I am excited to soon be traveling to Berlin to sing with the Berlin Philharmonic (Sir Simon Rattle, conducting) as part of a delegation with KorVest, the professional vocal ensemble from Bergen, Norway. We will be performing Arnold Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, a landmark post-Romantic orchestral work based on the theme of a medieval Nordic love tragedy. Founded in 1882, the Berlin Philharmonic has long been regarded as one of the leading professional symphony orchestras, while Arnold Schoenberg is considered one of the most influential composers of the twentieth century.
Here is a link for more information about Kor Vest, the professional chorus from Bergen:
Here is a link for the concert announcement:
According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, “On Feb. 23, 1913, [Arnold Schoenberg’s] Gurrelieder (begun in 1900) was first performed in Vienna. This gigantic cantata calls for unusually large vocal and orchestral forces. Along with Mahler’s Eighth Symphony (Symphony of a Thousand), the Gurrelieder represents the peak of the post-Romantic monumental style. This music was received with wild enthusiasm by the audience . . .”
Premiered in 1913, our performance will be on the 100-year anniversary of this unique masterpiece. It is thrilling to have such an opportunity to work with such outstanding singers and instrumentalists. I will be carefully documenting my reflections on the experience of preparing and performing this music in order to produce an article in the scholarly vein of “artistic research” or “arts-based research”. Hopefully the writings may lead to some new insights regarding the specialized field of symphony chorus performance, and I will aim for publication in 2014.
Below is a photo from our rehearsal in the Berlin Philharmonic’s hall, just prior to the concert. I am in the red sweater in the back row, to the left of maestro Simon Rattle.