What do you call Brigitte Fasbaender, Anne Sofie von Otter and Barbara Bonney in one place?
A very, very good dream.
Or “Lied & Lyrik”, 2011 edition.
The exclusive, intimate festival for song culture and poetry kicks off tomorrow in around Banz (Germany) and I couldn’t pass up the chance to sigh publicly with envy: Bonney revisiting Schumann’s “Dichterliebe” and teaching a Masterclass, von Otter presenting her “Theresienstadt” program and Fassbaender doing a concert of 19th and 20th century melodramas.
Really, what am I doing anyplace NOT there?
If circumstances hadn’t catapulted me to Spain this winter, I know where I’d be as of tomorrow and for the entire upcoming week (the festival runs Oct. 9th to 16th) all other circumstances be damned. That was the original plan, and the plan was also to run a “summer of song” series here on Eye Bags to do a weekly White Shirt Song entry (since song often gets overlooked next to all the White Shirt possibilities that opera offers), but circumstances got in the way of that.
Song repertory is for the brave ones. A voice, a piano (sometimes, an orchestra), and painting a whole story just with that. It’s the prized short story or short poem in comparison to a big novel. It’s an intimate miniature world where one intake of breath or one inflection can mean everything, to subsequently rock your world. If, by Arab proverb, a book is a garden you can carry in your pocket, a song is secret garden and its key, to carry around in your mind, on your mp3 player, or in your steps.
The first time this happened to me over Brahms’s “An eine Äolsharfe”, sung by Brigitte Fassbaender. A sacred recording among my collection up to this day! The photo above is from another CD case (also song repertory) which inexplicably belongs to the city library and not to me, but I figured I could post the scan anyway (click to enlarge).
And now, instead of moping around that many of us can’t be at “Lied & Lyrik” this week, let’s wish them a wonderful festival and many “secret garden” moments. And the good news is that even while most of us can’t be there, we still can get an exclusive look, since there will be a festival diary in from of a blog, written by none other than our own Styx.
I plan to check in at least three times a day as of tomorrow. – Have fun, Styx, and I’m looking forward to your impressions!
And right now, I need to put my Fassbaender Zigeunerlieder & Lieder Vol. 1 on repeat for the rest of the night.