Saltar para: Posts [1], Pesquisa [2]

luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Barbara Hannigan: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Jan. 26, 2018 | Tom Huizenga -- In these days of wireless earbuds, streams and podcasts, the notion of people gathering to hear a lone classical singer (with a pianist) perform densely structured art songs in a foreign tongue seems almost laughably quaint.

Yet the vocal recital, as a performance genre, is still alive. And one of the most memorable recitals I've witnessed in a long time sits on this page, in a condensed form, thanks to the extraordinary soprano Barbara Hannigan and her accompanist Reinbert de Leeuw.

The night before this Tiny Desk concert, the two musicians gave a beautiful and intense recital at Washington's Kennedy Center. The songs, all in German, came from a heady period in Vienna, when music was transitioning from the swells of romanticism to the uncharted waters of modernism. Four of those songs make up this Tiny Desk performance. The bonus here is that these impassioned dispatches become even more intimate.

Consider the opening song, Alexander Zemlinsky's "Empfängnis" (Conception). The harmonies are sweet, but almost too rich, like overripe fruit, when Hannigan sings lines like, "Und wie ich sehend meine Arme breite" (And as I open my arms with longing). You can hear the end of a musical era.

An indefatigable champion of new and modern music, Hannigan (who is also a conductor) has given the world premieres of more than 80 pieces. The voice is simply gorgeous — silvery, buttery-smooth throughout the registers, with crystalline top notes emerging from thin air and charged with emotion.

In Alma Mahler's "Licht in der Nacht" (Light in the Night), Hannigan taps into the mysterious sparkle of a little yellow star twinkling through black skies as de Leeuw's piano explores wayward harmonies. Hugo Wolf's "Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt" (Only One Who Knows Longing) is a hymn to the yearning heart. De Leeuw explains that the key of G minor, in which the song is written, never materializes. It's all about the longing for G minor.

The final song, "Schenk mir deinen goldenen Kamm" (the first music by Arnold Schoenberg to grace the Tiny Desk), offers a double dose of sensuality. Hannigan's beautiful middle register and creamy phrasing paint the scene: Jesus asks Mary Magdalene for her comb because it will remind him every morning that she once kissed his hair. Hannigan calls the song "erotic" and she delivers on that feeling when, at the end, she cries out the name "Magdalena" with a lustrous, silken tone, touched with anguish.

Hannigan told the audience that her Kennedy Center recital felt like "a sacred moment of people coming together in very deep concentration." At this Tiny Desk recital, it happened all over again.


Alexander Zemlinsky: "Empfängnis"
Alma Mahler: "Licht in der Nacht"
Hugo Wolf: "Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt"
Arnold Schoenberg: "Schenk mir deinen goldenen Kamm"


Barbara Hannigan (soprano), Reinbert de Leeuw (piano)


Producers: Tom Huizenga, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Alyse Young; Page Turner: Suraya Mohamed; Production Assistant: Salvatore Maicki; Photo: Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR


L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France interprète la Symphonie n°86 en Ré Majeur Hob. I : 86 de Joseph Haydn, sous la direction de Barbara Hannigan. Concert enregistré et filmé le 25 janvier 2019 à l'Auditorium de Radio France à Paris.

Hannigan does Mozart.

Barbara Hannigan performs three Mozart Arias with Gothenburg Symphony at a concert recorded 12 April 2013.
- Vado, Ma Dove?
- Un moto di gioia (from The Marriage of Figaro)
- Misera, Dove Son


Filmed by Måns Pär Fogelberg
This was recorded as a documentation filming only at first, but since we love it so much we decided to publish it as well. Therefore the filming standard is not as vivid as normal at

György Ligeti - Mysteries of the Macabre

György Ligeti - Mysteries of the Macabre

London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle

Barbara Hannigan - Soprano


Le grand macabre (1974–77, revised version 1996) is György Ligeti's only opera. The opera has two acts and its libretto – based on the 1934 play, La balade du grand macabre, by Michel De Ghelderode – was written by Ligeti in collaboration with Michael Meschke, director of the Stockholm puppet theatre. The original libretto was written in German, as Der grosse Makaber, but for the first production was translated into Swedish by Meschke under its current title (Griffiths and Searby 2003). The opera has been performed also in English, French, Italian, Hungarian and Danish. Only a few notes need be changed to perform the opera in any of these languages.

Three arias from the opera were prepared in 1992 for concert performances under the title Mysteries of the Macabre. Versions exist for soprano or for trumpet, accompanied by orchestra, reduced instrumental ensemble, or piano.