After the huge success of her GRAMMY Award-winning first album for Alpha, Crazy Girl Crazy, Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan is back with her longtime collaborator and mentor, the great figure of twentieth-century music, Dutch pianist Reinbert de Leeuw.
For this new recital album, the duo explores the roots of modern music with composers who went on to lead a musical revolution: Arnold Schoenberg, Hugo Wolf, Anton Webern, Alexander Zemlinsky, Alma Mahler and Alban Berg. Vienna: Fin de Siècle presents a vision of Vienna at the height of late Romanticism, when music was at its most lush and decadent, at the edge of tonality and full of voluptuous beauty. Featuring composers for whom text and song were inseparable, the album captures the rich and intense moment before the disruption of the harmonic language of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hannigan and de Leeuw have long championed the exquisite repertoire from this époque.
“Their partnership is total” – New York Magazine
Reinbert de Leeuw, who founded the Schoenberg Ensemble in 1974, comments: “For me, this is perhaps the most extraordinary period in music history, those 10-15 years…what composers could do with the infinite possibilities of finding double meaning in harmony and dissonance, dissolving together into such an incredibly rich language, full of possibility.”
Barbara Hannigan’s musical collaboration with Reinbert de Leeuw dates back to 1999. During almost 20 years of close music-making and friendship, they have performed a wealth of repertoire across 14 countries. The critical and public reception to their performances of this Viennese repertoire – which they have performed for over 10 years and toured all over Europe and North America – has been extraordinary.
“…pianist Reinbert de Leeuw alternated between the role of an absolutely reserved, inconspicuous and infallibly reliable partner…and an unleashing of almost orchestral sonority”
– Der Standard
Vienna: Fin de Siècle is Hannigan’s second recording with Reinbert de Leeuw, having previously released Erik Satie’s Socrate, to widespread acclaim.
On 8 September 2018 a special concert will take place at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw to celebrate Reinbert de Leeuw’s 80th birthday, at which the album will be exclusively available to buy. As well as appearances by other leading musicians, Hannigan will perform Satie’s Socrate with de Leeuw during the already sold-out concert.
Embodying the music with her inimitable dramatic sensibility, Barbara Hannigan is feted for her peerless performances. The coming season 2018-19 will see her continue her trajectory as today’s complete modern artist: soprano, conductor, mentor. She will: conduct her first opera; give numerous high-profile concerts as conductor or soprano – or both – with world-class ensembles including London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; create the title role in the world première of Michael Jarrell’s opera Bérénice at Opéra de Paris’s Palais Garnier; and launch the first season of Equilibrium Young Artists, Hannigan’s ground-breaking mentorship initiative that works with musicians during the first phase of their professional careers. Initial performances will be given by Equilibrium soloists with Gothenberg Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic and Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, all conducted by Hannigan, followed by a multi-date European tour.
“Hannigan has an ability to create colours of exceptional poetic beauty” – Financial Times
Vienna : Fin de Siècle
ALPHA393 1 CD
ALPHA432 2 LP double vinyl collectors’ edition
Digital release: 24 August 2018
International release date: 14 September 2018
The Netherlands: 1 October (as part of the Aangenaam Klassiek promotion). The album will be available to purchase exclusively at the Reinbert 80 concert at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw on 8 September https://bit.ly/2Lr4W1B
UK: 21 September
photo credit: Elmer de Haas