Schubertíada 2018

This week I'm advancing the posting one day because today was presented the programme of the Schubertíada 2018, with many new things and many lied recitals, and I wanted to share it with you right away!

Let's begin with the Schubertíiade Vilabertran, the 26th edition, which will take place from August 17th to September 2nd; There will be sixteen concerts; among them, eleven song recitals. Yes, you read it right, eleven. You can mark in your diary an important week, the seven recitals from the 21st to the 27th of August; The first three song recitals will be held during the first weekend of the Schubertíada and the last one, during the last weekend. The opening concert is again given for a young singer accompanied by Wolfram Rieger; last year the singer was tenor Ilker Arkaürek and this year will be soprano Katharina Konradi; They will perform songs from Mendelssohn, Schubert, Debussy, Rakhmaninov and Strauss. Following with the new voices, two more sopranos: Lise Davidsen and Natalia Labourdette. The first, accompanied by James Baillieu, will sing songs by Grieg, Brahms, Wagner, Strauss and Sibelius; Again, many composers, and this will be the general trend this summer. Labourdette, accompanied by guitarist Javier García Verdugo will give the first concert ever in the Dormitory of the monastery; They will perform songs of nine composers, from John Dowland to Benjamin Britten (but not all of them Englishmen).

Anna Lucia Richter is also a very young singer, but she's well known by the audience of the Schubertíada, because he gave a successful recital in 2016. She and Gerold Huber will offer a gorgeous programme, with lieder by Schubert at the first part and Liederkreis, op. 39 by Schumann at the second one. Another singer who will focus on Schubert will be Andrè Schuen, who will sing Die schöne Müllerin accompanied by Daniel Heide. If you have been following Schuen's career, you will understand why, in my opinion, that's one of the most exciting recitals at the Schubertiade (and not just because he's a baritone). To end the review of the young singers, a recital that will be one of the novelties. As you might know, Wolfram Rieger has been giving a Lied course in Barcelona since 1994; This year a new phase of the project begins, the Academy in Vilabertran, where two of the duos that participated in the last edition, chosen by Maestro Rieger, will do an intensive course that will be closed with a concert; the first two duos of the Academy will be Mireia Tarragó and Marina Pelfort and Francesc Ortega and Victoria Guerrero.

Let's focus now on the acclaimed singers. Some of them came last year too; for instance, the great Sarah Connolly and the great Malcolm Martineau; In their programme, there are Mahler, some traditional English songs and Brahms. Among the beautiful Lieder of Brahms, the op. 91, two songs with accompaniment of piano and viola, so we need another great musician, Jonathan Brown, from the Quartet Casals. We continue with two more great artists: Christoph Prégardien again, this time with Julius Drake; I am very happy because it's been a long time since he last came to Vilabertran. They're performing Schubert, with a wonderful selection mainly from poets Ernst Schulze and Friedrich Rückert, and Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer. Another great singer (I shouldn't overuse that adjective, but she's really great), Bernarda Fink, will sing for the first time in Vilabertran; She did it once at the Schubertiade in Barcelona, also with Roger Vignoles; the repertoire is again varied and includes two of her composers: Schubert and Dvořák.

The most varied repertoire, along with that of Natalia Labourdette, is that of Mojca Erdmann and Gerold Huber (as you can see, we're enjoying the pianist twice); there are eight composers and most of the songs are by Strauss, who alternates with the rest of colleagues. And last but not least, Matthias Goerne and Alexander Schmalcz. Their programme, as usual, with some different tips: Strauss, the Wesendonk-Lieder and the less-known Pfitzner. By the way, out of the five talks this year, three will be focused on Lied: Joan Grimalt will talk about Pfitzner, Antoni Colomer about Sibelius, and Miquel Desclot, about Wilhelm Müller.

We haven't finished yet! There will be six more concerts in places near Vilabertran, Figueres, Sant Quirze de Colera, Castelló d'Empúries and Saint-André de Surède and two of them are song recitals. Josep-Ramon Olivé and Jordi Armengol will perform Catalan songs in Figueres; Goerne won't be the only gentleman that will sing songs for ladies; Josep-Ramon is singing Mompou's Dream Battle. Mercedes Gancedo and guitarist Bernardo Rambeaud are giving a recital of Latin American songs in Sant Quirze. As you know, I usually dedicate some posts in August to present the song recitals of the Schubertíada and I don't know how I'm managing this thirteen concerts this year! There are problems that are worth having.

Readers of the Basque Country, your attention, please! A new brand Schubertiade begins in a village in Álava, Valdegovía/Gaubea. One of the four concerts, the first one, will also feature Katharina Konradi, this time accompanied by Roland Vieweg, with songs by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Falla. And finally, the second season of the Schubert Lied in Barcelona series has also been presented this morning: the four concerts will be those of soprano Maria Seidler and Malcolm Martineau, baritone Manuel Walser and Alexander Fleischer, tenor Eduard Mas and Marta Puig and baritone Ludwig Mittelhammer and Jonathan Ware.

The Schubertiade also has a new image (do you like schubertian rose window that heads the post? I love it); You will find at the new website all the detailed information. I didn't mention the chamber concerts but don't miss them!

To illustrate musically this post we can listen to one of the young singers at the Schubertiade, Lise Davidsen (accompanied by pianist Håvard Gimse), performing one of the Grieg's songs she's singing at her recital, Ved Rondane; the video is recorded during the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, that's why the members of the audience aren't the usual in song recitals. I'm afraid I couldn't get an English translation of the poem of Aasmund Olavsson Vinje, that talks about how gazing the landscapes of his youth makes him smile and feel happy.

Ved Rondane

No ser eg atter slike fjell og dalar
som dei eg i min fyrste ungdom såg,
og same vind den heite panna svalar;
og gullet ligg på snjo som før det låg.
Det er eit barnemål som til meg talar,
og gjer meg tankefull, men endå fjåg.
Med ungdomsminne er den tala blanda:
det strøymer på meg, so eg knapt kan anda.

Ja, livet strøymer på meg som det strøymde,
når under snjo eg såg det grøne strå.
Eg drøymer no som før eg altid drøymde,
når slike fjell eg såg i lufti blå.
Eg gløymer dagsens strid som før eg gløymde,
når eg mot kveld av sol eit glimt fekk sjå.
Eg finner vel eit hus som vil meg hysa,
når soli heim til notti vil meg lysa.


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