Daniel Harding, Faure Songs, Poulenc
Tom Service talks to conductor Daniel Harding; also a discussion with French music experts about a book compiling Poulenc's articles and interviews, as well as a preview of his opera Dialogue des Carmélites opening this month at the Royal Opera House in London, with contributions from director Robert Carsen and singers Sally Matthews and Sophie Koch. Also, we talk to Roy Howat and Emily Kilpatrick about a new edition of Fauré's songs they've been working on.
Daniel Harding made his professional conducting debut 20 years ago and this summer returns to the BBC Proms to conduct Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, where he is Music Director.
Born in Oxford, Harding began his career assisting Sir Simon Rattle at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra before going on to work with Claudio Abbado at the Berlin Philharmonic. He has since conducted some of the leading orchestra’s across Europe and the US; including the London Symphony Orchestra, where he is Principal Guest Conductor.
Daniel spoke to Tom Service about the difficult half-century he’s going through in his career – the conductor’s long, long equivalent of second album syndrome - not being a young prodigy any more, but not yet being a venerated, venerable master; about the need to stick to what composers say in scores, and about his collaborations with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the LSO.
Poulenc: ‘Dialogues des Carmelites’ at the Royal Opera House
During the French Revolution, in June 1794, sixteen Carmelite nuns from Compiègne were sent to the guillotine and executed after being found guilty of resisting Revolutionary patriotism. In the early-1950s Francis Poulenc saw a play based on this real event, and when it was suggested to him that he turn it into an opera he set to work enthusiastically. It was premiered at La Scala in 1957 and first came to Covent Garden a year later.
This new 2014 production of Dialogues des Carmelites at the Royal Opera House features a cast including Sally Matthews, Anna Prohaska and Emma Bell, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Director Robert Carsen spoke to Music Matters about the origins of the piece, the role that Poulenc’s personal struggle with faith plays, spiritual love and the meaning of martyrdom and death.
Francis Poulenc: Articles and Interviews - Book review
A collection of interviews and articles written by Francis Poulenc has been translated into English by Roger Nichols, and released now for the first time. The book, which was originally edited and published by Nicholas Southon in French, captures the composer’s lively writing style, as well as his views on music and his contemporaries.
Tom Service speaks to musicologists Graham Johnson and Richard Langham Smith about what this new collection tells us about Poulenc the composer, and man of his time.
Gabriel Fauré composed over 100 songs between 1861 and 1921, producing the biggest single body of work in the genre by a French composer. The first complete critical edition of these songs is soon to be published, with volume 1 (which includes the first 34 songs, up to op.27 in 1882) due out in the next couple of weeks.
Roy Howat and Emily Kilpatrick have spent the last five years researching and editing Fauré’s songs which are now central to any conservatoire repertoire. They found that due to an erratic publication history, with works dispersed across many different publishers and collections, many of the songs had misprints and conflicting markings across different printed editions. As a result some songs will now sound quite different to how we have previously heard them, something which Roy and Emily demonstrate in the studio with soprano Anna Sideris, a post-graduate student from the Royal Academy of Music.
|Interviewed Guest||Daniel Harding|
|Interviewed Guest||Robert Carsen|
|Interviewed Guest||Sally Matthews|
|Interviewed Guest||Roy Howat|
|Interviewed Guest||Emily Kilpatrick|