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"Her voice is purple, of engaging warmth, radiant in the high register, beguiling in the diction even in the songs without words: The soprano Katharina Konradi, a member of the ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera, has come to the Boulez Saal together with the Trio Gaspard for a Russian song recital.

Russian, these days? The singer from Kyrgyzstan makes her point right at the beginning when she sings the fourth of Beethoven's Russian folk song arrangements in Ukrainian as a gesture of solidarity for the people there suffering from Putin's war.  

Yes, Beethoven also arranged Russian songs, a commissioned work with which the sponsor was not satisfied: the result was too skilful. By the way, one is about mosquitoes. In their song journey , Konradi and the congenially sensitive trio (Jonian Ilias Kadesha, Vashti Hunter , Nicholas Rimmer) focus primarily on those passages that disturb or transcend the folksy, sometimes bold, sometimes pale and deathly pale, sometimes aiming for the mystical. Jewish, Slavic, funeral music, lullabies, anti-war tunes: the ensemble demonstrates the diversity of what is otherwise often shortened to the cipher "Russian soul".

The program includes less well-known works by dissidents, those who were harassed and displaced: Shostakovich's early Piano Trio in C minor, some of his Preludes op. 34 arranged for violin and piano (delicious, the distorted, splintering A-flat major waltz) and his seven songs based on poems by Alexander Block. In addition, the exiles Sofia Gubaidulina, Lera Auerbach and Stravinsky and, conversely, Mieczysław Weinberg, who fled from Poland to Russia to escape the Nazis.

In his "Jewish Songs" op. 13, the four cover the entire spectrum, from cheerful homage to freshly baked rolls to laments about the dead of Auschwitz."

- Taggesspiegel April 2023

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