Bandstand Chamber Festival and St John's Waterloo present:

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Sponsored by

 

CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust (sponsors of Community Tickets scheme)

The Neville Abraham Foundation

The Carne Trust (sponsors of the Solem Quartet’s performance on 11 December)

Dasha Shenkman OBE

Peter Bull (sponsor of Mozart Clarinet Quintet, performed by the Maxwell Quartet & Anthony Friend)

With thanks to 

Maggini Quartet Charitable Fund 

Thomas and Megan Tress

Euchar Gravina

St John’s Waterloo

Hanna Grzeskiewicz

Southbank Sinfonia

Please follow social distancing protocol and wear a mask at all times.

There are no public toilets available at St John's Waterloo. The nearest toilets are in Waterloo Station.

 

Please do not film the concerts.

Spotlight Chamber Concerts
 

From 7 - 19 December, Spotlight Chamber Concerts brings some of the world’s finest classical musicians to the safely socially-distanced interior of one of London’s landmark churches, St John’s Waterloo. With dramatic lighting centred only on the performers, the audience is invited to focus solely on the immersive experience of live music in this series of concerts and recitals set to lighten up the winter months ahead. Tickets are strictly limited, so subscribe below to be the first in line.
 

This series was founded by Anthony Friend in 2020, and is an initiative of the Maggini Quartet Charitable Fund.
 

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7 December 2020

Roderick Williams & Susie Allan

with Momentum artists Kathryn Rudge, mezzo soprano and Edward Hawkins, bass

11 December 2020

Solem Quartet

13 December 2020

Maxwell Quartet & Anthony Friend

18 December 2020

Steven Isserlis

19 December 2020

Angela Hewitt

Monday 7 December 2020

Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828)

Schwanengesang, D 957

Songs or song cycles amount to around 630 entries in Schubert’s almost 1,000-work catalogue. Many of these were composed in the hope of being published — and it was almost always that way round, as Schubert did not have the luxury of receiving handsome commissions, nor did he enjoy the full-time employment of a church or a court musician. Schubert was unusual in that he received the bulk of his income from the compositions that he did manage to have published; domestic music making was a mainstream pastime, and short works for piano solo, piano duo or voice and piano were particularly popular. Unlike many other great composers (among them Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Liszt), Schubert had no parallel career on the concert stage and he performed many of his works at informal, domestic evenings devoted to his music, known as Schubertiades.

 

Whilst many more of Schubert’s songs and short piano works were published during his lifetime than, for example, his symphonies, a large number were published posthumously. This is the case for Schubert’s final set of songs, Schwanengesang, D. 957. Although a fair copy of the first thirteen songs exists in Schubert’s hand, in sequence, this is not a song cycle like his earlier Die schöne Müllerin (‘The beautiful miller-girl’), D. 795, or Die Winterreise (‘The Winter Journey’), D. 911. Both of these cycles comprise texts by a single poet — Wilhelm Müller (1794-1827), whose life was to be almost as brief as Schubert’s own — and have a narrative thread linking the songs together into a whole. By contrast, Schwanengesang comprises seven poems by Ludwig Rellstab (1799-1860) and six by Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), with one final song whose text is by Johann Gabriel Seidl (1804-75), added by Schubert’s publisher Tobias Haslinger when he compiled the set after Schubert’s death in 1829. Haslinger also added the title Schwanengesang, the ‘Swan Song’, emphasising the songs’ status as the final works of a genius at the end of his life.

 

Seven settings of Rellstab’s poems form the first part of the cycle, dealing with themes of love, the natural world, and separation — and in particular the untranslatable German word Sehnsucht, roughly equivalent to ‘yearning’. This is expressed in Liebesbotschaft (‘Love’s Message’), in which the singer asks a stream (evoked in burbling piano accompaniment) to carry a message to his beloved. The theme of longing is continued in the next two songs; Kriegers Ahnung (‘The Warrior’s Foreboding’) depicts a wistful soldier pining for his love whilst facing the miserable prospect of possible death in battle; in Frühlingssehnsucht (‘Spring Longing’) the lonely narrator is unable to connect with the natural world around him, bursting with springtime life, which he characterises as the fulfilment of nature’s desire. The plaintive melody of Ständchen (‘Serenade’) — over bleak, staccato piano accompaniment — desperately wills the protagonist’s lover to come to him, enlisting the help of nightingales; there are flashes of optimism at unexpected resolutions to major chords, but major turns again to minor and we sense, painfully, that his hopes are doomed.

 

In Aufenthalt, Rellstab conjures the fearsome power of nature — rivers, forests, mountains — to mirror his inner turmoil. Similarly, the narrator of In der Ferne  (‘In the distance’) calls on the wind and the sun to send his greetings to the source of his heartbreak. A funereal, subdued march with unearthly modulations spiralling downwards evokes the desolation of his current situation, having run away and having no friends nor anywhere to call home. Abschied (‘The Farewell’) almost seems like a prequel to the previous song: the singer bids a cheerful farewell to his town which becomes more grimly resolute as the song progresses.

 

Then follows six songs with texts by Heine, which Schubert had earlier attempted to have published as a subset on their own. The protagonist in Der Atlas — named after the mythological giant who carries the world on his shoulders — is a solitary, Beethovenian figure, isolated in his suffering; Schubert makes this point by quoting Beethoven’s final piano sonata, the Sonata in C minor, Op. 111 (played by Angela Hewitt at Spotlight Chamber Concerts on 19 December). In Ihr Bild (‘Your Portrait’), heroism is stripped away along with the richness of the piano writing, its bare unisons conveying the pathos of the narrator. Das Fischermädchen (‘The Fisher Maiden’) is the lightest of the six Heine songs, a simple song of seduction, on the surface — but a sardonic portrayal of an idealised life in Heine’s twisted, world-weary outlook. Die Stadt (‘The City’) is a return to gloom, the poet rowing towards a fog-shrouded city where he lost his beloved. Rippling diminished sevenths in the piano evoke his oars in the water, and halting rhythms emphasise the hopelessness of his situation. Am Meer (‘At the Sea’) is a prime example of Schubert’s ability to turn harmony effortlessly to his will: B-flat major (or C major in its original key — the song is often transposed down a tone) sounds serene and contented in the first stanza; when it returns in the third, paired with a description of the poet drinking his beloved’s tears, it instead sounds desperately sad, and in the piano’s postlude it is positively heartsick. The final Heine song, Der Doppelgänger (‘The Lookalike’), describes the sinister scene of a man distraught with anguish outside the house where the poet’s beloved used to live, its emptiness evoked in the hollow piano chords. A chilling crescendo and an electrifying chromatic rise in the piano lead us to the moonlit revelation that this horrible figure is the poet himself.

An encore, or postscript, appears at the end of the cycle in the form of Schubert’s setting of Seidl’s Die Taubenpost, in which a singer claims to own a carrier pigeon whose name is ‘Longing’. There is a poignant melancholy just beneath the cheerful surface of the music, enhanced by the knowledge that this was the last lied Schubert composed.

Anthony Friend

Texts and translations

Liebesbotschaft

Rauschendes Bächlein, so silbern und hell,

Eilst zur Geliebten so munter und schnell?

 

Ach, trautes Bächlein, mein Bote sei du;

Bringe die Grüsse des Fernen ihr zu.

All’ ihre Blumen im Garten gepflegt,

Die sie so lieblich am Busen trägt,

Und ihre Rosen in purpurner Glut,

Bächlein, erquicke mit kühlender Flut.

 

 

Wenn sie am Ufer, in Träume versenkt,

Meiner gedenkend, das Köpfchen hängt;

Tröste die Süsse mit freundlichem Blick,

Denn der Geliebte kehrt bald zurück.

Neigt sich die Sonne mit rötlichem Schein,

Wiege das Liebchen in Schlummer ein.

Rausche sie murmelnd in süsse Ruh,

Flüstre ihr Träume der Liebe zu.

Love's message

Murmuring brook, so silver and bright,

do you hasten, so lively and swift, to my beloved? 

Ah, sweet brook, be my messenger.

Bring her greetings from her distant lover.

All the flowers, tended in her garden,

which she wears so charmingly on her breast, 

and her roses with their crimson glow:

fefresh them, brooklet, with your cooling waters.

When on your banks she inclines her head 

lost in dreams, thinking of me,

comfort my sweetheart with a kindly glance, 

for her beloved will soon return.

When the sun sinks in a red flush,

lull my sweetheart to sleep.

With soft murmurings bring her sweet repose, 

and whisper dreams of love.

Kriegers Ahnung

In tiefer Ruh liegt um mich her

Der Waffenbrüder Kreis;

Mir ist das Herz so bang und schwer,

Von Sehnsucht mir so heiss.

Wie hab’ ich oft so süss geträumt

An ihrem Busen warm!

Wie freundlich schien des Herdes Glut,

Lag sie in meinem Arm!

Hier, wo der Flammen düstrer Schein

Ach! nur auf Waffen spielt,

Hier fühlt die Brust sich ganz allein,

Der Wehmut Träne quillt.

Herz! Dass der Trost Dich nicht verlässt!

Es ruft noch manche Schlacht –

Bald ruh ich wohl und schlafe fest,

Herzliebste – Gute Nacht!

Warrior's foreboding

In deep repose my comrades in arms

lie in a circle around me;

my heart is so anxious and heavy,

so ardent with longing.

How often I have dreamt sweetly

upon her warm breast!

How cheerful the fireside glow seemed

when she lay in my arms.

Here, where the sombre glimmer of the flames,

alas, plays only on weapons,

here the heart feels utterly alone;

a tear of sadness wells up.

Heart, may comfort not forsake you;

many a battle still calls.

Soon I shall rest well and sleep deeply.

Beloved, goodnight!

Frühlingssehnsucht

Säuselnde Lüfte wehend so mild,

Blumiger Düfte atmend erfüllt!

Wie haucht ihr mich wonnig begrüssend an!

Wie habt ihr dem pochenden Herzen getan?

Es möchte euch folgen auf luftiger Bahn,

Wohin? Wohin?

Bächlein, so munter rauschend zumal,

Wollen hinunter silbern in’s Tal.

Die schwebende Welle, dort eilt sie dahin!

Tief spiegeln sich Fluren und Himmel darin.

Was ziehst du mich, sehnend verlangender Sinn,

Hinab? Hinab?

Grüssender Sonne spielendes Gold,

Hoffende Wonne bringest du hold.

Wie labt mich dein selig begrüssendes Bild!

Es lächelt am tiefblauen Himmel so mild

Und hat mir das Auge mit Tränen gefüllt! –

Warum? Warum?

Grünend umkränzet Wälder und Höh’!

Schimmernd erglänzet Blütenschnee.

So dränget sich alles zum bräutlichen Licht;

Es schwellen die Keime, die Knospe bricht;

Sie haben gefunden, was ihnen gebricht:

Und du? Und du?

 

Rastloses Sehnen! Wünschendes Herz,

Immer nur Tränen, Klage und Schmerz?

Auch ich bin mir schwellender Triebe bewusst!

Wer stillet mir endlich die drängende Lust?

Nur du befreist den Lenz in der Brust,

Nur du! Nur du!

Spring Longing

Whispering breezes, blowing so gently,

exuding the fragrance of flowers,

how blissful to me is your welcoming breath!

What have you done to my beating heart?

It yearns to follow you on your airy path.

Where to?

Silver brooklets, babbling so merrily,

seek the valley below.

Their ripples glide swiftly by!

The fields and the sky are deeply mirrored there.

Why yearning, craving senses, do you draw me

downwards?

Sparkling gold of the welcoming sun,

you bring the fair joy of hope.

How your happy, welcoming

countenance refreshes me!

It smiles so benignly in the deep blue sky

and yet has filled my eyes with tears.

Why?

The woods and hills are wreathed in green.

Snowy blossom shimmers and gleams.

All things strain towards the bridal light;

seeds swell, buds burst;

they have found what they lacked:

and you?

Restless longing, yearning heart,

are there always only tears, complaints and pain?

I too am aware of swelling impulses!

Who at last will still my urgent desire?

Only you can free the spring in my heart,

only you!

Ständchen

Leise flehen meine Lieder

Durch die Nacht zu Dir;

In den stillen Hain hernieder,

Liebchen, komm’ zu mir!

Flüsternd schlanke Wipfel rauschen

In des Mondes Licht;

Des Verräters feindlich Lauschen

Fürchte, Holde, nicht.

Hörst die Nachtigallen schlagen?

Ach! sie flehen Dich,

Mit der Töne süssen Klagen

Flehen sie für mich.

Sie verstehn des Busens Sehnen,

Kennen Liebesschmerz,

Rühren mit den Silbertönen

Jedes weiche Herz.

Lass auch Dir die Brust bewegen,

Liebchen, höre mich!

Bebend harr’ ich Dir entgegen!

Komm’, beglücke mich!

Serenade

Softly my songs plead

through the night to you;

down into the silent grove,

beloved, come to me!

Slender treetops whisper and rustle

in the moonlight;

my darling, do not fear

that the hostile betrayer will overhear us.

Do you not hear the nightingales call?

Ah, they are imploring you;

with their sweet, plaintive songs

they are imploring for me.

They understand the heart’s yearning,

they know the pain of love;

with their silvery notes

they touch every tender heart.

Let your heart, too, be moved,

beloved, hear me!

Trembling, I await you!

Come, make me happy!

Aufenthalt

Rauschender Strom, brausender Wald, 

Starrender Fels mein Aufenthalt.

Wie sich die Welle an Welle reiht, 

Fliessen die Tränen mir ewig erneut.

Hoch in den Kronen wogend sich’s regt, 

So unaufhörlich mein Herze schlägt. 

Und wie des Felsen uraltes Erz

Ewig deselbe bleibet mein Schmerz.

In der Ferne

Wehe dem Fliehenden 

Welt hinaus ziehenden! – 

Fremde durchmessenden, 

Heimat vergessenden, 

Mutterhaus hassenden, 

Freunde verlassenden 

Folget kein Segen, ach! 

Auf ihren Wegen nach!

Herze, das sehnende, 

Auge, das tränende, 

Sehnsucht, nie endende, 

Heimwärts sich wendende! 

Busen, der wallende, 

Klage, verhallende, 

Abendstern, blinkender, 

Hoffnungslos sinkender!

Lüfte, ihr säuselnden, 

Wellen sanft kräuselnden, 

Sonnenstrahl, eilender, 

Nirgend verweilender:

Die mir mit Schmerze, ach! 

Dies treue Herze brach – 

Grüsst von dem Fliehenden 

Welt hinaus ziehenden!

Resting place

Surging river, roaring forest,

immovable rock, my resting place.

As wave follows wave,

so my tears flow, ever renewed.

As the high treetops stir and heave,

so my heart beats incessantly.

Like the rock’s age-old ore

my sorrow remains forever the same.

Far away

Woe to those who flee,

who journey forth into the world, 

who travel through strange lands, 

forgetting their native land, 

spurning their mother’s home, 

forsaking their friends:

alas, no blessing follows them

on their way!

The yearning heart,

the tearful eye,

endless longing

turning homewards!

The surging breast,

the dying lament,

the evening star, twinkling 

and sinking without hope!

Whispering breezes,

gently ruffled waves,

darting sunbeams,

lingering nowhere:

send her, who broke

my faithful heart with pain, 

greetings from one who is fleeing 

and journeying forth into the world!

Abschied

 

Ade, Du muntre, Du fröhliche Stadt, Ade!

Schon scharret mein Rösslein mit lustigem Fuss;

Jetzt nimm noch den letzten, den scheidenden Gruss.

Du hast mich wohl niemals noch traurig gesehn,

So kann es auch jetzt nicht beim Abschied geschehn.

Ade ...

Ade, Ihr Bäume, Ihr Gärten so grün, Ade!

Nun reit’ ich am silbernen Strome entlang,

Weit schallend ertönet mein Abschiedsgesang,

Nie habt Ihr ein trauriges Lied gehört,

So wird Euch auch keines beim Scheiden beschert.

Ade ...

Ade, lhr freundlichen Mägdlein dort, Ade!

Was schaut Ihr aus blumenumduftetem Haus

Mit schelmischen, lockenden Blicken heraus?

Wie sonst, so grüss’ ich und schaue mich um,

Doch nimmer wend’ ich mein Rösslein um.

Ade ...

Ade, liebe Sonne, so gehst Du zur Ruh’, Ade!

Nun schimmert der blinkenden Sterne Gold.

Wie bin ich Euch Sternlein am Himmel so hold,

Durchziehn wir die Welt auch weit und breit,

Ihr gebt überall uns das treue Geleit.

Ade ...

Ade, Du schimmerndes Fensterlein hell, Ade!

Du glänzest so traulich mit dämmerndem Schein

Und ladest so freundlich ins Hüttchen uns ein.

Vorüber, ach, ritt ich so manches mal

Und wär’ es denn heute zum letzten mal?

Ade …

Ade, Ihr Sterne, verhüllet Euch grau! Ade!

Des Fensterlein trübes, verschimmerndes Licht

Ersetzt Ihr unzähligen Sterne mir nicht;

Darf ich hier nicht weilen, muss hier vorbei,

Was hilft es, folgt Ihr mir noch so treu!

Ade, Ihr Sterne, verhüllet Euch grau!

Ade!

Farewell

Farewell, lively, cheerful town, farewell! 

Already my horse is happily pawing the ground. 

Take now my final, parting greeting.

I know you have never seen me sad; 

nor will you now as I depart. 

Farewell!

Farewell, trees and gardens so green, farewell! 

Now I ride along the silver stream;

my song of farewell echoes far and wide.

You have never heard a sad song;

nor shall you do so at parting. 

Farewell!

 

 

Farewell, charming maidens, farewell!

Why do you look out with roguish, enticing eyes 

from houses fragrant with flowers?

I greet you as before, and look back;

but never will I turn my horse back.

Farewell!

 

Farewell, dear sun, as you go to rest, farewell! 

Now the stars twinkle with shimmering gold. 

How fond I am of you, little stars in the sky; 

though we travel the whole world, far and wide, 

everywhere you faithfully escort us.

Farewell!

Farewell, little window gleaming brightly, farewell! 

You shine so cosily with your soft light,

and invite us so kindly into the cottage.

Ah, I have ridden past you so often,

and yet today might be the last time. 

Farewell!

Farewell, stars, veil yourselves in grey! Farewell! 

You numberless stars cannot replace for us

the little window’s dim, fading light;

if I cannot linger here, if I must ride on,

how can you help me, though you follow me so faithfully?

Farewell, stars, veil yourselves in grey! 

Farewell!

Ludwig Rellstab

Trans. Richard Wigmore

Der Atlas

Ich unglücksel’ger Atlas! eine Welt,

Die ganze Welt der Schmerzen muss ich tragen.

Ich trage Unerträgliches, und brechen

Will mir das Herz im Leibe.

Du stolzes Herz, du hast es ja gewollt!

Du wolltest glücklich sein, unendlich glücklich,

Oder unendlich elend, stolzes Herz,

Und jetzo bist du elend.

Atlas

I, unhappy Atlas, must bear a world, 

the whole world of sorrows.

I bear the unbearable, and my heart 

would break within my body.

Proud heart, you wished it so!

You wished to be happy, endlessly happy, 

or endlessly wretched, proud heart!

And now you are wretched!

Ihr Bild

Ich stand in dunkeln Träumen,

Und starrt’ ihr Bildnis an,

Und das geliebte Antlitz

Heimlich zu leben begann.

Um ihre Lippen zog sich

Ein Lächeln wunderbar,

Und wie von Wehmutstränen

Erglänzte ihr Augenpaar.

Auch meine Tränen flossen

Mir von den Wangen herab –

Und ach, ich kann es nicht glauben,

Dass ich dich verloren hab’!

In seiner Tiefe ruht.

Her portrait

I stood in dark dreams,

gazing at her picture,

and that beloved face

began mysteriously to come alive.

Around her lips played

a wondrous smile,

and her eyes glistened,

as though with melancholy tears.

My tears, too, flowed

down my cheeks.

And oh – I cannot believe

that I have lost you!

Das Fischermädchen

Du schönes Fischermädchen,

Treibe den Kahn ans Land;

Komm zu mir und setze dich nieder,

Wir kosen Hand in Hand.

Leg an mein Herz dein Köpfchen,

Und fürchte dich nicht zu sehr;

Vertraust du dich doch sorglos

Täglich dem wilden Meer.

Mein Herz gleicht ganz dem Meere,

Hat Sturm und Ebb’ und Flut,

Und manche schöne Perle

The fisher maiden

 

Lovely fisher maiden,

guide your boat to the shore;

come and sit beside me,

and hand in hand we shall talk of love.

Lay your little head on my heart

and do not be too afraid;

for each day you trust yourself

without fear to the turbulent sea.

My heart is just like the sea.

It has its storms, its ebbs and its flows;

and many a lovely pearl

rests in its depths.

Die Stadt

 

Am fernen Horizonte

Erscheint, wie ein Nebelbild,

Die Stadt mit ihren Türmen

In Abenddämmrung gehüllt.

Ein feuchter Windzug kräuselt

Die graue Wasserbahn;

Mit traurigem Takte rudert

Der Schiffer in meinem Kahn.

Die Sonne hebt sich noch einmal

Leuchtend vom Boden empor,

Und zeigt mir jene Stelle,

Wo ich das Liebste verlor.

The town

On the distant horizon

appears, like a misty vision,

the town with its turrets,

shrouded in dusk.

A damp wind ruffles

the grey stretch of water.

With mournful strokes

the boatman rows my boat.

Radiant, the sun rises once more

from the earth,

and shows me that place

where I lost my beloved.

Am Meer

Das Meer erglänzte weit hinaus

Im letzten Abendscheine;

Wir sassen am einsamen Fischerhaus,

Wir sassen stumm und alleine.

Der Nebel stieg, das Wasser schwoll,

Die Möwe flog hin und wieder;

Aus deinen Augen liebevoll

Fielen die Tränen nieder.

Ich sah sie fallen auf deine Hand,

Und bin aufs Knie gesunken;

Ich hab’ von deiner weissen Hand

Die Tränen fortgetrunken.

Seit jener Stunde verzehrt sich mein Leib,

Die Seele stirbt vor Sehnen; –

Mich hat das unglücksel’ge Weib

Vergiftet mit ihren Tränen.

By the sea

The sea glittered far and wide

in the sun’s dying rays;

we sat by the fisherman’s lonely house;

we sat silent and alone.

The mist rose, the waters swelled,

a seagull flew to and fro.

from your loving eyes

the tears fell.

I saw them fall on your hand.

I sank upon my knee;

from your white hand

I drank away the tears.

Since that hour my body is consumed

and my soul dies of longing.

That unhappy woman

has poisoned me with her tears.

Der Doppelgänger

 

Still ist die Nacht, es ruhen die Gassen,

In diesem Hause wohnte mein Schatz;

Sie hat schon längst die Stadt verlassen,

Doch steht noch das Haus auf demselben Platz.

Da steht auch ein Mensch und starrt in die Höhe,

Und ringt die Hände, vor Schmerzens Gewalt;

Mir graust es, wenn ich sein Antlitz sehe –

Der Mond zeigt mir meine eigne Gestalt.

Du Doppelgänger! du bleicher Geselle!

Was äffst du nach mein Liebesleid,

Das mich gequält auf dieser Stelle,

So manche Nacht, in alter Zeit?

The wraith

The night is still, the streets are at rest;

in this house lived my sweetheart.

She has long since left the town,

but the house still stands on the selfsame spot.

A man stands there too, staring up,

and wringing his hands in anguish;

I shudder when I see his face –

the moon shows me my own form!

You wraith, pallid companion,

why do you ape the pain of my love

which tormented me on this very spot,

so many a night, in days long past?

Heinrich Heine

Trans. Richard Wigmore

Die Taubenpost

Ich hab’ eine Brieftaub in meinem Sold,

Die ist gar ergeben und treu,

Sie nimmt mir nie das Ziel zu kurz,

Und fliegt auch nie vorbei.

Ich sende sie vieltausendmal

Auf Kundschaft täglich hinaus,

Vorbei an manchem lieben Ort,

Bis zu der Liebsten Haus.

Dort schaut sie zum Fenster heimlich hinein,

Belauscht ihren Blick und Schritt,

Gibt meine Grüsse scherzend ab

Und nimmt die ihren mit.

Kein Briefchen brauch’ ich zu schreiben mehr,

Die Träne selbst geb’ ich ihr:

O sie verträgt sie sicher nicht,

Gar eifrig dient sie mir.

Bei Tag, bei Nacht, im Wachen, im Traum,

Ihr gilt das alles gleich:

Wenn sie nur wandern, wandern kann,

Dann ist sie überreich!

Sie wird nicht müd’, sie wird nicht matt,

Der Weg ist stets ihr neu;

Sie braucht nicht Lockung, braucht nicht Lohn,

Die Taub’ ist so mir treu!

Drum heg’ ich sie auch so treu an der Brust,

Versichert des schönsten Gewinns;

Sie heisst – die Sehnsucht! Kennt ihr sie?

Die Botin treuen Sinn's.

Pigeon post

I have a carrier pigeon in my pay,

devoted and true;

she never stops short of her goal

and never flies too far.

Each day I send her out

a thousand times on reconnaissance,

past many a beloved spot,

to my sweetheart’s house.

There she peeps furtively in at the window,

observing her every look and step,

conveys my greeting breezily,

and brings hers back to me.

I no longer need to write a note,

I can give her my very tears;

she will certainly not deliver them wrongly,

so eagerly does she serve me.

Day or night, awake or dreaming,

it is all the same to her;

as long as she can roam

she is richly contented.

She never grows tired or faint,

the route is always fresh to her;

she needs no enticement or reward,

so true is this pigeon to me.

I cherish her as truly in my heart,

certain of the fairest prize;

her name is – Longing! Do you know her?

The messenger of constancy.

Johann Gabriel Seidl

Trans. Richard Wigmore

 

Translation © Richard Wigmore, author of Schubert: The Complete Song Texts, published by Schirmer Books, provided courtesy of Oxford Lieder (www.oxfordlieder.co.uk)

Roderick Williams OBE, baritone

Roderick Williams is one of the most sought after baritones of his generation with a wide repertoire spanning baroque to contemporary.   

 

He enjoys relationships with all the major UK opera houses and has sung opera world premières by David Sawer, Sally Beamish, Michel van der Aa, Robert Saxton and Alexander Knaifel as well as roles including Papageno, Don Alfonso, Onegin and Billy Budd.

 

He performs regularly with leading conductors and orchestras throughout the UK, Europe, North America and Australia, and his many festival appearances include the BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Cheltenham and Aldeburgh.

 

As a composer he has had works premièred at Wigmore Hall, the Barbican, the Purcell Room and on national radio. In December 2016 he won the prize for Best Choral Composition at the British Composer Awards.

 

Susie Allan, piano

Susie Allan, one of today’s most perceptive accompanists, has performed with international vocal soloists including Emma Bell, Susan Gritton, Rowan Pierce, Jonathan McGovern and Mark Padmore. She has accompanied masterclasses of Sir Thomas Allen, Elly Ameling and Roger Vignoles at the Britten-Pears School. In demand as a coach and teacher, she has held posts at the Royal College of Music and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and adjudicated for the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s English Song Prize. She is visiting piano teacher at Radley College, Oxford and Shrewsbury School.

In a collaboration with baritone Roderick Williams spanning over twenty years they perform across the UK and internationally. Their third disc for the SOMM label released in 2020 explores the songs of Arthur Somervell about which Gramophone magazine commented “Superbly partnered by Susie Allan (whose deft touch and ingratiating tone are a constant source of pleasure)”. Susie is a regular guest of the UK’s most prestigious venues and concert societies appearing at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Globe Theatre, and festivals including the Endellion, Oxford Lieder and Three Choirs. She has recorded for BBC Radio 3 and for television, including BBC Proms Extra.

A “Shropshire lass”, Susie is dedicated to the music scene of her home county. She has appeared at the Ludlow Song Weekend and is Artistic Director of the Ludlow Music Society.

 

Kathryn Rudge, mezzo soprano

Featured as The Times Rising Star of Classical Music 2012 Kathryn Rudge was an ENO Young Artist,  a YCAT artist and a BBC New Generation artist.

 

Recent and future concert engagements include performances and recordings with the RLPO, Philharmonia, Manchester Camerata, Hamburg Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and BBC National Orchestra of Wales as well as recitals for the Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, the Brighton,  Ryedale, Chiltern Arts, Leeds Lieder, Oxford Lieder and Cheltenham Festivals as well as the BBC Proms.

 

Operatic engagements include Cherubino with Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Annio /La Clemenza di Tito, Hermia A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Zerlina / Don Giovanni for Opera North, Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte) for Garsington, Rosina  (Barber of Seville)  for ENO and Nancy / Albert Herring for the Buxton Festival. 

 

Her debut recital album Love’s Old Sweet Song was released in 2014.  Recent releases include a disc of Elgar orchestral songs as well as another disc featuring songs by Coates, both on the Somm label.  She has also made recordings for Opera Rara.

Edward Hawkins, bass

Born in London, Edward Hawkins studied trumpet and piano as a child, going on to read music at King’s College, London, studying trumpet at the Royal Academy of Music with Ian Wilson. 

After graduating, he began working as a freelance musician with various orchestras and small ensembles, and in recording studios across the UK. 

Having begun singing in his late twenties, Edward Hawkins quickly began to develop a professional career, studying privately with Russell Smythe and Gary Coward. 

Edward Hawkins became a member of the Glyndebourne Chorus, and sang in various critically acclaimed productions, including performances at the BBC Proms and worldwide cinema broadcasts. Highlights have included Barry Kosky’s production of Saul, covering Flora’s servant in La Traviata, performing in the semi-chorus of Brett Dean’s award-winning Hamlet. Most recently he covered the role of Sparafucile Rigoletto for Glyndebourne on Tour.

Edward Hawkins covered and performed the role of Banquo and performed the role of the Doctor in Verdi’s Macbeth, for English Touring Opera.  He subsequently appeared as Banquo for Duchy Opera at the Minack Theatre.

In 2020 Edward Hawkins rejoined English Touring Opera to perform the role of Achilla Giulio Cesare, coupled with the cover of Don Alfonso Così fan tutte.   Forthcoming engagements include Commendatore Don Giovanni for Ulster Touring Opera.  He was also contracted to cover Father Trulove The Rake’s Progress for Glyndebourne Festival in 2020 but this engagement was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has previously performed the roles of Count Almaviva The Marriage of Figaro, Long Tom Merrie England, Sergeant Meryll Yeomen of the Guard, Polyphemus Acis and Galatea, Patriarch/Theodesius Margaret of Antioch, Luka The Bear, and La Voce di Nettuno Idomeneo.

Momentum: Our Future, Now

MOMENTUM: Our Future, Now is an initiative driven by leading international artists supporting younger professional colleagues in the first substantial phase of their career. Created by Barbara Hannigan, the Momentum model is an urgent artistic and human response to the situation caused by the 2020 pandemic, yet devised with long-term staying power.

 

Momentum: Our Future Now, sees leading soloists and conductors supporting younger colleagues by bringing them onto main stage professional engagements, with

immediate effect. Young professional soloists are invited to share the stage on leading soloists’ engagements, while young professional conductors assist leading conductors and are given invaluable opportunities to lead an orchestra during the rehearsal period. In each case the young artist receives a fee.

 

St John's Waterloo

St John’s, the church on the roundabout at Waterloo, was built in 1824 for Waterloo’s working people and rebuilt in 1951 as the church of the Festival of Britain: a beacon of hope and resilience. Today, more than ever, it is responding to the needs of London’s diverse communities as a church, a charity and a well-known music and arts venue, committed to being here for everyone.

 

St John’s Artistic Director Euchar Gravina said: “St John’s is a well-known music venue and runs the annual Waterloo Festival. In these challenging times, we’re finding new ways of bringing hope and new ways to serve through a year-round programme co-curated by artists and performers whose aim is to create stronger communities as well as creating art.”


 

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