In October 2020, the Victoria de Los Angeles Festival programs the Winterreise for the first time.
The baritone Samuel Hasselhorn accompanied on piano by Ammiel Bushakevitz takes us into Schubert's Winter Journey.
De Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Samuel Hasselhorn, barítono
Ammiel Bushakevitz, piano
Woman voice journey
Dedicating the edition to the journeys of the soul, it was almost mandatory to start the 2021 festival with Winterreise, this winter journey, introspective, mysterious ... and an inexhaustible source of interpretations and nuances. Thus, throughout 2020-21 we will have approached the Schubert cycle through various visions: the most classic, with the baritone but young and fresh interpretation of Samuel Hasselhorn and the experience of Malcolm Martineau; a more innovative one, with the dramatic approach of Rafael R. Villalobos in the countertenor thesis of Xavier Sabata and Francisco Poyato at the piano; and finally that of a reference tenor like Mark Padmore, representative of the English school, with James Baillieu at the piano. This list could not miss the feminine approach to travel, and nobody better to do it than the mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron, who will offer, together with the always romantic Julius Drake at the piano, a vision with a lot to say about the myth of Schubert and what not. will leave no one indifferent.
"I was in Barcelona during the Olympic Games, and I had the opportunity to listen to Victoria de los Ángeles. And listening to her sing that song ... magical aria, I thought I was in heaven. It is really the most beautiful thing I have ever heard". This is how the mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade -Flicka as she is affectionately called- remembers the experience of listening to Victoria de los Ángeles singing El cant dels ocells during the closing of the Olympic Games in Barcelona at the Olympic Stadium in Montjuïc in 1992.
With a brilliant career behind her -from the Metropolitan to La Scala, addressing all kinds of genres and styles, from the musical to Mozart- von Stade left her permanent lyrical activity in 2010, focusing on teaching through masterclasses and specific projects that awoke her interest, such as participation in Lembit Beecher's opera Sky on Wings in 2018 at the Philadelphia Opera, or the creation of lyrics for Jake Heggie's Paper Wings song cycle. This sincere esteem and admiration for Victoria are what made it possible for Flicka to return to a European stage and for her to do so within LIFE Victoria. She offers a very personal tribute recital to the Catalan soprano - to whom Albert Guinovart accompanied for years - but also in retrospect of her impressive career from a splendid interpretive maturity, which gives the song a new dimension. Heartfelt thanks, Flicka!
Lili Boulanger, premature death
Talking about Lili Boulanger is also talking about her sister Nadia, since if the first died in 1918 when she was only twenty-four years old, the second lived until she was ninety-two, dying in 1979, and thus being responsible for Lili’s musical legacy endure. After the death of her sister, Nadia promised not to compose anymore, dedicating herself to pedagogy with such illustrious students as George Gershwin, Astor Piazzola or Philipp Glass.
Stéphane Degout puts the work of Lili Boulanger in dialogue with that of Gabriel Fauré, her teacher and friend of her parents Juliette, singer, and Ernest, composer. Claude Debussy -who died the same year as Lili- will also be present, as well as Franz Schubert and Hugo Wolf, in a program that puts the work of the French composer in the right place.
In addition to postponing her LIFE Victoria debut - scheduled for spring 2020 - Sylvia Schwartz's confinement also led her to reflect on the power of escape. Music is precisely one of the quickest ways to escape, how with these vibrations in the air we can flee to other worlds, embarking on perhaps one of the most intense journeys. The soprano presents us with a three-part programme, together with Malcolm Martineau, which also becomes very pictorial (another evasive world): in the first, dedicated to German Lied, we experience romantic evasion through passionate poetry, as in a painting by Friedrich; in the second, we escape through Granados into the world of Goya, an evasion that the composer himself experienced at a time of war - the First World War - which ended his own life; in the third, Poulenc presents us with the most primal and greatest evasion: that of children. Before that, the promising Lluís Calvet i Pey and Èric Varas on piano offer two delightful cycles, as LIFE New Artists: Let us Garlands Bring by Finzi and Chansons gaillardes by Poulenc, in which constant reference is made to an ideal woman... called Sylvia.
This concert was to celebrate the 5th anniversary of China NCPA Orchestra. It was conducted by Chief Conductor of the Orchestra Lü Jia and presented by renowned pianist Sa Chen with the Orchestra.
String quartets from all over the world come to the International Institute of Chamber Music in Madrid to perfect their playing under the guidance of Günter Pichler, violinist of the legendary Alban Berg Quartet. In this concert, four of these ensembles will demonstrate their exceptional musical level through works by Haydn, Schubert, Schumann and Dvorák.
Franz Joseph Haydn is considered the father of the string quartet, to which he gave the form we know today. He composed more than 80 quartets and the one performed by the Barbican Quartet, his String Quartet No. 60 in G major, is one of the last and most ambitious. Haydn surprises with innovations in the tempo of the movements, incorporating popular themes and playing with minor keys beyond the conventions of his time.
Even more obscure is the next quartet: the String Quartet in D minor, D. 810 "Death and the Maiden" by Franz Schubert. Performed by the Baum Quartet, it owes its name to the theme of the first movement, which Schubert took from his lied of the same name. The exploration of the terror and consolation of death is also present in this quartet, the only one by the composer with all its movements in minor keys, through strong contrasts of mood and lyrical, tormented passages.
A great admirer of the Death and the Maiden Quartet was Robert Schumann, who however only composed three quartets during his career, the first of which is performed here by the Gyldfeldt Quartet. A product of careful study of the quartets of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, Schumann's quartets are classical in taste, but not quietly so. The String Quartet in A minor, op. 41 No. 1 starts with great intensity, revels in a joyous scherzo, continues with a fiery slow movement and culminates in a whirlwind of sonorities.