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Jacqueline Porter soprano • Anna Dowsley mezzo-soprano
Andrew Goodwin tenor • David Greco baritone
Ian Munro & Daniel de Borah piano
Four hands at one piano, and four suberb voices, intimately intertwined: what better way to celebrate the delights of love? From teasing dalliance to passionate rapture, this album explores all the frustrations and joys of romance through the music of three great Romantic songwriters: Brahms, Mendelssohn and Schumann.
Brahms’s Liebeslieder (Love-Song) waltzes blend the swirling grace of the Viennese ballroom with the expressive beauty of solo voices and the familiar comforts of the piano. Each song presents a different facet of love, with the four singers enticing each other – and us – to let nothing stand in the way of enjoying its charms.
Five exquisite melodies by Mendelssohn show us love in a more tender guise: a night-time tryst on a Venetian gondola, messages carried on the breeze, autumn sorrows, quiet nostalgia for lost youth, and the poetic vision of Auf Flügeln des Gesanges (On Wings of Song).
In his cycle of Spanische Liebeslieder (Spanish Love Songs), Schumann offers a more passionate vision of love, exploring its darker shadows as well as its brightest glories. Inspired by the exotic flavours of Spain – a land of mystery and sensuality to the Romantic mind – Schumann takes us on a journey of yearning and desire.
About the Artists
Soprano Jacqueline Porter has appeared with Victorian Opera, State Opera South Australia and Pinchgut Opera in roles including Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro), Despina (Così fan tutte) and Drusilla (The Coronation of Poppea). Concert highlights have included Fauré’s Pelléas et Mélisande with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Melbourne Bach Choir, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Winner of the 2019 Australian Opera Award, mezzo-soprano Anna Dowsley has performed with Opera Australia, Sydney Chamber Opera, New Zealand Opera and Pinchgut Opera, in roles such as Rosina (The Barber of Seville), Cherubino (The Marriage of Figaro), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), Lucretia (The Rape of Lucretia) and Siebel (Faust). On the concert platform, she has appeared with the Sydney, Adelaide and Queensland Symphony Orchestras and with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
Tenor Andrew Goodwin has performed a wide range of roles at some of the world’s greatest opera houses, including La Scala Milan, Gran Theatre Liceu Barcelona, Teatro Real Madrid and the Sydney Opera House. Notably, he is the only westerner to perform the role of Lensky at the Bolshoi Theatre. In Australia, he has appeared with State Opera South Australia, Sydney Chamber Opera, Pinchgut Opera, The Song Company and the Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras.
Baritone David Greco has worked on the cutting edge of the early music movement in Europe, performing with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Freiburger Barockorchester and the Netherlands Bach Society. In 2014 he was the first international singer appointed a position with the Sistine Chapel Choir in the Vatican. He has appeared with Opera Australia, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Pinchgut Opera, and is currently completing a PhD in the historical performance practice of Schubert.
Pianist Ian Munro is one of Australia’s most distinguished and awarded musicians. After completing his early training in Melbourne with Roy Shepherd, he furthered his studies in Vienna, London and Italy with Noretta Conci, Guido Agosti and Michele Campanella, launching his international career in the UK. He has performed with leading orchestras throughout the UK, Poland, Italy, Portugal, Russia, USA, China, New Zealand, Belgium, Switzerland and Uzbekistan, and with all the leading orchestras in Australia in over sixty piano concertos.
Since his prize-winning appearances at the 2004 Sydney International Piano Competition, Daniel de Borah has given recitals on four continents and toured extensively throughout the UK and Australia. He has partnered many leading soloists including Vadim Gluzman, Baiba Skride, Li-Wei Qin, Nicolas Altstaedt, Umberto Clerici, Roderick Williams and Steve Davislim, and appared in concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Auckland Symphony Orchestras.
BRAHMS Liebeslieder-Walzer, Op. 52
1.Rede, Mädchen, allzu liebes (Tell me, sweetest girl)
2.Am Gesteine rauscht die Flut (The waves dash agains the rocks)
3.O die Frauen (Oh, the women)
4.Wie des Abends schöne Röte (Like a lovely sunset)
5.Die grüne Hopfenranke (The vine’s green tendrils)
6.Ein kleiner, hübscher Vogel (A pretty little bird)
7.Wohl schön bewandt war es (All seemed rosy)
8.Wenn so lind dein Auge mir (When you gaze at me so tenderly)
9.Am Donaustrande (On the Danube’s shore)
10.O wie sanft die Quelle (Ah, how gently the stream)
11.Nein, est ist nicht auszukommen (No, it cannot be endured)
12.Schlösser auf, und mache Schlösser (Locksmith, come,
make locks for me)
13.Vögelein durchrauscht die Luft (A little bird flies through the air)
14.Sieh, wie ist die Welle klar (See how clear the waves are)
15.Nachtigall, sie singt so schön (The nightingale sings so sweetly)
16.Ein dunkeler Schacht ist Liebe (Love is a dark pit)
17.Nicht wandle, mein Licht (Do not wander out in the fields, my love)
18.Es bebet das Gesträuche (The leaves tremble)
BRAHMS In stiller Nacht (In the silent night)
Die Schwestern (The Sisters), Op. 61 No. 1
Die Meere (The Seas), Op. 20 No. 3
MENDELSSOHN Ich wollt’ meine Lieb’ ergösse sich (I wish I could pour my love
into a single word), Op. 63 No. 1
Venetianisches Gondellied (Venetian Gondola Song), Op. 57 No. 5
Herbstlied (Autumn Song), Op. 63 No. 4
Auf Flügeln des Gesanges (On Wings of Song), Op. 34 No. 2
Scheidend (Separation), Op. 9 No. 6
SCHUMANN Spanische Liebeslieder (Spanish Love Songs), Op. 138
2.Tief im Herzen trag' ich Pein (There is pain deep in my heart)
3.O wie lieblich ist das Mädchen (Oh how lovely is the maiden)
4.Bedeckt mich mit Blumen (Cover me with flowers)
5.Romanze: Flutenreicher Ebro (Romance: O surging river Ebro)
7.Weh, wie zornig ist das Mädchen (Alas, how angry the girl is)
8.Hoch, hoch sind die Berge (High, high are the mountains)
9.Blaue Augen hat das Mädchen (The girl has blue eyes)
10.Dunkler Lichtglanz, blinder Blick (Dark light, blind gaze)