24/04/2012: gmp Musitecture # 88

Lieder and poems of the Romantic period – Heinrich Heine and Robert Schumann

gmp Musitecture
Lieder and poems of the Romantic period
Marianne Kaiser
Philipp Jekal
Thomas Benke
Tuesday 24 April 2012,
19:30 hours
gmp Berlin, Hardenbergstrasse 4-5

Please register via telephone
or email by
17 April 2012
030 617 855
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The poet Heinrich Heine, one of the most important German writers of the 19th century, is the focus of the programme featuring Marianne Kaiser (recitation), Philipp Jekal (baritone) and Thomas Benke (piano). The programme includes poems, texts and lieder, such as from the Dichterliebe cycle by Robert Schumann, based on texts by Heinrich Heine. Robert Schumann and Heinrich Heine have more in common than the year of their death, 1856. Schumann has put more than 40 of Heine’s poems to music – more than of any other poet. However, they only met once in person – in 1828. The Dichterliebe cycle, Opus 48, based on texts by Heine, is still today considered as the pinnacle in the history of lieder, where poetry and music come together in the most artistic fashion.

Marianne Kaiser joined the Weimar Drama School at the age of 16 and one year later started the singing masterclass given by Prof. Martienssen-Lohmann at the Franz-Liszt Academy for Music, which is also in Weimar. She received her first contract at the age of 20 as coloratura singer at the Erfurt Opera, then at the Schwerin State Theatre, and later at the Anhalt Theatre in Dessau.

During her career she gave guest performances as Queen of the Night at large GDR theatres including the German State Opera House, Berlin. She also regularly performed at the Opera House in Leipzig. Today, Marianne Kaiser is voice teacher at the Kurt Weill School of Music in Dessau, where she prepares young students for study as singers and for their careers as opera singers.

Thomas Benke was born in 1968 in the Vogtland and started piano lessons at the age of nine. In 1987 he started to study the piano at the Franz Liszt Academy for Music in Weimar, and continued his studies in 1989 under Prof. Pál Gerö at the Pécs branch of the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest. He studied chamber music under Prof. Pál Angster. In 1991 he continued his studies at the Cologne Academy of Music under Prof. Neuhaus and achieved his artistic vocational qualification for university entry. During that time he drew inspiration from the Norwegian singer Kristin Guha who was also instrumental in fostering new artistic encounters. Since 1998, Thomas Benke has been tutor and lecturer at the G.-Ph.-Telemann Conservatory at Magdeburg as well as performing at numerous concerts as soloist, accompanist, and as part of a chamber music ensemble, at home and abroad, with the Romanian Stefan Ruha (now deceased) amongst others. During 2000 to 2003 he honed his piano skills with Klaus Eidmann in Detmold. Thomas Benke considers himself an admirer of the old school.

The young musician Philipp Jekal, born in Dessau in 1992, received his first singing lessons from Marianne Kaiser at the Kurt Weill School of Music in Dessau. In 2009 and 2011 he was awarded the Federal prize in the "Jugend musiziert" (young musicians) competition in the "Lieder" and "Solo" categories. In 2010 he took part in a song interpretation masterclass given by Ruth Ziesak and Ulrich Eisenlohr. He received a study grant from the Bruno Frey Foundation.  In the autumn of 2011 Philipp Jekal started to study singing under KS Roland Schubert at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Academy for Music and Theatre. He also attends the class for lieder singing given by Phillip Moll. He attended another masterclass given by Peter Kooij in 2012.

Programme excerpt

Robert Schumann

Opus 24, pieces from the Liederkreis (1840)
Morgens steh ich auf und frage
Es treibt mich hin
Ich wandelte unter den Bäumen

Opus 48, lieder from the Dichterliebe cycle (1840)
Aus alten Märchen winkt es
Im wunderschönen Monat Mai
Wenn ich in deine Augen seh
Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen
Allnächtlich im Traume
Die alten, bösen Lieder

Franz Schubert
Das Fischermädchen
D 957 from the Swan Song cycle (1828)

Interspersed with poems
by Heinrich Heine