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Oxford Lieder Festival: Winners of the Kathleen Ferrier Awards

Thursday October 15, 2020 at 13:00
Available Online Until
Sunday November 01, 2020
Holywell Music Room, Oxford
£7; under 35s £5
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out

New Zealand-born Samoan baritone Benson Wilson is the winner of the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Awards 2019, as well as numerous other awards. He has recently joined ENO as a Harewood Artist. Lucy Colquhoun is a prize-winning alumnus of the Royal College of Music, where she studied with Roger Vignoles, and a Britten-Pears Young Artist.

Benson and Lucy begin their programme with a selection of Schubert songs that includes the thrilling ‘Gruppe aus dem Tartarus’ and ‘Auflösung’, as well as the hauntingly evocative ‘Nacht und Träume’ (‘Night and dreams’). They then perform Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (‘Songs of a Wayfarer’), a cycle that finds the composer setting his own texts that are written very much in the spirit of the famous folk collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn (‘The Boy’s Magic Horn’). Although they are commonly thought of as orchestral songs, like so many of Mahler’s songs the piano versions are the originals. A sense of sadness and outrage combined with happy memories permeates the cycle, probably a reflection of Mahler’s passionate but unhappy relationship with the soprano Johanna Richter. The songs were written in 1884-85, and just a few years later some of the principal themes would re-emerge in Mahler’s mighty First Symphony.

Following three of Benjamin Britten’s arrangements of old English and Irish folksongs, their programme ends with a performance of ‘Deep River’, in a famous arrangement by Harry T. Burleigh. This anonymous song is one of the best known African-American spirituals, and Burleigh’s 1917 arrangement secured its place in recitals thereafter.

This concert will be streamed completely live from the Holywell Music Room. Shortly afterwards, it will also be available to watch again (using the same ticket and link) until 1 November 2020. Click here for further information on how tickets will work this year.

Holywell Music Room
Holywell Street
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