With international mezzo-soprano Jacobine van Laar and pianist Ilya Chetverikov
Richard Wagner – Wesendonck Lieder
Ralph Vaughan Williams – The House of Life
A song recital evoking the mysteries of physical and spiritual love.
Wagner wrote the Wesendonck Lieder when he and his wife were offered sanctuary by Otto and Mathilde von Wesendock on their estate in Zurich. During this period, Mathilda and Richard were a great inspiration to each other. Much has been speculated about the nature of the relationship between Wagner and Mathilde. Perhaps the answer is revealed in these exquisite songs.
When composing The House of Life, Vaughan Williams chose a selection of the eponymous sequence of sonnets by the Pre-Raphaelite painter/poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti. This collection is also known as The Kelmscott Love Sonnets, after Kelmscott Manor in West Oxfordshire, where Rossetti took joint tenancy with designer William Morris and his wife Jane. She not only was the the inspiration for Rossetti’s many portraits but also for The House of Life.
It seems both song cycles have quite a few things in common, including the theme of transfiguration from love into death.