Recitals with Elīna Garanča, Anne Sofie von Otter, Ian Bostridge and Ferruccio Furlanetto

Singers – the world of vocal music

No instrument moves us more deeply or intimately than the human voice – all the more so when the singer is among the best in their field. In the concert seriesSingers, four international stars take us to very different worlds of vocal music. First of all, the English singer Ian Bostridge. As a guest artist with the Berliner Philharmoniker, he is mostly to be heard as the tenor in Passions and oratorios – or in the works of Benjamin Britten. And he will also present the latter in his recital on 22 November 2013. This year, the music world is celebrating the centenary of the English composer. Bostridge, who discovered his love for this music as a school boy, is today considered a worthy successor to the great Britten singer, Peter Pears. In addition to vocal music, this concert also includes some of the composer’s instrumental works, performed by members of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

An Italian with a penchant for Russian music

Ferruccio Furlanetto is more often to be found on the great opera stages of the world than in the concert hall. His most famous role at the moment is Philip in Verdi’s Don Carlo, with which he has enjoyed great success at, among others, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at Covent Garden in London. But his strong, voluminous and dark bass voice also predestines him to sing the title role in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. He was the first Italian to sing the role at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Audiences of the Berliner Philharmoniker have already experienced his mastery of the role when in June 2011, he stepped in at short notice to replace the indisposed Orlin Anastassov, and shone in the “Coronation Scene” and the “Death of Boris”. Not surprisingly perhaps, he will present Russian songs in his recital, with works by Rachmaninov and Modest Mussorgsky. The songs of these two composers are characterised by their relentless illumination of the dark side of human existence. His accompanist will be the Ukrainian pianist Igor Tchetuev.

Two mezzos in a class of their own

Audiences in the Philharmonie are well aware of the versatility of Anne Sofie von Otter. Since 1988, the Berliner Philharmoniker have valued the Swedish mezzo-soprano as outstanding interpreter of the works of Gustav Mahler, Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg, Béla Bartók and Johann Sebastian Bach. In her recital, supported by the Ensemble Berlin, she reveals completely new artistic facets with works by Francis Poulenc, Joseph Canteloube, Kurt Weill, Friedrich Hollaender and Hanns Eisler. In addition to her well-known warm, lyrical timbre, which is shown to advantage in the pieces by the French composers, she can allow herself to be bold and frivolous in the songs of Weill, Hollaender and Eisler. The same applies to the mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, who is portrayed particularly in the media as a star of the opera house and as a guest artist at glamorous music galas. She most recently appeared with the Berliner Philharmoniker as the soloist at the New Year’s Eve concert in 2010, when her performance of bravura arias from French operas was greeted by tumultuous applause. However in this, her first recital for the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation, she demonstrates her abilities in the smaller-scale, more intimate form of the song, with works by Robert Schumann and Richard Strauss.

Garanca
Elīna Garanča (Foto: Kasskara/DG)
Bostridge
Ian Bostridge (Foto: Sheila Rock/EMI)
Otter
Anne Sofie von Otter (Foto: Mats Bäcker)
Furlanetto
Ferruccio Furlanetto (Foto: Igor Sakharov)

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