Performance Friday, April 10, 2015 | 7:30 PM

Karen Cargill
Simon Lepper

Weill Recital Hall
“Here, finally, was a singer who could control multiple dimensions, singing with fervent intensity …” wrote The New York Times of mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill. She brings her intensity and “sumptuous voice” (The Guardian) to a program of German songs that include Mahler’s emotional Rückert Lieder and Wagner’s ardent Wesendonck Lieder, composed while he was working on his opera Tristan und Isolde.

Part of Salon Encores.


  • Karen Cargill, Mezzo-Soprano
    New York Recital Debut
  • Simon Lepper, Piano


  • A. MAHLER Fünf Lieder
  • MAHLER Rückert Lieder
  • WAGNER Wesendonck Lieder
  • GRIEG Six Lieder, Op. 48

At a Glance

The songs on this evening’s program were inspired by each composer’s relationship with a beloved woman. Gustav Mahler is well known as a powerful composer of lieder, but few are aware of his wife Alma’s talents as a composer. Afraid of competition within his own household, Gustav forbade Alma from composing once they were married. Nearly a decade later, he realized the error of his ways and helped her publish the five songs on this evening’s program, which reveal Alma’s passionate and original musical response to poetry. Lyric soprano Nina Hagerup inspired Edvard Grieg to write more than 180 songs; Grieg confessed that he might never have become a song composer if he hadn’t met and married her. This evening we hear six songs that he composed to verse by notable German poets. We also hear lieder by Richard Wagner, whose emotional affair with Mathilde Wesendonck inspired both his opera Tristan und Isolde and the sumptuous Wesendonck Lieder, which Wagner set to Wesendonck’s romantic verse.
This performance is part of Great Singers III: Evenings of Song.

Part of