Barbara Hannigan sings Let me tell you


Richard Wagner Overture Parsifal
Hans Abrahamsen Let me tell you
Jean Sibelius Lemminkäinen-Suite

Barbara Hannigan and Karina Canellakis profile Abrahamsens world hit Let me tell you with the elusive beauty of Wagner and Sibelius.

Abraham's muse: Barbara Hannigan

Hans Abrahamsen's song cycle Let me tell you became the world hit that contemporary music rarely is. After the first performance by soprano Barbara Hannigan and the Berlin Philharmonic under Andris Nelsons, the moving music was frequently performed by top conductors. Hannigan became for Abrahamsen the muse that Lotte Lenya was for Kurt Weill, and Cathy Berberian for Luciano Berio; her unique vocal qualities and creative input left an indelible mark on the form and content of Abrahamsen's magical music.

The 'ancient' magic of Wagner and Sibelius

In the Matinee, Abrahamsen's rarefied, tragic sound is fittingly framed by the soaring sounds of Wagner's Parsifal prelude and the monumental Lemminkaïnen-suite by the Finnish Einzelgänger Jean Sibelius. Sibelius does have more in common with Abrahamsen than his Nordic origins. What Herbert von Karajan said about Sibelius applies in full to the music of Abrahamsen. Their mysterious oeuvres lie like boulders in a no man's land. They seem ancient, and nobody knows how they got there. Don't ask how and why, take them as they are - and surrender to their incomprehensible beauty.

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Saturday 12 February 2022
The Royal Concertgebouw

Large Hall


Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
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Karina Canellakis
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Barbara Hannigan - photo: Marco Borggreve
Barbara Hannigan

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