Cylburn, Clarice Smith Center to commemorate Schumann bicentennial
This being the Mahler season -- his dual anniversary (150th of birth in 2010, 100th of death in 2011) has understandably become a major focus of programming around the music world -- it's nice to see that there's still room to acknowledge other milestones. The bicentennial of Schumann's birth in 2010, for example.
I mentioned in an earlier post the rare performance of the composer's Mass, courtesy of the Concert Artists of Baltimore on Oct. 16. That month will also see two other notable commemorations of Schumann's genius.
On Oct. 3, the Cylburn Chamber Music Series opens its sixth season at the historic Cylburn Arboretum with a lieder recital by baritone Ryan de Ryke and pianist Eva Mengelkoch. The featured work will be Schumann's absorbing song cycle "Dichterliebe." That would be reason enough to catch the program -- the work is one of Schumann's finest, and the duo of de Ryke and Mengelkoch has a track record of refined music-making -- but there's more. Selections from the "Hollywood Songbook" by fascinating 20th century composer Hanns Eisler will also be performed. (Space is limited at Cylburn. To reserve a seat -- admission is free -- email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-367-2217.)
Later in the month, the University of Maryland School of Music presents the Schumann Bicentennial Festival and Conference at the Clarice Smith Center. Highlights: a concert of chamber works performed by faculty on Oct. 19; eminent musicologist and pianist Charles Rosen will accompany tenor Christoph Genz in what is billed as a "seldom-heard version" of "Dichterliebe" on Oct. 20 and give a lecture on the morning of Oct. 21; also on the 21st, UM faculty artists, including mezzo-soprano Delores Ziegler, will explore the storied romance of Robert and Clara Schumann and their pal Brahms.
The festival closes Oct. 22 with quite an attraction:
Schumann's "Paradise and the Peri," a work for vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra that once enjoyed favor with the public, but has long since been relegated to the shelf for obscurities. Paul Goodwin will conduct the UM Symphony and Concert Choir. Soloists include soprano Linda Mabbs and tenor Gran Wilson.
Much later in the season, the Baltimore Symphony will offer its Schumann celebration, taking a close look at the man and the mania (the composer was ever so bipolar).
Meanwhile, October turns out to be Schumann Month around here, and that's worth noting. To get you in the mood, here's the sublime voice of Fritz Wunderlich to give you just a sampling from "Dichterliebe":