This special Songbook programme is a rare opportunity to hear a hand-picked selection of 17 songs for soprano and small ensemble, commissioned over a ten year period from the late 1980s by composer/BCMG Artist-in-Association John Woolrich and soprano Mary Wiegold. In addition we celebrate the 75th Sound Investment premiere since the commissioning scheme launched in 1992.
In total, around 200 works were commissioned for The Songbook by inviting composers to write a ‘song’ (whatever that suggested to them in terms of choice of text, duration and musical language) and not a piece of vocal chamber music.
Along with distinguished soloists Gillian Keith and Rebecca von Lipinski, BCMG presents a programme focusing on songs from the collection by European composers (plus an American and an Argentinian) in a concert that helps to establish these pieces as part of the repertoire. Complementing these will be a new ‘song’ by Gerald Barry, himself a brilliant writer for voice as anyone who heard BCMG’s European premiere performances of his acclaimed opera The Importance of Being Earnest in April 2012 will know.
Today, Woolrich and Wiegold’s Songbook compendium is a portrait of what a wide range of composers were up to at the end of the 20th century. Most British composers are represented in the collection, plus music from many other countries, and not just contemporary classical: there are songs by jazz composers (Mike Garrick, Keith Tippett) and rock composers (Joby Talbot and Elvis Costello).
Jonathan Harvey: You
Milton Babbitt: Quatrains
Gerald Barry: Crossing the Bar (world premiere / BCMG Sound Investment commission)
Thomas Adès: Life Story
Kurt Schwertsik: Human Existence…
Der Herr weis was der Wil
singt meine schwäne
Harrison Birtwistle: White and Light
Olga Neuwirth: The Cartographer Song
Poul Ruders: Alone
Osvaldo Golijov: Sarajevo
Detlev Glanert: Contemplated by a Portrait of a Divine
Niccolo Castiglioni: Vallis Clausa
Salvatore Sciarrino: Due Risvegli e il Vento
Aldo Clementi: Wiegenlied
Franco Donatoni: An angel within my heart
Conductor: Jonathan Berman
Sopranos: Gillian Keith
Rebecca von Lipinski
There will be a pre-concert talk from 6-6.45pm. Tickets cost £4 and must be booked via the Wigmore Hall Box Office.
36 Wigmore Street,
Information No.020 7935 2141
Wigmore Hall is fully wheelchair accessible. There is level access from Wigmore Street into the auditorium, the restaurant and lower ground floor facilities are accessible by lift and there is a fully accessible toilet on the lower ground floor. Wigmore Hall is equipped with a Loop to help hearing aid users receive clear sound without background noise. Patrons are welcome to take hearing and guide dogs dogs into the Auditorium.