Esme Bronwen-Smith and Avishka Edirisinghe

Friday 25 March 2022
1:05pm - 1:55pm
Clothworkers' Centenary Concert Hall
Concerts and performances
General public

In partnership with Leeds Lieder and Schubert Institute UK, Esme Bronwen-Smith (mezzo-soprano) and Avishka Edirisinghe (piano) explore the journey of The Tortured Artist in this varied recital.

To love is to suffer and there can be no love otherwise.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

From Schubert through to Schoenberg, the programme shines a light on songs exploring themes of obsession, devotion and war.

Whether it be the passionate obsession portrayed in Schubert’s ‘Heimliches Lieben’ or the persecuted artist in Poulenc’s ‘Le Disparu’, this programme examines the complicated relationship between Artist and Muse (and the subsequent trouble that comes with this relationship!).

Featuring works from the likes of Alma Mahler and Duparc, this programme also explores works by composers who could be considered ‘Tortured Artists’ in their own right. For example, Alma Mahler’s rocky and sometimes violent relationship with her husband Gustav Mahler no doubt influenced her voice as an artist, producing harmonically dense and passionate works such as ‘Laue Sommernacht’.

In this recital, Esme and Avishka hope to leave you pondering on the question: ‘Does suffering feed the creative process, or hinder it?’

Franz Schubert – ‘Der Musensohn’, op 92, no 1
Franz Schubert – ‘Heimliches Lieben’
Franz Schubert – ‘Lachen und Weinen’, op 59, no. 4
Franz Schubert – ‘Ständchen’ “Horch, horch”

Francis Poulenc – Banalités no 5, ‘Sanglots’
Francis Poulenc – ‘Le Disparu’
Claude Debussy – ‘Noël des enfants qui n’ont plus de maison’

Arnold Schoenberg – Brettl-Lieder no 6 ‘Galathea’
Alma Mahler – Fünf Lieder, ‘Laue Sommernacht’
Alma Mahler – Fünf Lieder, ‘Bei dir ist es traut’
Alma Mahler – Fünf Lieder, ‘Ich wandle unter Blumen’

Errollyn Wallen – ‘About here’
Dilys Elwyn Edwards – ‘The Cloths of Heaven’
Francis Poulenc – ‘La Grenouillère’
Henri Duparc – ‘Phydilé