Sally Matthews, Soprano
Simon Lepper, Piano
Sally Matthews, Soprano
Simon Lepper, Piano
SIBELIUS "Demanten på marssnön," Op. 36, No. 6
SIBELIUS "Våren flyktar hastigt," Op. 13, No. 4
SIBELIUS "Flickan kom ifrån sin älsklings möte," Op. 37, No. 5
SIBELIUS "Var det en dröm?," Op. 37, No. 4
GRIEG Six Songs, Op. 48
GRIEG Melodie from Lyric Pieces, Op. 38, No. 3
GRIEG "Melancholie" from Lyric Pieces, Op. 47, No. 5
GRIEG Arietta from Lyric Pieces, Op. 12, No. 1
R. STRAUSS Drei Lieder der Ophelia, Op. 67, Nos. 1–3
R. STRAUSS "Morgen!," Op. 27, No. 4
R. STRAUSS "Das Rosenband," Op. 36, No. 1
R. STRAUSS "Cäcilie," Op. 27, No. 2
WAGNER Wesendonck Lieder
DUNHILL "The Cloths of Heaven" from The Wind Among the Reeds
TRAD. "The Salley Gardens" (arr. Benjamin Britten)
In honor of the centenary of his birth, Carnegie Hall’s 2019–2020 season is dedicated to the memory of Isaac Stern in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Carnegie Hall, arts advocacy, and the field of music.
At a Glance
Featuring the music of Jean Sibelius and Edvard Grieg—two of Scandinavia’s most revered composers—this evening’s program has a strong Nordic flavor. Though Richard Strauss hailed from farther south in Bavaria, the program also features his Three Lieder of Ophelia, songs drawn from the hapless Danish princess’s mad scene in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It also features selections that are the product of the composers’ passionate relationships: Grieg enjoyed a long and creatively fruitful marriage with soprano Nina Hagerup, while Strauss married and concertized extensively with soprano Pauline de Ahna. Richard Wagner’s fervid Wesendonck Lieder were inspired by the poetry of Mathilde Wesendonck, with whom he had an intense, adulterous love affair in Switzerland while composing the opera Tristan und Isolde.
Winner of the 1999 Kathleen Ferrier Award, soprano Sally Matthews studied at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and was a member of the Young Artists Program at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Opera engagements this season and beyond include the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier and the Governess in The Turn of the Screw at La Monnaie in Brussels, and a return to the Royal Opera House to sing the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. Concert highlights this season include a performance of Rusalka with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Robin Ticciati, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with the BBC Philharmonic and Simone Young, Barber’s Two Scenes from Antony and Cleopatra with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Juanjo Mena, Messiaen’s Poèmes pour Mi with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and Ms. Young, Dutilleux’s Le temps l’horloge with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Edward Gardner, and Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra and Alain Altinoglu.
Ms. Matthews has appeared regularly throughout her career at La Monnaie, Dutch National Opera, Theater an der Wien, Bayerische Staatsoper, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera in performances that include the title roles in Jenůfa, Daphne, and Rusalka, as well as Anne Truelove in The Rake’s Progress, Madeleine in Capriccio, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. She made her Salzburg Festival debut in 2016 singing Silvia de Avíla in the world premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel, a role she reprised in her debut at the Metropolitan Opera and at the Royal Opera House, where her other roles have included Fiordiligi, Anne Truelove, Sifare in Mitridate, and Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites. Ms. Matthews recently made her role debut as Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes at Opera Queensland.
Ms. Matthews sings regularly with orchestras that include the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and Berliner Philharmoniker with conductors who include Sir Antonio Pappano, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding, Mariss Jansons, and Mr. Ticciati. Her repertoire includes Mahler’s symphonies nos. 2, 4, and 8; Schumann’s Paradies und die Peri; Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, and Berg’s Seven Early Songs. A regular performer at the BBC Proms, Ms. Matthews gave the European premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Hibiki in 2017 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Kazushi Ono, and performed works by Britten and Barber with the BBC Philharmonic under Mr. Mena in 2018.
On the recital platform, Ms. Matthews recently presented a highly successful Scandinavian and German program at Wigmore Hall with Simon Lepper, bringing the program to Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw last month and to Carnegie Hall for this evening’s performance.
Simon Lepper studied music at King’s College, Cambridge, and piano accompanying with Michael Dussek at London’s Royal Academy of Music. He is a professor of collaborative piano and a vocal repertoire coach at the Royal College of Music, where he oversees the collaborative piano course. Since 2003, Mr. Lepper has been an official accompanist for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.
Performance highlights have included a three-concert project on the songs of Joseph Marx at London’s Wigmore Hall; recital tours with Stéphane Degout, including to the Ravinia and Edinburgh festivals and the Bordeaux, Dijon, Lyon, La Monnaie, and Lausanne opera houses; a debut recital at Carnegie Hall with Karen Cargill; a performance at The Frick Collection with Christopher Purves; performances of Schubert song cycles with Mark Padmore at the Schubertiade in Hohenems; recitals with Christiane Karg at Oper Frankfurt and the Rheingau Musik Festival; and recitals with Angelika Kirchschlager in Verbier and at Wigmore Hall.
Mr. Lepper presented an all-Schubert program with Ilker Arcayürek in Barcelona, Zurich, New York, and San Francisco, as well as at Wigmore Hall, where additional appearances have included recitals with Dame Felicity Palmer, Sally Matthews, Ms. Cargill, and Mr. Padmore. He also toured to India with Benjamin Appl, with recitals in Mumbai and Chennai. Future highlights include a recital in China with Aida Garifullina and the release of an album of ballads on Hamonia Mundi with Mr. Degout, with whom he will give a European tour and recitals with young artists who include Soraya Mafi, James Newby, and Julien Van Mellaerts.
Mr. Lepper’s discography includes two volumes of Debussy songs and a Strauss recording with Gillian Keith, Mahler songs with Ms. Cargill, the complete songs of Jonathan Dove with Kitty Whately, and an album of contemporary violin works with Carolin Widmann, which received a Diapason d’Or. Recent releases include a song recital recording with Dame Palmer, Schubert songs with Mr. Arcayürek, and a live recital recording with Mr. Degout, which was featured on Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice list.