Ian Bostridge (photo: Sim Canetty Clark)

Chamber Music

Brad Mehldau and Ian Bostridge

Brad Mehldau is one of America’s foremost jazz pianists and composers. His style and his playing, however, are significantly influenced by classical music, with works by Bach, Brahms, Beethoven and Schubert serving him as an important source of inspiration. For this lieder recital, in which he takes on the role of accompanist, he has written a new song cycle for the English tenor Ian Bostridge, which the two musicians contrast with one of Romanticism’s key lieder cycles: Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe.

Ian Bostridge tenor

Brad Mehldau piano

Robert Schumann

Dichterliebe, op. 48

Heinrich Heine

Robert Schumann

Dein Angesicht, op. 142 No. 2

Robert Schumann

Lehnʼ deine Wangʼ, op. 142 No. 2

Robert Schumann

Es leuchtet meine Liebe, op. 127 No. 3

Robert Schumann

Mein Wagen rollet langsam, op. 142 No. 4

Brad Mehldau

The Folly of Desire, Song Cycle for Tenor and Piano − Work commissioned by the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Wigmore Hall, Stanford Live at Stanford University and Carnegie Hall

Dates and Tickets

Wed, 06 Mar 2019, 20:00

Chamber Music Hall | Introduction: 19:00

Serie V


Brad Mehldau was avowedly influenced by Franz Schubert, but other “classical” composers also fascinate him: “In recent years I’m increasingly playing Bach and Brahms. That’s music that can fill you up all your life. You learn to work out different voices; you develop your technique, your sightreading skills – you can practice everything with it.”

If you click around the American jazz pianist and composer’s website or immerse yourself in his long booklet texts, you also come across extensive reflections on intellectual history – from Goethe to Sigmund Freud to Rilke and Thomas Mann. Literature – besides jazz – is Mehldau’s second passion because for him it is closely connected with music: “In German there’s the word ‘Sehnsucht’ which is only inadequately translated with the English word ‘longing’. Mann’s writing has something of this feeling, which I also think has a lot to do with music. This is not ‘Sehnsucht’ as it is conventionally understood, but more a state we’re born into.” And he continues: “If you are willing to truly follow someone in his text, it’s like attentive listening.”

Of course, Brad Mehldau has intensively grappled with those genres that combine his two favourite arts – music and literature. Together with the British tenor Ian Bostridge he is now presenting a new composition for voice and piano – as well as a Schumann’s Dichterliebe.

Ian Bostridge (photo: Sim Canetty Clark)

Brad Mehldau (photo: Michael Wilson)