Performance Friday, October 26, 2012 | 7:30 PM

Marlis Petersen
Jendrik Springer

Goethe and The Eternal-Feminine

Weill Recital Hall
Marlis Petersen is “a sterling soprano … cool, smart, centered, captivating” (Los Angeles Times). She’s triumphed in Berg’s Lulu at the Met, and in her New York recital debut—which features songs by Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and more—she demonstrates the enduring power that Goethe’s Romantic concept of the eternal feminine has held over composers for more than two centuries.

This concert is part of Salon Encores.


  • Marlis Petersen, Soprano
    New York Recital Debut
  • Jendrik Springer, Piano


  • SCHUBERT "Was bedeutet die Bewegung?"
  • MENDELSSOHN "Die Liebende schreibt"
  • FANNY MENDELSSOHN "Ach, um deine feuchten Schwingen"
  • WAGNER "Gretchen am Spinnrade"
  • BEETHOVEN "Wonne der Wehmut"
  • SOMMER "Ach neige, du Schmerzenreiche"
  • MEDTNER "Vor Gericht"
  • SOMMER "Wandrers Nachtlied II"
  • EISLER "Goethe-Fragment"
  • BRUCH "Morgenlied"
  • KRENEK "Monolog der Stella"
  • DIEPENBROCK "Kennst du das Land"
  • TCHAIKOVSKY "None but the Lonely Heart"
  • WOLF "Singet nicht in Trauertönen"
  • WOLF "Heiss mich nicht reden"
  • SCHUMANN "So lasst mich scheinen"
  • BRAUNFELS "Die Trommel gerühret"
  • LISZT "Freudvoll und leidvoll"
  • MEDTNER "Wandrers Nachtlied II"
  • REUTTER "Es ist gut"
  • MANFRED TROJAHN "Bewundert viel und viel gescholten"
  • BRAUNFELS "Rastlose Liebe"

  • Encore:
  • LISZT "Wandrers Nachtlied"


  • Marlis Petersen

    Marlis Petersen's main focus is the heart of the coloratura repertoire, but she has also made a name for herself as an interpreter of contemporary music. After studying in Stuttgart and with Sylvia Geszty, she supplemented her training in the specialized areas of opera, new music, and dance. She began her career as a member of the ensemble of Opera Nuremberg, and at the beginning of the 1998-1999 season, she was engaged at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, where she debuted as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro.

    Ms. Petersen gave her debut at the Vienna State Opera in the title role of Lulu. She has also sung this central role in her repertoire in Peter Konwitschny's much admired staging in Hamburg, at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and in a new production in Athens. She met with acclaim at the opera houses of London, Geneva, Paris, New York, and Chicago, and has performed at the Salzburg Festival in Mozart's Il re pastore and Figaro.

    Among the most important world premieres in which Ms. Petersen participated are Hans Werner Henze's Phaedra, Manfred Trojahn's La grande magia, and, with enormous success, the title role of Aribert Reimann's Medea at the Vienna State Opera. She has sung her first La traviata in Konwitschny's production in Graz, Marguerite in Meyerbeer's Le Huguenots in Brussels, and Olympia/Antonia/Giulietta in Les contes d'Hoffmann at Theater an der Wien. In concert, Ms. Petersen works closely with Helmuth Rilling and the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, as well as with René Jacobs.

    More Info

  • Jendrik Springer

    Born in Göttingen, Germany, Jendrik Springer studied piano with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling and conducting with Lutz Köhler at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater, und Medien Hannover. He quickly built a large repertoire as a lied pianist, supported in his efforts by master classes with Hartmut Höll. As a pianist, Mr. Springer was prize winner in numerous competitions. His first-prize performance at the Karl Bergemann Sight Reading Competition proved his special gift in that discipline. Today, he is active both as lied pianist and as répétiteur.

    Mr. Springer works regularly with major opera conductors , including Christian Thielemann (Wagner's Ring at Bayreuth and the Vienna State Opera, Der Rosenkavalier and Elektra at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, and Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Salzburg Festival), Sir Simon Rattle (Parsifal at the Vienna State Opera), Fabio Luisi, and Franz Welser-Möst.

    Mr. Springer is increasingly in demand as a lied pianist for internationally successful singers. He collaborates regularly with Ricarda Merbeth and Krassimira Stoyanova. At the 2010 Munich Opera Festival, he accompanied Vesselina Kasarova and Krassimira Stoyanova in a duet recital. He as performed at Vienna's Musikverein in recitals with Janina Baechle and Adrian Eröd.

    Together with Marlis Petersen, Mr. Springer has recorded his first CD, Goethe-Lieder: Das Ewig-Weibliche (Goethe and the Eternal-Feminine)   for the harmonia mundi label. It was released in March 2012 was awarded with the Diapason d'Or. He makes his Wigmore Hall debut in January 2013 with this program.

    More Info


Liszt's "Freudvoll und leidvoll"
Marlis Petersen, Soprano | Jendrik Springer, Piano

At a Glance

By intermingling well-known settings of Goethe's poetry with unfamiliar ones, tonight's program offers a fresh approach to famous words and characters.

We begin with Schubert's and Fanny Mendelssohn's songs to poems by Marianne von Willemer, who was "Suleika" to Goethe's "Hatem" in an anthology of poetry modeled on ancient Persian poems. Felix Mendelssohn, who as a child visited Goethe, set one of his sonnets—a woman's love letter—to music.

Wagner, the genius who transformed opera, wrote incidental music for Faust, including "Gretchen am Spinnrade," as a teenager. Two other Gretchen songs from Faust follow on its heels: one by little-known 19th-century composer Hans Sommer, and the other by Russian émigré to England Nicolas Medtner. Beethoven is much better known, and we hear his version of Goethe's beautiful poem hymning melancholy and pain as evidence of a feeling heart. Hans Sommer's setting of one of the famous poems in the German canon—"Wandrers Nachtlied II"—is next.

A miniature song by Hanns Eisler and a large concert aria by Ernst Krenek (both exiles from Nazi Germany) are also on offer, with one of 19th-century Romantic composer Max Bruch's last works in between.

Five songs—by Alphons Diepenbrock, Tchaikovsky, Wolf, and Schumann—belong to the character Mignon, the tragic waif at the heart of Goethe's novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre.

Two songs, one by the famous Franz Liszt, the other by the not so famous Walter Braunfels, are settings of extracts from the drama Egmont, whose tragic heroine Klärchen sings several songs in the drama, followed by a nocturnal song by Medtner, worthy of inclusion with Schubert's, Schumann's, Liszt's, etc. settings of this same poem.

The program closes with Hermann Reutter's song of Adam and Eve, Manfred Trojahn's soliloquy by Helen of Troy from Goethe's Faust, Part II, and another Braunfels setting of one of Goethe's most passionate poems.
Program Notes
This performance is part of Great Singers III: Evenings of Song.

Part of