Behrens & Ken Noda in the Temple of Dendur
Lieder resounding: Songs of anguish and joy, of tears and dreams, of hope and love
The line started to form an hour before performance time, early-bird ticket-holders eager to claim the best seats in the house for this free-seating event, and people in wait for cancellation tickets. Yes, this was a sold-out performance; for this was no ordinary house, the Temple of Dendur; and the star of the evening, Hildegard Behrens, no ordinary singer. Indeed the event could have been billed "Goddess Isis Meets a Goddess of Opera." (A gift to the USA by the Egyptian people, the temple was built in 15 BC as a shrine to Isis, the Egyptian goddess of protection, worshipped as the perfect mother with magical powers of healing. Ms. Behrens for her part has been called Die Göttin der Oper in German popular media.)
Except of course that this was not an evening of opera, but of Lieder - that unique musical genre that beautifully weds poetry to music and makes equal partners of instrument and voice. Thus Lieder is more than a just bunch of songs; and Liederabend, as the Germans call it and as we know it today (thanks to Franz Schubert and his fellow 19th century Romantics), is a very special evening of song, as this one certainly was....
It began as the last colors of sunset filtered through the glass roof and the gallery lights dimmed, signalling the artists' imminent entry. Then from behind the pillars of the Temple of Dendur, attired in regal maroon, Ms. Behrens walked in quiet elegance into the magnificent hall of limestone and glass, wiith pianist Ken Noda not far behind. She soon set the mood for the evening, as she tenderly sang of Die Lorelei *, of how folklore's maiden of the Rhine enchanted a boatman to his death as she sang in the "evening sunshine". Having warmed up with the best known of Franz Liszt's Lieder, she went on to sing two more: the legend of the King of Thule (like Schubert's more familiar adaptation Erlkönig, drawn from a tale in Goethe's Faust), and Ich liebe Dich, a litany of love which defined the theme for the rest of the evening. The songs left no doubt that Liszt, known to all as the piano virtuoso, was also a master of song. © GC/FanFaire2000
* from the album Premier Recital with David Syrus, piano, (EMI 7475512)
HILDEGARD BEHRENS: she makes music worth seeing!
PROFILE PORTRAITS PERFORMANCES DISCOGRAPHY AWARDS QUOTES
BRÜNNHILDE ELEKTRA SALOME FIDELIO ISOLDE MARIE SENTA
THE KOSTELNICKA THE WOMAN 'R' KUNDRY DIE LUSTIGE WITWE
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Design and Original Content: FanFaire LLC © 1997-2006. All rights reserved.