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Online recital: Folk Songs / Songs of Travel

Folk Songs

Luciano Berio (1925 –2003) Folk Songs
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 – 1985) Songs of Travel

Bianca Andrew mezzo-soprano
Philipp Nickel viola
Mikhail Nemtsov cello
Eduard Belmar flute, piccolo
Matthias Höfer clarinet
Françoise Verherve harp
Jürgen Friedel, Steffen Uhrhan percussion

Nikolai Petersen conductor

Songs of Travel

Jonathan Abernethy tenor
Anne Larlee piano

Here's a detailed programme. Recital introduced by Konrad Kuhn

Filmed in advance for you to enjoy here, on YouTube and Facebook from 7.30pm on April 16
These online events are free but, if you felt like making a donation ... click here

The Italian composer Luciano Berio (1925–2003) was always drawn to folk music, which he searched for and researched. In 1964 he wrote this cycle of eleven songs, from different cultures and in nine languages, which he dedicated to his wife, the American mezzo-soprano Cathy Berberian: two from America, one from Armenia, where Cathy Berberian's forefathers came from, ones from Azerbaijan, France, Sicily, Sardinia and Berio's home, Liguria, in Genoese dialect. He also borrowed two of Canteloube's Chants d’Auvergne, which are sung in Occitan, orlenga d'òc. What's special about these folk songs, apart from their diversity, in their instrumentalisation: flute, piccolo, clarinet, harp, viola, cello and percussion, in all sorts of combinations. 

Songs of Travel – bring Schubert's wanderer in Winterreise to mind? Robert Louis Stevenson was a wanderer too - a world wanderer, but his verses about travel are nothing like Wilhelm Müller's yearning poems in Die schöne Müllerin orWinterreise, or Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen - which conjure up a very different mood, although they may well have inspired Vaughan Williams when he turned to Stevenson's Songs of Travel between 1901 and 1904. Existential gloom and approaching death are central themes here too, but contrasted by the resolute, stoic composure in the face of all adversities that this wanderer possesses. Vaughan Williams was influenced by British folk music - an ideal foil to Berio's songs.

With generous support from the