Canònica de Santa Maria de Vilabertran


I'm writing this on Monday 28 in the morning (the Schubertíada came to an end just a few hours ago), knowing that an article must be published tomorrow at midnight on Liederabend and I haven't written a single line. I'll learn one day that it's impossible for me to concentrate on writing anything during the festival. So, with the spirit still full of music, I'll share with you some notes that I have been taking these days, without any particular order or intention of being comprehensive.

  • For example, I will tell you how exciting it was to listen to Christoph Prégardien sing his version of the Schwanengesang, combined with some appropriate chosen lieder. His extensive knowledge and love of songs were evident in every note.

  • I also wanted to tell you a detail about the spectacular concert by Konstantin Krimmel and Marcelo Amaral: they finished with Schubert. When Schubert is programmed in a recital, he usually starts it, but this time the duo decided the reverse order: Vaughan Williams, Wolf and Schubert. And his lieder sounded wonderful.

  • That was a great day, because afterwards Marco Mezquida gave a piano recital during which he reinterpreted, among other works, eleven of Schubert's lieder in his own way. What a great musician and what a deep love for Schubert is needed to undo the original music, make us smile, and surprise us with the paths the pieces took...

  • I am very, very pleased with the success Hugo Wolf achieved in the three concerts in which his music was performed. In one of the pre-concert talks, with Antoni Colomer, we dicussed how this composer still intimidates; it was a joy to note, for example, the enthusiasm with which the public responded to the Italienisches Liederbuch performed by Anna El-Khashem, Johannes Kammler and Imogen Cooper.

  • And since we are talking about that Italienisches Liederbuch; baritonephiles, please pay attention to Johannes Kammler! I won't say I was surprised because I listened to him last season at the Schubertíada in Barcelona and I liked him very much. But the other day, in Vilabertran, he confirmed as a song singer from head to toe. Don't miss him if you have the chance to listen to it.

  • More… We're so lucky to have listened to the Liederkreis, Op. 39 by Schumann twice in a row, in two different, high-class, versions: by Dorothea Rschschmann and Wolfram Rieger, more expansive, and by Andrè Schuen and Daniel Heide, more reflective. It was widely commented: there were those who preferred the first option, there were those who preferred the second one. I declared myself unable to choose.

  • I'm finishing... How admirable is Matthias Goerne's tireless and audacious research into new programmes! What peace it brougs this year's programme, dedicated to spiritual songs!

  • Next to last thing: heat. We all know, both as audience and as artists, that during the concerts in Vilabertran it's usually hot. We accept it with good humour, hoping that the day will come when storms or north wind will refresh the atmosphere. This year has been exceptional, as has been the case everywhere else. If you went to the concerts and found something that sounded better, think that the musicians, under the spotlight, endured a lot more heat than the audience. Marco Mezquida said it openly: "I hadn't sweated so much in my entire life." I can only thank all the artists for their straining and their generosity.

  • Last but not least, thanks to the readers of Liederabend who came to greet me during these days. I was excited and it has been a pleasure speaking with you. Of course, I would be delighted if the readers who came to the Schubertada let their comments below, so we can complete this mosaic of notes.

The song this week is the encore of the duos formed by Katja Mederer and Amadeus Wiesensee, and by Jonas Müller and Anna Gebhardt for closing their concert (fine artists, the eight Lied the Future music fellows!). It is the duo So wahr die Sonne scheinet [As truly as the sun shines], by Robert Schumann, the last Lied of the cycle Zwölf Gedichte aus F. Rückerts "Liebesfrühling". Julia Varady, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and Christoph Eschenbach will be our performers.

And next week, we'll start a new season!

So wahr die Sonne scheinet

So wahr die Sonne scheinet,
So wahr die Wolke weinet,
So wahr die Flamme sprüht,
So wahr der Frühling blüht;
So wahr hab' ich empfunden,
Wie ich dich halt' umwunden:
Du liebst mich, wie ich dich,
Dich lieb' ich, wie du mich.

Die Sonne mag verscheinen,
Die Wolke nicht mehr weinen,
Die Flamme mag versprühn,
Der Frühling nicht mehr blühn!
Wir wollen uns umwinden
Und immer so empfinden;
Du liebst mich, wie ich dich,
Dich lieb' ich, wie du mich.

As truly as the sun shines,
as truly as the clouds weep,
as truly as the flames spark,
as truly as Spring blooms,
as truly as I felt
as I held you in my embrace,
you love me, as I love you,
I love you, as you love me.

The sun may stop shining,
the clouds may weep no more,
the flames may die down,
Spring may blossom no more!
but let us embrace
and feel this way forever;
You love me as I love you,
and I love you as you love me.

(translation by Emily Ezust)


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