Performance Saturday, December 10, 2011 | 8 PM

Karita Mattila
Martin Katz

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
In 2004 and 2008, Karita Mattila stunned New York in the lead role in Strauss’s Salome at the Met, her performance revealing a “courage, intensity and emotional nakedness” (The New York Times) rarely seen on the opera stage. At Carnegie Hall this season, she brings the same power and passion to songs by Poulenc, Debussy, Marx, and Aulis Sallinen.


  • Karita Mattila, Soprano
  • Martin Katz, Piano


  • POULENC Banalités
    ·· Chanson d'Orkenise
    ·· Hôtel
    ·· Fagnes de Wallonie
    ·· Voyage à Paris
    ·· Sanglots
  • DEBUSSY Cinq poèmes de Baudelaire
    ·· Le balcon
    ·· Harmonie du soir
    ·· Le jet d’eau
    ·· Recueillement
    ·· La mort des amants
  • AULIS SALLINEN Four Dream Songs, Op. 30
    ·· Man made from sleep
    ·· Cradle Song for a dead horseman
    ·· Three dreams, each within each
    ·· There is no stream
  • MARX "Nocturne"
  • MARX "Waldseligkeit"
  • MARX "Selige Nacht"
  • MARX "Valse de Chopin"
  • MARX "Hat Dich die Liebe berührt"

  • Encores:
  • LOEWE "I Could Have Danced All Night" from My Fair Lady
  • TRAD.(ARR. RALF GOTHÓNI) "Minun kultani kaunis on" ("My Gal is So Pretty")


  • Karita Mattila

    Karita Mattila is one of today's most exciting lyric dramatic sopranos, recognized for the beauty and versatility of her voice, as well as for her extraordinary stage ability. She sings in all the world's major opera houses and festivals, and has performed with the world's greatest conductors, including James Levine, Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Bernard Haitink, Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Wolfgang Sawallisch.

    Ms. Mattila's innate sense of drama has led to remarkable collaborations with major stage directors, including Luc Bondy in his highly acclaimed Don Carlos; Lev Dodin in his productions of Elektra, PiqueDame, and Salome; Peter Stein for his SimonBoccanegra in Salzburg and DonGiovanni in Chicago; and Jürgen Flimm for his Fidelio in New York. She is an influential artistic force in the development of new music, regularly collaborating with eminent contemporary composers in debut performances of significant modern works; this includes the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho's Émilie at the Opéra de Lyon.

    Ms. Mattila has many recordings on the Phillips, EMI, Sony, DG, and Ondine labels. Her 40th-birthday concert was released on disc by Ondine. Other recordings include Strauss's Four Last Songs with Claudio Abbado (DG); Arias &Scenes, including those fromthe operas of Puccini, Verdi, Janáček, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and Strauss (Erato/Warner); German Romantic Arias with Sir Colin Davis; Grieg and Sibelius Songs with Sakari Oramo (Erato/Warner); Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with Sir Georg Solti (Decca), which won a Grammy Award in 1998; Jenůfa with Bernard Haitink on (Erato/Warner), which won a Grammy Award in 2004; and Schoenberg's Gurrelieder with Sir Simon Rattle (EMI).

    Throughout her distinguished career, Ms. Mattila has garnered numerous awards and prizes. In 2005, she was named Musical America's Musician of the Year, one of the most prestigious honors paid to classical artists in the US. In 2003, she was awarded one of France's highest cultural honors, the Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

    Future engagements include performances in the role of Emilia Marty in The Makropoulos Case at the Metropolitan Opera and at the Finnish National Opera; the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Opéra national de Paris and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Leonore in Fidelio at Houston Grand Opera; and a recital appearance at the Edinburgh Festival.

    A native of Finland, Ms. Mattila was trained at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki under the tutelage of Liisa Linko-Malmio. She later studied with Vera Rozsa for nearly 20 years.

    More Info

  • Martin Katz

    Among the world's busiest collaborators, Martin Katz has been in constant demand by the world's most celebrated vocal soloists for more than 35 years. In addition to performing with Karita Mattila, he has appeared and recorded regularly with Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade, José Carreras, Cecilia Bartoli, Kiri Te Kanawa, Kathleen Battle, David Daniels, and Samuel Ramey, among others. Season after season, the world's music capitals figure prominently in his performance schedule. Throughout his long career he has been fortunate to partner some of the world's most esteemed voices on five continents.

    Mr. Katz is a native of Los Angeles, where he began piano studies at the age of five. He attended the University of Southern California as a scholarship student and studied with Gwendolyn Koldofsky. While a student, he was given the unique opportunity of accompanying the master classes and lessons of such luminaries as Lotte Lehmann, Jascha Heifetz, Pierre Bernac, and Gregor Piatigorsky. Following his formal education, he held the position of pianist for the US Army Chorus in Washington, DC, for three years, before moving to New York, where his busy international career began in earnest in 1969.

    In more recent years, invitations to conduct have come with increasing frequency. Mr. Katz has partnered several of his soloists on the podium, leading the orchestras of the BBC, Houston, Washington, DC, Tokyo, New Haven, and Miami. His editions of works by Handel and Rossini have been presented by the Metropolitan, Houston Grand Opera, and the National Arts Center in Ottawa. He has also conducted several staged productions for the University of Michigan's Opera Theater, San Francisco's Merola Program, and the Music Academy of the West.

    In addition to his active performing schedule, Martin Katz is committed to teaching. Since 1984, Ann Arbor, Michigan, has been his home, where he has chaired the School of Music's program in collaborative piano and played an active part in operatic productions. He has been a pivotal figure in the training of countless young artists, both singers and pianists, who are working all over the world. The University of Michigan has recognized this important work, making him the first Artur Schnabel Professor of Music. His teaching outside Michigan includes regular guest appearances at the National Theater in Tokyo, San Francisco Opera, Guildhall School in London, and Santa Fe Opera, among others.

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Sibelius's "Var det en drom?"
Karita Mattila, Soprano; Ilmo Ranta, Piano
Duparc "Au pays ou se fait la guerre"
Karita Mattila, Soprano; Martin Katz, Piano

At a Glance

The first half of the program is devoted entirely to the music of France, beginning with one of Francis Poulenc’s most beloved song cycles. Banalités is the tongue-in-cheek title concocted by avant-garde poet Guillaume Apollinaire—the “banalities” of existence are anything but banal when turned into art. Poulenc’s cycle encompasses languorous boredom in a hotel room, the giddy whirl of Paris, tragic love, and Surrealist wordplay.

French genius Claude Debussy was recovering from a serious case of Wagner addiction when he composed the Cinq poèmes de Baudelaire (Five Poems of Baudelaire). Set to texts by one of France’s greatest poets, these are among Debussy’s richest, most complex mélodies (19th-century French art song) that recall memories of bygone lovers, meditate on sensual pleasures and regret, and envision the afterlife.

Born in Somero, Finland, Karita Mattila is among the world’s foremost proponents of music from her native country, including compositions by Aulis Sallinen—one of Finland’s most distinguished composers. Tonight, we hear a song cycle on four poems by Finnish poet Paavo Haavikko.

During the heyday of radical music innovators like Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern, composer Joseph Marx struggled to cling to his late Romantic origins. Presently, his gorgeous lieder are coming back into sight and sound; tonight, we hear five of his best songs in different moods.
Program Notes
Duff and Phelps 115 x
The Carnegie Hall Live broadcast series is sponsored by Duff & Phelps.
Macy's 95x
This Carnegie Hall Live broadcast is supported by Macy's.

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