The programme begins with a coupling of two pieces composed across an almost hundred-year gap. First comes Beethoven’s Ah die ferne Geliebte (1816), widely considered the earliest great song cycle. It is a linked series of six pieces, depicting a man bridging his separation from his lover by sending her songs. Possessed of the same pastoral vitality as 6th Symphony, it proved hugely influential, especially on Schumann. It will be followed by Schoenberg’s Das Buch der hangenden Garten (1908-9), the great innovator’s first atonal work. Its fifteen songs take the tragic love poems of Stefan George and transform them into an unprecedented mode of expression.
The second half of the concert is just as eclectic. It begins with a selection of Haydn’s songs, which showcase the composer’s unique sense of order and balance and, more than his instrumental and large-scale vocal music, provide hints of the romantic movement to come. Berg’s Altenberg Lieder (1911-2) follow, works of wildly lyrical passion that continue down the path opened by Schoenberg. Originally set for orchestra, here they will be stripped down to their wrenching core. Finally, Gerhaher and Huber will return to Beethoven, for his aching, yearning Adelaide (1795). If the programme and the performer’s records are anything to go by, this will be a night to remember.
|Christian Gerhaher, Wigmore Hall
|Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 2BP | MAP
|Bond Street (underground)
On 08 Nov 15, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Click here to book via Wigmore Hall