DAMRAU, Diana (c) Jiyang Chen

Diana Damrau is one of the best sopranos in the world. Mrs. Damrau will perform at Palau de la Música Catalana with Xavier de Maistre.

What feeling do you have about the Palau de la Música Catalana? And what do you think about Barcelona?

Back for the second time to perform at the Palau de la Música Catalana, I am very happy and very much looking forward to be back after our recital with Helmut Deutsch and Jonas Kaufmann „Das Italienische Liederbuch“. I have brought you another interesting programme in a special constellation. 

Just having performed Ophélie in Thomas’ opera „Hamlet“ at the Liceu I am excited to come back to your beautiful town with all its art and music and its great people (and weather :-) )

How it mean to be on the stage with Xavier de Maistre? And with a special instrument as the harp? 

With the harp soloist and virtuoso Xavier de Maistre I am performing for over 10 years already and we are happy to present you our completely new 5th programme!

The harp is a wonderful harmonic instrument and comes from the lyra the actual first instrument of accompaniment. It can do much more than a lot of us can imagine. Since our first session and going through songs with Xavier I was quite surprised and we immediately decided to create a programme together. Xavier has a great understanding for poetry and singers and is an ideal partner on the stage.

Singing with the harp is different than with the piano, you are a bit more exposed as a singer, you can do anything and also have a bigger spectre in the softer sounds, but a shorter „reverberation“.

Not everything can be played with the harp (like for example strong and repetitive chordal scores like in Schuberts "Erlkönig"), but I would say maybe 85% of the song repertoire can. We performed for instance the „Zigeunerlieder" of Dvorak as well as many songs by Richard Strauss. A repertoire you would not think first when thinking of the harp.

How would you describe the repertoire that you will sing?

This time the repertoire is slightly romantic and pastel… we could name it „souffle romantique“.

We have chosen selections of songs by Mendelssohn, Rachmaninov, Vlasov, Hahn, Ravel and Poulenc. Xavier will also perform 2 matching solo pieces for harp. 

The Mendelssohns come out of the tradition of „Hausmusik“, are mainly strophic and simpler as the more impressionist Rachmaninov which have an important accompaniment as a real partner in expression, dialogue and atmosphere. You can feel the russian soul. With the french songs in the 2nd half of the programme we have a lot of different colours and harmonics, sonorous, airy, „chansonesque" and folkloric to the great harmonics of Poulenc with his intellect and humor. 

But the best is to listen and enjoy these beautiful pieces of music with hidden treasures of rarely performed songs.

Four questions for... Diana Damrau