Performing this Week

Marc Neikrug
Marc Neikrug

Benny Kim
Benny Kim

Ronald Thomas
Ronald Thomas

Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

Summer 2009 — Week 8

Our 8th week of programs from the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival features music of Schumann and his great admirer Brahms. Soprano Arianna Zukerman sings two songs of Schumann with Marc Neikrug at the piano: "Du Ring an meinem Finger" and "Der Nussbaum." After that, Jon Kimura Parker, Benny Kim, Cynthia Phelps, and Ronald Thomas team up to perform Brahms' Opus 26, the Piano Quartet No. 2 in A Major.

Scroll down to find excerpts from Kerry Frumkin and Marc Neikrug's conversation about this week's program, the text for the Schumann songs, and a few tangential things I found along the way.

Thanks for stopping by...
Louise

ROBERT SCHUMANN
Du Ring an meinem Finger, Op. 42, No. 4 & Der Nußbaum, Op. 25, No. 3

Arianna Zukerman, soprano; Marc Neikrug, piano

"I have been composing so much that it really seems quite uncanny at times. I cannot help it, and should like to sing myself to death, like a nightingale."

- Robert Schumann in a letter to Clara Wieck, 1840, the "year of song..."

 

Marc tells Kerry about his collaboration with Ariana Zukerman.

 

Schumann and Fantasy at Festival in Santa Fe

"In a group of five Schumann songs...the soprano Arianna Zukerman...was strong, direct and sensitive."

- Anthony Tomassini, The New York Times (from http://ariannazukerman.com/reviews.html)

Find out more about Arianna Zukerman on her website.

 

Du Ring an meinem Finger
Thou ring on my finger

Du Ring an meinem Finger,
Mein goldenes Ringelein,
Ich drücke dich fromm an die Lippen,
Dich fromm an das Herze mein.

Thou ring on my finger,
my little golden ring,
I press thee piously upon my lips
piously upon my heart.

Ich hatt ihn ausgeträumet,
Der Kindheit friedlich schönen Traum,
Ich fand allein mich, verloren
Im öden, unendlichen Raum.

I had dreamt it,
the tranquil, lovely dream of childhood,
I found myself alone and lost
in barren, infinite space.

Du Ring an meinem Finger
Da hast du mich erst belehrt,
Hast meinem Blick erschlossen
Des Lebens unendlichen, tiefen Wert.

Thou ring on my finger,
thou hast taught me for the first time,
hast opened my gaze unto
the endless, deep value of life.

Ich [werd'] ihm dienen, ihm leben,
Ihm angehören ganz,
Hin selber mich geben und finden
Verklärt mich in seinem Glanz.

I want to serve him, live for him,
belong to him entire,
Give myself and find myself
transfigured in his radiance.

Du Ring an meinem Finger,
Mein goldenes Ringelein,
Ich drücke dich fromm an die Lippen
Dich fromm an das Herze mein.

Thou ring on my finger,
my little golden ring,
I press thee piously upon lips,
piously upon my heart.

 

Der Nußbaum
The nut tree

Es grünet ein Nußbaum vor dem Haus,
Duftig,
Luftig
Breitet er blättrig die Äste aus.

A nut tree stands greenly in front of the house,
fragrantly
and airly
spreading out its leafy branches.

Viel liebliche Blüten stehen dran;
Linde
Winde
Kommen, sie herzlich zu umfahn.

Many lovely blossoms does it bear;
gentle
winds
come to caress them.

Es flüstern je zwei zu zwei gepaart,
Neigend,
Beugend
Zierlich zum Kusse die Häuptchen zart.

They whisper, paired two by two,
gracefully
inclining
their tender heads to kiss.

Sie flüstern von einem Mägdlein,
Das dächte
die Nächte
und Tagelang, wüsste, ach! selber nicht was.

They whisper of a maiden
who thinks
day and night long
of... but alas! she does not herself know!

Sie flüstern - wer mag verstehn so gar
Leise
Weise? -
Flüstern von Bräut'gam und nächstem Jahr.

They whisper - who can understand
such a soft
song? -
they whisper of a bridegroom and of the coming year.

Das Mägdlein horchet, es rauscht im Baum;
Sehnend,
Wähnend
Sinkt es lächelnd in Schlaf und Traum.

The maiden listens, the tree rustles;
yearning,
hoping,
she sinks smiling into sleep and dream.

 

Here is Marc Neikrug performing the 7th of Robert Schumann's Kinderszenen, or "Scenes from Childhood" ... Träumerei

 

"My life didn't actually begin until I became aware of my talent as an artist."

- Words of Robert Schumann spoken by Sting in Twin Spirits

Sting and Trudie Stylar portray Robert and Clara Schumann in Twin Spirits
Sting and Trudie Stylar portray Robert and Clara Schumann in Twin Spirits

Soon to be released! Sting and Trudie Stylar star in Twin Spirits, a theatrical performance by a chamber ensemble of actors, singers and instrumentalists, portraying the deep love between Robert and Clara Schumann. See a behind-the-scenes mini-documentary about the show on the Twin Spirits website.

JOHANNES BRAHMS
Piano Quartet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 26

Benny Kim, violin; Cynthia Phelps, viola; Ronald Thomas, cello; Jon Kimura Parker, piano

When we think of Johannes Brahms we often think of large forces and symphonic sounds. Even his chamber music is often very big music composed for a small ensemble. The Piano Quartet No. 2 in A Major, however, is more lyrical and intimate in character in many ways.

Marc finds the three Brahms Piano Quartets to be "three enormous, transcendent glorious iconic pieces." In this excerpt from Marc and Kerry's conversation, Marc explains how "all-star" players who don't typically make music together can deliver a spectacular performance.