Concert

Late Night Trio

Anna Prohaska | Nicolas Altstaedt | Francesco Corti

Soprano Anna Prohaska, cellist Nicolas Altstaedt and harpsichordist Francesco Corti have prepared a programme that spans the centuries. Milestones and discoveries of Baroque music are countered by works of the 20th and 21st centuries, including world premieres by Wolfgang Rihm and Jörg Widmann.

Paolo Monti, “Composition Nature morte”, 1950

Paolo Monti, “Composition Nature morte”, 1950

© Paolo Monti – serie fotografica (Venezia, 1950) – BEIC 6346778, detail, CC BY-SA 4.0

The soprano Anna Prohaska is held in high esteem, not only for her great voice, but also for her innovative programme selections. Equally, at home in the music of the Baroque era as in contemporary music, she loves contrasting styles and compositions from different centuries. For the Musikfest Berlin, she is joined by cellist Nicolas Altstaedt and harpsichordist Francesco Corti. They developed a programme that explores themes of linguistic confusion, loneliness, despair, and death: Franz Tunder, main organist at Lübeck’s main church, the Marienkirche, has insightfully set to music the psalm song “An Wasserflüssen Babylon”, whose text recalls the painful experiences of the people of Israel during the Babylonian exile. In his oratorio “Saul”, Georg Friedrich Händel depicts the dramatic conflict between David and Saul and gives voice to the biblically transmitted “Witch of Endor”. Wolfgang Rihm’s latest composition “Gebet der Hexe von Endor”, which will be premiered in this concert, is set in the same context. Also featured are two songs by the English composer John Tavener on verses by the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, whose late work was strongly influenced by the horrors of the Stalin era, as well as expressive instrumental works for violoncello and harpsichord. The concert concludes with another world premiere: “Sister Death” by Jörg Widmann, a scene from the opera “Babylon”, which explores the limitations and the confusion of language.

Concert Programme

John Tavener (1944 – 2013)
Dante
from: Akhmatova Songs (1993)
for soprano and violoncello

Franz Tunder (1614 – 1667)
An Wasserflüssen Babylon (1645)
for soprano, violoncello and organ

Vincenzo Bonizzi (died 1630)
„Pis ne me peux venir“ (1626)
Passeggiata for violoncello and harpsichord

Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 – 1759)
Author of Peace
from: Saul, 2nd act HWV 53 (1738)
for soprano, violoncello and organ

Alexander Tcherepnin (1899 – 1977)
Tartar Dance
from: Songs and Dances (1953)
for violoncello and harpsichord

Joseph-Nicolas Scythes-Pancrace Royer (1703 – 1755)
Marche des Scythes
from: Premier livre des pièces de clavecin (1746)
for harpsichord

Zoltán Kodály (1882 – 1967)
Allegro molto vivace
from: Cello sonata op. 8, 3rd movement (1915)
für violoncello

Wolfgang Rihm (*1952)
Gebet der Hexe von Endor
from the materials for the play Saul by Botho Strauß
Cantata or soprano and violoncello

Composition commissioned by Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin

World premiere

John Tavener
Muza (Muse)
from: Akhmatova Songs (1993)
for soprano and violoncello

Georg Friedrich Händel
Infernal Spirits
from: Saul, 3rd act, 2nd scene HWV 53 (1738)
for soprano, violoncello and organ

Marin Marais (1656 – 1728)
Le Tourbillon from: Suite d’Un Goût Étranger (1717)
for violoncello and harpsichord

Luciano Berio (1925 – 2003)
Ninna Nanna
from: Naturale (1985)
for violoncello and organ

Georg Friedrich Händel
Credete al Mio Dolore
from: Alcina, 3rd act, 1st scene HWV 34 (1735)
for soprano, violoncello and organ

Heinrich Scheidemann (1596 – 1663)
Pavana Lachrymae d-Moll WV 106
for harpsichord

John Tavener
Smer (Death)
from: Akhmatova Songs (1993)
for soprano and violoncello

Jörg Widmann (*1973)
Sister Death
underworld scene from the opera Babylon
adapted for soprano, violoncello, organ and synthesizer

Composition commissioned by Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin

World premiere

Cast

Anna Prohaska soprano
Nicolas Altstaedt cello
Francesco Corti organ, harpsichord

A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event