Song Project

The Haydn Song Project

The Haydn Song Project is an initiative of The Haydn Keyboard Project bringing to audiences in Britain and abroad a number of beautiful and captivating programmes of art song, performed by young singers and a pianist from London, Brussels and Amsterdam.

All the programmes include songs by Haydn – ranging from the Italian cantata Arianna a Naxos for voice and piano and his German Lieder to the English canzonettas – set into context and contrasted with works by other composers, such as Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Rossini, Britten, Debussy and Honegger.

The Haydn Song Project offers diverse audiences programmes of varying length and voice combinations so that a suitable choice can be made for any occasion.

The Haydn Keyboard Project was set up a few years ago to bring the keyboard and chamber music of Joseph Haydn closer to contemporary and future audiences and performers. The website features information on Haydn’s music as well as interviews with leading experts and recordings of selected works.  Associated musicians have performed works by Haydn in England, Wales, The Netherlands, Germany and Greece. Current and past supporters of the Haydn Keyboard Project include KLM, Schott Music International and the British Clavichord Society.

Artistic director of the Haydn Keyboard Project – pianist Cecily Lock – is a graduate of Oxford University and the Amsterdam Conservatory and currently specialises in piano accompaniment with Julius Drake and Malcolm Martineau at the Royal Academy of Music. Due to her international background and education she has many contacts with musicians from different backgrounds and locations and for The Haydn Song Project she has involved some of the very finest young, aspiring singers from Britain and abroad.

For more information, including availability of singers, fees and conditions, please contact Cecily Lock at cecily.lock@st-hildas.oxon.org.

Singers:

Alice Privett (soprano) – UK

Sónia Grané (soprano) – UK

Sara Owen (soprano) – UK

Martha Bosch (soprano) - NL

Lore Binon (soprano) – B

Yvonne Kok (mezzo) – NL

Esther Kuiper (mezzo) – NL

Rachel Kelly (mezzo) – UK

Sarah-Jane Lewis (mezzo) - UK

Stuart Jackson (tenor) – UK

Sam Furness (tenor) – UK

Martin Häßler (baritone / bass) - UK

Pianist:

Cecily Lock

Suggested Programmes:

Half an Hour of Haydn

30 mins, 1-2 singers

A taste of Haydn, featuring some of his best German, Italian and English songs. Ideal programme for a lunchtime concert.

Haydn & Britten - Commemorating Britten’s centenary year 2013

45 mins, 1-2 singers / 60 mins, 2-4 singers

A concert of English Song featuring a selection of Haydn’s and Britten’s best repertoire for voice and piano.

The idea to combine the music of these two great composers was inspired by the 1962 Decca gramophone recording of the second set of Haydn’s canzonettas and Britten’s Hölderlin-Fragments, with tenor Peter Pears and Britten himself at the piano.

During his second visit to London in 1794-5, Haydn wrote two sets of 6 canzonettas and two additional songs published separately. The texts of all of the songs were written or chosen by Haydn’s friend Anne Hunter, widow of the well-known surgeon Sir John Hunter.

Britten’s centenary year provides the perfect occasion for this interesting programme of two great composers working in different centuries, yet comparable in their musically appealing and structured compositional style and polished craftsmanship.

Heroes and Heroines in Art Song - From Ariadne to The Little Mermaid

45 mins, 1-2 singers / 90 mins, 2-4 singers

A programme of Italian, German, Norwegian and French Song – including Haydn’s cantata Arianna a Naxos for voice and piano - with texts referring to or telling the stories of heroes and heroines from Classical Antiquity right through to the 19th century.

This programme is very varied - musically as well as textually - and introduces the audience to a wide variety of art song. From Ariadne on Naxos to Iphigenia on Tauris, from Arne Garborg’s Haugtussa to Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid, from Joan of Arc to Mary Queen of Scots, this programme makes one think, dream and enter in imagination different lands and cultures.

The programme includes some of Schubert’s most famous settings as well as hidden jewels in the song repertory.

It is possible to book a 45-minute performance of music with just Ancient Greek and Roman heroes and heroines as the theme.

The Early Lied

45 mins, 1-3 singers / 60 mins, 2-4 singers

Art Song and the German Lied in particular is often connected with composer Franz Schubert who wrote more than 600 songs, including numerous master works still frequently performed today. A large number of songs and song cycles by later composers such as Schumann, Brahms, Mahler and Wolf have also entered the core repertoire and are enjoyed by performers and audiences around the world. However, the earlier, pre-Schubertian Lied, is, unjustifiably, rather unknown and neglected.

This programme features some of the gems of this repertoire as well as works by the very young Schubert. It includes settings by Haydn, Reichardt, Loewe, Tomášek and Beethoven of texts by Goethe, Gleim and Weisse.

Highlights of the programme include Schubert’s four Gretchen songs, Beethoven’s Selbstgespräch, Haydn’s Das Leben ist ein Traum and Der Greis for four voices and piano.

The audience, in this voyage of discovery, will be presented with well-known and less well-known settings of some of the most famous poetry of German literature alongside some hidden treasures.

Love and Obsession in Art Song

60 mins, 1-3 singers

This Programme centres around one of the most common themes of art song: Love and Obsession. It includes a selection of Haydn's songs to texts by Anne Hunter (with whom - according to rumours - he had a love affair), Debussy's early songs dedicated to his mistress Marie-Blanche Vasnier, and Schumann's Myrthen dedicated to his wife Clara.

From longing and separation to fidelity, loneliness, marriage and bravery this programme explores many expressions of love and obsession and shows how amorous emotions can be the driving force behind some of the best creative output of composers. The programme is a celebration of love and art song and includes repertoire in different languages and from different centuries.