down;
Done is our play, the tears of a friend
Flow already over our grave.

Soon, perhaps (the thought gently arrives like the west wind -
A quiet foreboding)
I will part from life's pilgrimage,
And fly to the land of rest.

If you will then weep over my grave,
Gaze mournfully upon my ashes,
Then, o Friends, I will appear
And waft you all heavenward.

And You, bestow also a little tear on me, and pluck
Me a violet for my grave,
And with your soulful gaze,
Look then gently down on me.

Consecrate a tear for me, and ah!
Do not be ashamed to cry;
Those tears will be in my diadem
then: the fairest pearls!

(translation by Emily Ezust)

Add-on 14/6. I missed a recital when I posted, now it's updated!
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Comments (2)

  • Xavi

    Déu n'hi do, quina temporada! Llàstima que les butxaques cada dia estan més pelades i que l'IVA es manté pels núvols (no sé si primaverals, o de tempesta...)

  • Sílvia

    I no fa pinta que hagi de baixar...

    La part bona és que per la majoria dels recitals es poden comprar entrades a preu d'entrada de cinema. L'excepció és el de Kaufmann al Palau, que té uns preus que Déu n'hi do.

    Però la temporada fa goig! :)

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