CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Performance Monday, April 25, 2011 | 8 PM

Sylvia Schwartz
Bernarda Fink
Michael Schade
Thomas Quasthoff

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
A recital with any one of these singers would be memorable; a program with them all together is outstanding. In Schumann’s setting of Spanish folk poetry, Schwartz, Fink, Schade, and Quasthoff all show off their skills individually before joining up in the final song. At the heart of this program are Brahms’s two brilliant sets of vocal quartets with their two-piano accompaniment.

Performers

  • Bernarda Fink, Mezzo-Soprano
  • Justus Zeyen, Piano
  • Malcolm Martineau, Piano
  • Michael Schade, Tenor
  • Sylvia Schwartz, Soprano
  • Thomas Quasthoff, Bass-Baritone

Program

  • SCHUMANN Spanische Liebeslieder, Op. 138
  • BRAHMS Liebeslieder-Walzer, Op. 52
  • BRAHMS "An die Heimat," Op. 64, No. 1
  • BRAHMS "Der Abend," Op. 64, No. 2
  • BRAHMS "O schöne Nacht," Op. 92, No. 1
  • BRAHMS "Abendlied," Op. 92, No. 3
  • BRAHMS Neue Liebeslieder-Walzer, Op. 65

  • Encores:
  • BRAHMS "Da unten im Tale" from Deutsche Volkslieder, No. 6
  • TRAD. "In einem kühlen Grunde"

Bios

  • Bernarda Fink

    Born in Argentina to Slovenian parents, Bernarda Fink's repertoire ranges from ancient to 20th-century music. She frequently appears with such orchestras as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, London and Czech philharmonics, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Staatskapelle Dresden, the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, and various Baroque orchestras, under such conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Sir Colin Davis, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, René Jacobs, Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Sir Roger Norrington, Trevor Pinnock, Georges Prêtre, Sir Simon Rattle, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and Franz Welser-Möst.

    Ms. Fink's recent opera performances include Cecilio in Lucio Silla under Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Theater an der Wien, Idamante in Idomeneo in a new production at the Teatro Real in Madrid, and Irene in Theodora under Ivor Bolton at the Salzburg Festival. Current and upcoming highlights include Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with the Berliner Barock Solisten in Lucerne; Mendelssohn's Elias with Daniel Harding in Lucerne, Bremen, and Stockholm; Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Bach's Mass in B Minor with Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Vienna Musikverein and in Tokyo; Brahms's Alto Rhapsody with the Bamberger Symphoniker; Bach's St. John Passion with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; and Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Recital appearances include the Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, London's Wigmore Hall, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris.

    Ms. Fink's award-winning discography includes almost 50 releases, including Handel's Giulio Cesare, Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice and Scarlatti's Griselda with René Jacobs, and the Mozart and Verdi requiems under Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Ms. Fink enjoys a close collaboration with Harmonia Mundi, and her solo recordings for that label include Schubert lieder with pianist Gerold Huber, Bach cantatas with the Freiburger Barockorchester, and Schumann lieder with Anthony Spiri. A recording of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin was released last fall, and a solo disc featuring songs by Slovenian composers is scheduled for release this spring.

    In February 2006, Ms. Fink was awarded the Austrian Honorary Medal for Art and Science by the Austrian chancellor.
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  • Justus Zeyen

    Born in Kiel, Germany, Justus Zeyen studied in Hannover with Karl Engel and Bernhardt Ebert, among other instructors. Since then, he has become a sought-after pianist, giving concerts as soloist and in chamber ensembles, and performing as an accompanist in singers' recitals throughout Europe, the US, and Japan. He has worked with such artists as Juliane Banse, Dorothea Röschmann, Diana Damrau, Christiane Iven, Sibylla Rubens, Florian Boesch, Siegfried Lorenz, Michael Schade, and the choirs of the Bayerischer, Mitteldeutscher, and Süddeutscher Rundfunk. In the fall of 2010, he toured the US with soprano Measha Brueggergosman. Mr. Zeyen has been a guest at such important festivals as the Berliner Festwochen, Wiener Festwochen, Munich Opera Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, and the Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, and Oregon Bach festivals, as well as at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Theater an der Wien.

    Mr. Zeyen has collaborated regularly with Thomas Quasthoff since their first concerts at the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival in 1994. They have performed together at Berlin's Philharmonie, London's Wigmore Hall, the Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, and Carnegie Hall, as well as in Madrid, Barcelona, San Francisco, Boston, and Los Angeles.

    Their CD recordings for Deutsche Grammophon have received coveted awards, such as the Echo Klassik, Cannes Award, and Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, as well as several Grammy nominations.

    In addition to performing in concert, Justus Zeyen teaches at the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover.
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  • Malcolm Martineau

    Recognized as one of the leading accompanists of his generation, Malcolm Martineau has worked with many of the world's greatest singers, including Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Janet Baker, Olaf Bär, Barbara Bonney, Ian Bostridge, Angela Gheorghiu, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Della Jones, Simon Keenlyside, Angelika Kirchschlager, Magdalena Kožená, Solveig Kringelborn, Jonathan Lemalu, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, Karita Mattila, Lisa Milne, Ann Murray, Anna Netrebko, Anne Sofie von Otter, Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Michael Schade, Frederica von Stade, Bryn Terfel, and Sarah Walker.

    Mr. Martineau has presented many of his own series, including the complete songs of Debussy and Poulenc at St. John's, Smith Square; a Britten and a Poulenc series at Wigmore Hall; and the complete songs of Hugo Wolf at the Edinburgh Festival. He has appeared at London's Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; La Scala in Milan; Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris; Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcelona; Berlin's Philharmonie and Konzerthaus; Amsterdam's Concertgebouw; Vienna's Konzerthaus and Musikverein; Alice Tully Hall; Sydney Opera House; and at the Aix-en- Provence, Vienna, Edinburgh, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Munich, and Salzburg festivals.

    Mr. Martineau's engagements this season include appearances with Sir Thomas Allen, Susan Graham, Simon Keenlyside, Angelika Kirchschlager, Magdalena Kožená, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, and Kate Royal. Born in Edinburgh, Mr. Martineau studied at St. Catharine's College, Cambridge, and at the Royal College of Music. He received an honorary doctorate from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2004, and was appointed International Fellow of Accompaniment in 2009.
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  • Michael Schade

    German-Canadian tenor Michael Schade has performed leading Mozart roles and bel canto repertory at the Vienna State Opera, and his close collaboration with the company continues in the 2010-2011 season. Additional recent engagements include the Prince in Rusalka at Canadian Opera Company, Aschenbach in Britten's Death in Venice at the Hamburg State Opera, Thaïs and Lulu at the Metropolitan Opera, and his first Des Grieux in Manon for Opera Lyra in Ottawa. At the Salzburg Festival, where he has appeared for 16 consecutive years, Mr. Schade's repertory includes Mozart's La clemenza di Tito and Die Zauberflöte, Purcell's King Arthur, Haydn's Armida, and Cherubini's Médée.

    Mr. Schade has performed extensively in concert with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles and New York philharmonics, and the Toronto and Boston symphony orchestras under such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Valery Gergiev, Daniel Harding, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Sir Charles Mackerras, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, Peter Oundjian, Sir Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Christian Thielemann, Franz Welser-Möst, and Simone Young. Engagements in the 2010-2011 season include Mendelssohn's Elias with Daniel Harding in Lucerne, Bremen, and Stockholm; Haydn's Paukenmesse in Berlin; Berlioz's La damnation de Faust in Bilbao; Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde in Baden-Baden and with Sir Simon Rattle in Birmingham; Janáček's Glagolitic Mass at Vienna's Musikverein; and Mozart arias and Haydn's Die Schöpfung in Berlin.

    As a recitalist, Mr. Schade has sung at La Scala, Vienna's Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Alice Tully Hall, and London's Wigmore Hall, and is a regular guest at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg. This season, he performs in Stuttgart, London, Graz, Zurich, and Schwarzenberg. A prolific recording artist, Mr. Schade has recorded Bach's St. Matthew Passion, Handel's Messiah, Verdi's Requiem, Haydn's Orlando paladino, and Mozart's Zaide and La clemenza di Tito. His recording of Daphne with Renée Fleming was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005.

    In January 2007, Mr. Schade was appointed Kammersänger by the Austrian government, the first Canadian to receive this honor. He is the Artistic Director of the Hapag Lloyd Stella Maris International Vocal Competition and the Salzburg Young Singer's Project.
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  • Sylvia Schwartz

    Among the most exciting lyric sopranos of her generation, Sylvia Schwartz has appeared at many of the world's finest opera houses, including La Scala in Milan, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Bolshoi Theatre, and Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, as well as at the festivals of Edinburgh, Baden-Baden, and Verbier.

    Since 2005, Ms. Schwartz has been a member of the ensemble of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, where her roles include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Nannetta in Falstaff, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, and Marzelline in Fidelio, under such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Philippe Jordan, René Jacobs, and Fabio Luisi. In concert and in recitals, Ms. Schwartz has worked with such pianists as Wolfram Rieger, Charles Spencer, and Malcolm Martineau, and with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Patrick Fournillier, Yves Abel, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Helmuth Rilling, and Christopher Hogwood. This season, she performs recitals with Wolfram Rieger and Malcolm Martineau at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg and at London's Wigmore Hall as part of the Decade by Decade series.

    Highlights of the 2009-2010 season included the role of Maria in a new production of The Sound of Music at the Théâtre du Châtelet; Rosina in a concert tour of Il barbiere di Siviglia under Jean-Christophe Spinosi in Spain; performances with Anne Sofie von Otter, Christoph Prégardien, and Markus Werba at the Verbier Festival; Bach's Mass in B Minor with the Hong Kong Bach Choir; Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris; and recitals at the Staatsoper Berlin, de Singel Antwerp, and Palau de la Música in Valencia. Beginning with the 2010-2011 season, Ms. Schwartz is a member of the Vienna State Opera, where her roles include Susanna, Adina in L'elisir d'amore, Morgana in Alcina, Pamina, Sophie, Zerlina, and Despina in Così fan tutte.

    Sylvia Schwartz is a graduate of the Escuela Superior de Canto in Madrid, and was a postgraduate student at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin under Wolfram Rieger, Thomas Quasthoff, and Julia Varady, where she received a Hezekiah Wardwell-Stipendium from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
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  • Thomas Quasthoff

    German bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff is recognized as one of the most remarkable singers of his generation. A frequent guest of both the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, he appears regularly with the world's leading orchestras under such renowned conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Christian Thielemann, and Franz Welser-Möst. In March 2003, Mr. Quasthoff gave his highly acclaimed opera debut at the Salzburg Easter Festival as Don Fernando in Fidelio with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, and his Vienna State Opera debut as Amfortas in Parsifal under Donald Runnicles followed in spring 2004.

    Engagements in the 2010-2011 season include Mendelssohn's Elias with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Harding; a tour with his new soul-blues-jazz program, Tell It Like It Is; a tour with the Camerata Salzburg; and concerts with Freiburg Baroque Orchestra at the Mozartwoche Salzburg. In recital, Mr. Quasthoff appears in London with András Schiff, at the Salzburg Festival with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and in Prague and Garmisch-Partenkirchen with Charles Spencer.

    Mr. Quasthoff has recorded exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon since 1999. His recordings of Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Anne Sofie von Otter under Claudio Abbado, Schubert lieder with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Maestro Abbado, and Bach cantatas with the Berlin Baroque Soloists each won Grammy Awards. His most recent recordings are Italian arias by Joseph Haydn with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, and Tell It Like It Is.

    Mr. Quasthoff began his vocal studies in Hannover, Germany. From 1996 to 2004, he held a professorship at the vocal department of the Hochschule für Musik Detmold, Germany; since then, he has held a position at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin. Dedicated to the preservation of the Lied, in 2009 he founded a biennial lieder competition.

    Thomas Quasthoff received the Order of Merit from the President of the German Republic in 2005, and in 2009, he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society in London and the Herbert von Karajan Music award from the Baden-Baden Festival; in addition, he was appointed Österreichischer Kammersänger by the Austrian government.
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Audio

Brahms Liebeslieder, Walzer, Op. 52, No. 11 ("Nein, Es Ist Nicht Auszukommen")
Martial Singher, Bass / Marlena Kleinman, Mezzo-Soprano / Wayne Conner, Tenor / Benita Valente, Soprano / Rudolf Serkin, Piano / Leon Fleisher, Piano
Sony Classical

At a Glance

For tonight’s program, Carnegie Hall becomes a considerably larger version of a 19th-century German parlor or music room, where musicians and their friends gathered to perform songs, duets, vocal trios, and quartets; works for piano two-hands and four-hands; instrumental chamber music; and more. Such Hausmusik (“house-music,” or domestic music making) was an important part of 19th-century musical life, and we hear three masterful cycles for four singers accompanied by two pianists, along with four quartets from two other opuses by Brahms.

In 1849, during his last months in Dresden before moving to Düsseldorf, Schumann composed two sets of solo ensembles for piano (or pianos), soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. The second set, the Spanisches Liebeslieder, was published the year after Schumann’s death; as in the first set, he selected his texts from a popular 1852 anthology of Spanish poetry translated into German, the Spanisches Liederbuch of Emanuel Geibel and Paul Heyse. We hear something for everyone: four-hand piano music, solo songs for each of the four singers, a duet for the women, a duet for the men, and a final accompanied quartet, all of it set in a vivid fantasy-Spain of Schumann’s imagination.

Schumann was Brahms’s ideal in his youth: The two met on September 30, 1853, and Brahms went to Düsseldorf in 1854 to help out the family after Schumann’s nervous breakdown. It was then that the young Brahms fell in love with Clara Schumann, 14 years his senior. Twenty years later, he would harbor unexpressed feelings for Clara’s and Robert’s beautiful daughter Julie. His Liebeslieder-Walzer, Op. 52, make the dancing exuberance of love audible in echt-Viennese strains, but the Neue Liebeslieder-Walzer were composed after any hopes he might have cherished were dashed.

Between the two Brahms waltz-cycles, we hear two of the three vocal quartets in Brahms’s Op. 64, the first (“An die Heimat”) composed earlier than the others and perhaps expressive of Brahms’s homesickness for his native Hamburg during his first extended stay in Vienna. Two more night pieces from his Op. 92 round out the group.

Program Notes
Chubb
Sponsored by Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Jean Stein, whose contribution honors the memory of Edward W. Said and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
This performance is part of Great Singers I, Great Singers I Mini, and Vocal Adrenaline.