Personal notes by the artists on the program, which focusses on the theme of „lovers“
Strauss, Mozart, Schubert – What do these composers mean to you?
The labels “Mozart soprano” and “Strauss soprano” are often said to be practically indistinguishable. Indeed, in terms of melodic style, the two composers are not that far apart. Mozart suits my voice well, and the same is true of Richard Straus’s light lyrical repertoire.
Then Schubert, with his astoundingly vast lieder output and his variety of musical expression, holds a special place for me. Every time I prepare a recital, these almost inexhaustible treasures take me on a delightful journey of surprising discoveries, and that is what my life as a lieder interpreter is all about.….. Every piece on this CD has a special appeal for me.
For a pianist, Mozart and Schubert are a matter of course! Mozart wrote a number of keyboard sonatas (and the violin sonatas!) along with a multitude of piano concertos: his Lieder come as an added attraction. They are marvelous gems. And any pianist who decides to go further than Schubert’s solo piano works in order to delve into his seemingly infinite world of 600 Lieder-treasures comes out a happier man.
In every Strauss song I find that the timbre is unique: an atmosphere you can experience only in Strauss territory, that special luminosity of sound, the silvery tone.……….
Mozart’s, Schubert’s, and Strauss’s songs are core German lieder repertoire, and they are pivotal and essential material for singers worldwide.
Mozart and Strauss are the linchpins and cornerstones of our soprano careers on the opera stage…… (Excerpts from the booklet interview with both artists)
Katharina Konradi was born in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and is the first soprano from that country to
have an international career as a lied, concert and opera singer.
Since the beginning of the 2018/19 season, she has been a member of the ensemble of Hamburg State Opera, where she covers the major light lyric soprano roles onstage. In the same season she made her début as Zdenka in Arabella by Richard Strauss at the Semperoper in Dresden.
In 2019 she was recruited to sing the Young Shepherd in Tannhäuser at Bayreuth. In the fall of 2018 Katharina Konradi was selected by the BBC New Generation Artists support and concert programme, and has formed part of it ever since.
After having won First Prize at the renowned German National Music Competition (Deutscher Musikwettbewerb) in 2016, Konradi was engaged to guest with renowned orchestras including the NDR Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Orchestre de Paris, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, MDR RSO, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and the Bavarian RSO, collaborating with conductors such as Manfred Honeck, Paavo Järvi, Kent Nagano, and Daniel Harding. She is frequently invited to work together with the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble and their conductor Thomas Hengelbrock.
Katharina Konradi is committed to artsong. In a series of evening recital programmes she has made guest appearances in the Lieder series at Cologne Philharmonie, at the Schubertiada in Vilabertran, at Wigmore Hall in London, and at the Schubertiade in Hohenems (which is where she recorded her first solo CD). Lieder recitals at Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, at the Boulez Hall in Berlin, at the Heidelberg Spring Festival, and at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg are on her 2020/21 agenda.
Chamber music partners include the Schumann Quartet and Trio Gaspard. Katharina Konradi was Rolando Villazón’s guest in the ARTE TV program Stars of tomorrow, and was also interviewed by ARTE for a film documentary on Clara Schumann.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose actual name is Joannes Chrysotomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a composer, pianist, violinist and conductor from the classical period, born in Salzburg. Mozart was a child prodigy. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. Along with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, Mozart is considered to be one of the most influential composers of all of music's history. Within the classical tradition, he was able to develop new musical concepts which left an everlasting impression on all the composers that came after him. Together with Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven he is part of the First Viennese School. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court, but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position. From 1763 he traveled with his family through all of Europe for three years and from 1769 he traveled to Italy and France with his father Leopold after which he took residence in Paris. On July 3rd, 1778, his mother passed away and after a short stay in Munich with the Weber family, his father urged him to return to Salzburg, where he was once again hired by the Bishop. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death.