Johannes Martin Kränzle, Baritone
Hilko Dumno, Piano
Eternal Mysteries – Judaism and Christianity in Song
Gustav Mahler Extracts from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn"
Frank Martin Six "Jedermann" Songs (Texts: Hugo von Hofmannsthal)
Maurice Ravel "Deux mélodies hébraïques" (Texts: Aramaic / Traditional )
Richard Rudolf Klein Twelve Zwölf Yiddisch Songs (Traditional)
The programme opens with extracts from Mahler's "Des Knaben Wunderhorn". This stunning collection of texts by Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano encompasses a kaleidoscope of topics, from soldier's songs to iconic animal ballads and tender folk songs. Composed in Mahler's unique musical language, the work is also interesting for its deliberate use of traditional Yiddish phrases, for example in the "Fischpredigt" (St. Anthony of Padua's Sermon to the Fish) or "Lob des hohen Verstandes" (Praise of Lofty Intellect).
"Jedermann" (Everyman), based on several Medieval mystery plays, is a 1911 drama by the Austrian playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal. In 1943, Swiss composer Frank Martin composed six monologues based on the main character Jedermann. After travelling through many varied psychological stages, and arriving at the end of a dissolute life, the protagonist is finally brought to insight and to the Christian faith.
Maurice Ravel composed "Deux mélodies hébraïques" in 1914 as part of his "Chansons populaires". The firs song, "Kaddich", is a Jewish-Aramaic creed and praise to God, while the second, "L'énigme éternelle: Monde tu nous interroges", has a traditional Yiddish text. Richard Rudolf Klein, professor at the Frankfurt University of Performing Arts and Dr. Hoch's Conservatory also utilised this text for his "Twelve Yiddish Songs", alongside eleven other Yiddish texts. The cycle very effectively describes the everyday life, customs, wisdom and peculiarities of the religious Yiddish community.