Notturno, five movements for baritone and string quartet
Streicherfantasien on a motif by Johann Sebastian Bach
La Bonne Chanson, Song Cycle after Poems by Paul Verlaine (Version with piano and string quintet accompaniment from 1898)
20:00 | Kammermusiksaal
15 to 35 €
“While in the past, like many in my generation, I saw in Schoeck the solitary, dogged traditionalist,” Heinz Holliger wrote, “today many of his works manifest themselves as quite personal, intense messages that touch and grab me. Particularly the wonderful Notturno op. 47 reveals how Schoeck, unaffected by the decent neoclassicism and neo-Baroque styles cultivated in Switzerland at the time, succeeds in connecting word and tone in a completely new form.” In point of fact Othmar Schoeck, who was born in Brunnen beside Lake Lucerne in 1886, manifestly set to music the deep black prevailing mood of the verses of Nikolaus Lenau in this dark nocturnal piece. The setting of a late prose poem by Gottfried Keller provides a conciliatory conclusion: “I would never have been capable of ending with Lenau,” the composer said. “I wanted to shepherd myself and the listeners out of depression.” In this chamber concert, Artist in Residence Christian Gerhaher and members of the Berliner Philharmoniker take on Schoeck’s unjustly rarely performed Notturno. The Neue Musikzeitung writes of the baritone’s CD recording that the singer encounters “the work with noble melodious sound and scintillating intensity” and thus strikes the “characteristic essence of the composition.” On the second half of the recital Christian Gerhaher and his musical colleagues apply themselves to Gabriel Fauré’s Verlaine setting La Bonne Chanson – a cycle for which Fauré selected nine “Poèmes” from the eponymous collection of 21 love poems by Paul Verlaine which the poet wrote while he was engaged to Mathilde Mauté de Fleurville. The emphatic collection reaches its high point in the last song L’hiver a cessé in which all the preceding songs are motivically recapitulated, and the cycle fades away with a musical and textual apotheosis.