Barbara Hannigan records her first album as singer and conductor, Crazy Girl Crazy, to be released on Alpha in September 2017 with a film directed by Mathieu Amalric.
Barbara Hannigan presents her first album as both singer and conductor this September. With the Amsterdam-based orchestra Ludwig, of which she is associate artist, Barbara has devised a programme including Berg’s Lulu Suite, music from Gershwin’s Girl Crazy – in a new arrangement by the multi-award-winning American composer Bill Elliott – and, to complement these two pieces, she opens the album with Berio’s spectacular Sequenza III for solo voice.
This album, entitled Crazy Girl Crazy, binds together the character of Lulu, a pivotal role in Barbara’s career, with the heroines of Gershwin’s musical comedies and their famous songs such as “Embraceable You” and “I Got Rhythm”, and Sequenza III, Berio’s incredible musical sculpture built from words and the female voice: the result is an album that forms an evocative portrait of the artist.
Barbara Hannigan comments “Crazy Girl Crazy is a hall of mirrors, with Berio’s Sequenza III and Gershwin’s Girl Crazy Suite serving as reflections of Lulu from varying angles and stages of her life. Her blood runs through the veins of all three works presented here. Musically, the jazz elements would be one obvious link between the pieces by Berg and Gershwin, as well as the lush vocal themes and the urgency of the extreme emotional content, but it is the larger concept of human beings in crazy love and obsession, in the midst of maddening heartbreak, searching for home, and finding it in the rhythm of their own heartbeat, which connects the music.”
For this recording, Barbara Hannigan called on an orchestra with which she has had a very special rapport ever since it was founded in 2011: Ludwig, a collective composed of the finest instrumentalists from the leading Dutch and international orchestras, which dares to stage creative and innovative programmes.
The very first moments of the rehearsals for Crazy Girl Crazy were filmed by Mathieu Amalric, the celebrated French actor and director who won the Best Director Award at the Cannes Festival in 2010 for his film On Tour (Tournée) as well as a special award created at Cannes in 2017, the ‘prize for the poetry of cinema’, for his latest film. Mathieu Amalric first met the soprano when they worked together on “C’est presque au bout du monde”, a renowned film for the “3èmeScène” programme of the Opéra de Paris. For their on-camera reunion, Amalric plunges into the heart of Barbara and the orchestra, with an intimate look at their journey. Entitled Music is Music, the film has been selected for the 2017 New York Film Festival, and will be screened on 13 and 14 October 2017 as part of their Spotlight on Documentary series. The DVD of the film will be included with the album Crazy Girl Crazy.
Crazy Girl Crazy
BERG Lulu Suite (1934)
GERSHWIN Girl Crazy Suite, arranged by Bill ELLIOTT & Barbara HANNIGAN; Orchestrated by Bill ELLIOTT
BERIO Sequenza III for voice (1965)
BARBARA HANNIGAN, soprano and conductor
Music is Music, a film directed by Mathieu Amalric (20 minutes, 2017)
CD+DVD: Alpha 293 ⓟ Barbara Hannigan, Ludwig, Harrison Parrot & Alpha Classics / Outthere Music 2016; © Alpha Classics / Outthere Music France 2017
Intl. release: 22 September 2017
photo credit: Elmer de Haas
CRAZY GIRL CRAZY CONCERTS
with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
6 October 2017: Grenoble MC2
8 October 2017: Paris, Auditorium Maison de la Radio
CRAZY GIRL CRAZY CONCERTS
with Ludwig Orchestra
4 December 2017: Amsterdam, Het Concertgebouw
5 December 2017: Luxemburg, Philharmonie
7 December 2017: Vienna, Wiener Konzerthaus
11 December 2017: Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie
13 December 2017: Aix-en-Provence, Grande Théâtre de Provence
15 December 2017: Dortmund, Konzerthaus