Soprano Diana Damrau is an international sensation. Known around the globe as one of the most sensitive interpreters of song and operatic roles, she is making her Celebrity Series of Boston recital debut on Sunday, December 4 at 3pm at NEC’s Jordan Hall. She will partner with harpist Xavier de Maistre, a rare musical combination for a vocal recital. Of a recent recital at Carnegie Hall, The New York Times proclaimed, “How much personality, how much dramatic fire, can you fit into the narrow dynamic range between pianissimo and mezzo piano — between really quiet and pretty quiet — and still project to the last row…A great deal, as it turns out.”
As one of the most sought-after interpreters of song, her recital will comprise of mostly French songs by Debussy, Hahn, Chausson, Duparc, and others, as well as a set of German songs by Strauss, and two harp solo arrangements for Mr. de Maistre. In advance of this weekend’s recital, Ms. Damrau spoke with the Celebrity Series by email to share some special insights about the program.
When asked why she decided to sing these songs with a harp rather than with a piano, Ms. Damrau replied that “The duo with harp is incomparable with the usual voice and piano duo. For me none replaces the other. Especially the French mélodies and Strauss songs match the possibilities of the harp very well. We are presenting a selection of our favorites of the French repertoire. “While looking forward to the entire recital experience, she is most looking forward to “L’invitation au voyage” by Duparc, a haunting melody of longing for the future in a new land full of beauty and delight. The gently rolling piano accompaniment originally composed for the song translates into the harp’s instrumentation with ease.
Of the recital, with such lush and moving music, Damrau invites you to “come and listen” to the unique sounds of the voice and harp for this one-of-a-kind musical experience. In the intimate setting of Jordan Hall, you will never be closer to what is sure to be a captivating afternoon of music making at the highest level.