Review: Liederabend

Friday 28th January 2022

“Music and poetry have a common domain, from which they draw inspiration and in which they operate: the landscape of the soul. Together, they have the power to lend intellectual form to what is sensed and felt, to transmute both into a language that no other art can express. The magic power that dwells in music and poetry has the ability ceaselessly to transform us.”

So wrote the legendary singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and how right he was. ‘Liederabend’ is the second collaboration of the year between the Music Department and the Modern Languages Department, following on from the popular ‘Advent Celebration’ before Christmas. The programme featured a wonderful selection of French, German, Italian and Russian songs, celebrating both the music and poetry, with a group of language pupils translating the texts of the songs in the printed programme.

Ordinarily, this event would be held in the picturesque surroundings of the Adderley but this year was switched to the Ellis Theatre to allow for more audience space. Despite the change of venue, it took nothing away from the captivating nature of this event which offered a truly inclusive experience with contributions from pupils from all year groups. As David Mattinson pointed out in his introduction, this concert is so much more than a simple presentation of a few popular songs – it goes so much deeper – challenging pupils to explore territory that they may otherwise have missed, and that undoubtedly has many benefits, both obvious and perhaps less so.
Congratulations then, to all performers, translators, teachers (Music and Modern Languages), Mrs Brown for the excellent printed programme, and especially to Clare Toomer for some delightful, subtle and colourful accompanying.

The combination of music and poetry has surely got to be one of the greatest art forms, in so much as it takes us beautifully, romantically – tragically – beyond the drudgery of the mundane. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau knew that too.

Philip Dukes
Artistic Director

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