Song Prize recital two

Song Prize jury: Adam Gatehouse, Håkan Hagegård, John Fisher, Marilyn Horne, Bengt Forsberg (Photo: Brian Tarr)

Last updated: 12 June 2011

The second Song Prize recital took place in the New Theatre, Cardiff on Sunday 12 June.

Maria González from Chile was unwell and withdrew from the Song Prize.

View a photo gallery from recital two.

Wang Lifu - China

Accompanist: Gary Matthewman

Der Müller und der Bach (Die schöne Müllerin No 19) - Schubert

This song comes near the end of Schubert's song cycle about a young man in love with a miller's daughter. But she loves another, and in his despair, the young man turns to the brook which led him to her. They have a conversation about love and loss, but the young man sees that the brook doesn't understand about love. He will only find rest by drowning himself in the brook, which will carry on its song.

La vie antérieure - Duparc

The poet recalls a life of luxury beside a tropical ocean, fanned by slaves with palm fronds. The greater the sensual delight, the deeper the anguish of the poet's sad secret. This is a setting of a famous poem from Baudelaire's Les fleurs du mal.

V molchan'ji nochi taynoy (Op 4 No 3) - Rakhmaninov

In this setting of a poem by Afanasy Afanas'yevich Fet, translated as 'In the silence of the night', the poet remembers the beloved's smile, her voice, her hair, things he has said to her. He will try to forget them, then bring them to his mind again. Eventually, he will wake up in the night, calling her name.

Herr Oluf (Op 2 No 2) - Loewe

This ballad is based on Herder's Erlkönigs Tochter. Lord Oluf rides out to invite guests to his wedding and meets the Erlking's daughter. She invites him to dance with her, promising him first gold spurs, then a silk shirt and finally a pile of gold. Each time, Lord Oluf refuses, saying he is to marry the next day. Eventually, she loses her temper, curses him and sends him home. The next day, his bride finds him - dead.

Meeta Raval - England

Accompanist: Simon Lepper

Gretchen am Spinnrade (D 118) - Schubert

Gretchen sits at her spinning wheel, sad because she has been abandoned by Faust. She has no peace, and her heart is heavy. She searches for Faust constantly, looking for his walk, his smile, and thinking of his kisses. This is one of several settings Schubert made of scenes from Goethe's Faust.

Nacht und Träume (D 827) - Schubert

In this gentle nocturne, heavenly night and its peaceful dreams are welcomed by the poet. But when daytime returns, he looks forward again to the night. The poem is by Matthäus von Collin.

L'invitation au voyage - Duparc

The poet invites his lover to journey with him to a beautiful land of luxury, calm and pleasure, where the sun in the misty skies has a charm as mysterious as the beloved's treacherous eyes, and where boats bring goods to satisfy her every wish. The poem is from Baudelaire's Les fleurs du mal.

Sleep (Five Elizabethan songs No 4) - Ivor Gurney

The text is by John Fletcher, from his play The Woman Hater. He calls on deceiving sleep to bring him delight and beguile him with dreams, so he might forget his unhappiness. Sleep will bring him some joy, although it is just a shadow.

Love went a-riding - Frank Bridge

The figure of 'Love' in Mary E Coleridge's poem is seen riding across the land, bringing flowers to life and thawing the frozen rivers. Youths and maidens beg him to stay, but he refuses, as Pegasus, the horse he is riding, has wings.

Olga Kindler - Switzerland

Accompanist: Llŷr Williams

La Maja Dolorosa I - Granados

'The desolate maiden' is the subject of three poems by Fernando Periquet set to music by Enrique Granados. In the first, the maiden asks Death why he has taken her beloved and she begs for his return. Her life is not worth living without him.

Siren' (Op 21 No 5) - Rakhmaninov

The singer wanders at daybreak in the fragrant shade of the lilacs. She knows that her happiness will blossom among the sweet-scented flowers and dense green foliage. The poem is by Ekaterina Beketova.

Song of the Wood Dove (Gurre-Lieder) - Schoenberg

Schoenberg's cantata, usually performed with large orchestral forces, is based on translations of Jens Peter Jakobsen's version of a Danish legend. King Waldemar loves his mistress, Tove, who is murdered by his jealous queen. The wood dove's song tells of her death and the king's grief.


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