Tuesday 3 December 2013

Exploring Bach and Schumann

Stephan Loges - Photo: Ana Alvarez Prada
Stephan Loges - Photo: Ana Alvarez Prada
On Sunday we had a private preview of a recital by baritone Stephan Loges and pianist Simone Dinnerstein which combined the music of Schumann and J.S. Bach into a single intriguing programme. Loges and Dinnerstein are performing the programme at the Vienna Konzerthus tomorrow (4 December 2013). This is the first time that Loges and New York-based Dinnerstein have worked together.

The idea behind the programme was to show Bach's influence on Schumann, which would mean combining the two composers dearest to the heart of both Loges and Dinnerstein. Throughout his life Schumann was influenced by Bach and regarded the composer as one of his teachers. This was something he shared with Clara and only nine days after their marriage Clara records that they are studying together the fugues from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. When Robert was student, though he was studying law at Leipzig, he played chamber-music with friends and their talk was all of Bach and Robert would continue to study Bach on his own.

Loges and Dinnerstein started with Bach's Ich habe genug BWV 82, following this with four Schumann songs, Meine Rose Op.90 No.2, Stirb Lieb' und Freud Op.35 No.2, Mein Wagen rollet langsam Op.142 No.4, Aus den hebraischen Gesangen Op.25 No.15 and concluded with the aria Betrachte meine Seel from Bach's St John Passion (a work which Schumann organised a performance of in 1851). They had selected the Schumann songs to bring out Bach's influence and the result of the grouping was to highlight the remarkable was Bach's influence runs through Schumann's songs. For the second half they performed Schumann's Eichendorff-Liederkreis, Op.39 which dates from 1840, Schumann's year of song when he wrote so many of his songs.

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