Performance Thursday, April 26, 2012 | 7:30 PM

Sandrine Piau
Susan Manoff

Zankel Hall
Sandrine Piau—a French soprano whose crystalline expressivity “sends shivers down your spine” (Guardian)—and pianist Susan Manoff present an eclectic and fascinating program of song, including mainstays like Fauré’s “Les berceaux” and Strauss’s “Morgen,” 20th-century songs by Britten and Poulenc, and four contemporary pieces by Vincent Bouchot.


  • Sandrine Piau, Soprano
  • Susan Manoff, Piano


  • MENDELSSOHN "Nachtlied," Op. 71, No. 6
  • MENDELSSOHN "Neue Liebe," Op. 19a, No. 4
  • MENDELSSOHN "Schlafloser Augen Leuchte"
  • MENDELSSOHN "Hexenlied," Op. 8, No. 8
  • FAURÉ "En sourdine," Op. 58, No. 2
  • FAURÉ "Prison," Op. 83, No. 1
  • FAURÉ "Les berceaux," Op. 23, No. 1
  • FAURÉ "Après un rêve," Op. 7, No. 1
  • CHAUSSON "Amour d’antan," Op. 8, No. 2
  • CHAUSSON "Dans la forêt du charme et de l’enchantement," Op. 36, No. 2
  • CHAUSSON "Les heures," Op. 27, No. 1
  • R. STRAUSS "Morgen," Op. 27, No. 4
  • R. STRAUSS "Das Geheimnis," Op. 17, No. 3
  • R. STRAUSS "Die Nacht," Op. 10, No. 3
  • R. STRAUSS "Ständchen," Op. 17, No. 2
  • VINCENT BOUCHOT Galgenlieder
    ·· "Mondendinge"
    ·· "Der Hecht"
    ·· "Die Mitternachtsmaus"
    ·· "Das Wasser"
    ·· "Galgenkindes Wiegenlied"
  • POULENC "Montparnasse"
  • POULENC "Hyde Park"
  • POULENC Deux poèmes de Louis Aragon
    ·· C
    ·· Fêtes galantes
  • BRITTEN "The Salley Gardens," Vol. 1, No. 1
  • BRITTEN "There's None to Soothe"
  • BRITTEN "I Wonder as I Wander"

  • Encores:
  • POULENC "Voyage à Paris" from Banalités, No. 4
  • FAURÉ "Clair de lune," Op. 46, No. 2
  • R. STRAUSS "Efeu" from Mädchenblumen, Op. 22


  • Sandrine Piau

    A renowned figure in the world of Baroque music, French soprano Sandrine Piau performs regularly with such celebrated conductors as William Christie, Philippe Herreweghe, Christophe Rousset, Gustav Leonhardt, Ivor Bolton, Ton Koopman, René Jacobs, Marc Minkowski, and Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

    Ms. Piau embraces both the lyric and Baroque repertoire, and performs roles such as Pamina from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Titania from Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Servilia from Gluck's La clemenza di Tito.

    Previous engagements have taken her to the Grand Théâtre de Genève to perform the role of Ismène in Mozart's Mitridate, re di Ponto and to the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées to sing Cleopatra in Handel's Giulio Cesare, Servilia in La clemenza di Tito, and Aennchen in Weber's Der Freischütz. Other recent opera projects have included performances as Sandrina in Mozart's La finta giardiniera and the title lady in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande at La Monnaie in Brussels.

    Ms. Piau appears regularly in concert. In recent years, she has performed at the Salzburg Festival, Covent Garden Festival, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Teatro Comunale di Firenze, as well as with the Munich Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker, and Orchestre de Paris.

    Ms. Piau takes great pleasure in the art of recital. As a singer of both French and German repertoire, she has performed with many renowned recital accompanists, such as Jos Van Immerseel, Roger Vignoles, and Corine Durous, and she regularly gives recitals in Paris, Amsterdam, London, and New York.

    Ms. Piau's album Après un rêve was released in April 2011 to critical acclaim. Her new album Le triomphe de l'amour was released earlier this year.

    Last season, Ms. Piau sang her first Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the title role of  L'incoronazione di Poppea in Cologne. She also gave concerts at Wigmore Hall, Vienna's Musikverein, and the Salle Pleyel in Paris.

    Ms. Piau's 2011-2012 engagements include Pamina at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, concerts at Versailles's L'Opéra Royal and at the Salzburg Festival, and with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as well as recitals across the United States, at Wigmore Hall, and on her debut Japanese tour.

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  • Susan Manoff

    Pianist Susan Manoff was born in New York of Latvian and German descent. She studied at Manhattan School of Music and at the University of Oregon. Intensive studies with Gwendolyn Koldofsky in the art-song repertoire led her to become one of the most sought-after pianists of her generation.

    In addition to her interest in vocal repertoire, Ms. Manoff is a passionate advocate of chamber music. She appears regularly at international festivals and is invited to perform at major concert halls around the world, including the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Théâtre du Châtelet, Salle Gaveau, Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, and Vienna's Konzerthaus and Musikverein. Ms. Manoff is also a regular guest of France Musique.

    Musical curiosity and love for theater have inspired Ms. Manoff's involvement in the creation of numerous programs that blend music and text. Her partners have been Jean Rochefort, Fabrice Luchini, and Marie-Christine Barrault, and she has been directed by Hans Jürgen Syberberg and Joël Jouanneau.

    Ms. Manoff has recorded for the Naïve, Decca, Virgin (with cherished collaborator Patricia Petibon), Arion, Valois, and Aparte labels. In 2007, she recorded her first CD with Sandrine Piau, entitled Évocation, and a second recording, Après un rêve, was released in 2011. Ms. Manoff's most recent recording with long-term musical partner Nemanja Radulovic is dedicated to the violin and piano sonatas of Beethoven (2010).

    Ms. Manoff was assistant chorus director at the Opéra Bastille and is currently a professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris.

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Mendelssohn's "Hexenlied," Op. 8, No. 8
Sandrine Piau, Soprano; Susan Manoff, Piano

At a Glance

Nocturnal realms offer beauty, horror, things that go bump in the night, enchantment, love, melancholy musing, despair, death, and more. We hear an array of these moods and mysteries on this program.

We begin with four songs by Felix Mendelssohn: a song of lonely grief by night, then the resolution to praise God until morning; an elfin vision whose portent the persona cannot divine; a setting of a famous poem by Lord Byron about sleepless melancholy; and a delightful witches' brew about a coven on a haunted German mountaintop.

Gabriel Fauré is one of the foremost masters of late 19th-century French art song. Tonight we hear the beautiful "En sourdine," the song of a despairing prisoner, a cradle song for mothers whose sailor-husbands must go to sea, and "Après un rêve"-one of Fauré's most famous creations.

Ernest Chausson wrote melancholy songs in a rich idiom. The themes on this program are typical: a lover who can only evoke bygone bliss in memory, a poet's longing for lost fantasies of forest enchantment, and an evocation of time that leads to death.

Four of Richard Strauss's turn-of-century, lush, late-Romantic songs follow: the song of lovers who greet the dawn after a night of rapture; advice to a maiden to find Nature's secrets when love comes calling; a famous evocation of the night, whose silvery light steals radiance from the world and the beloved; and one of the most ardent lover's serenades ever written.

French singer, composer, and early-music specialist Vincent Bouchot then delves into the world of childish fantasy re-fashioned by a witty, satirical, metaphysical turn-of-century German poet named Christian Morgenstern.

The inimitable 20th-century composer Francis Poulenc wrote both grave, elegiac songs of heart-stopping beauty and some of the most wonderful specimens of Parisian frivolity extant. We hear four songs composed during World War II on poems by Guillaume Apollinaire, the Surrealist poet who fought in World War I, and by Louis Aragon, another founding member of the Surrealist movement.

At the close are three plaintive folksongs in arrangements by Benjamin Britten:  two lover's laments and the Appalachian Christmas carol "I Wonder as I Wander."
Program Notes
This concert and the Pure Voice series are sponsored by the Jean & Jula Goldwurm Memorial Foundation in memory of Jula Goldwurm.