Ian Bostridge is a singer as exceptional as he is atypical. First, because he began his professional career late, after studying philosophy and history at Oxford and Cambridge and posting a brilliant doctorate on the history of witchcraft.
But what distinguishes him above all is his voice, probably one of the most striking and moving today. He possesses a remarkable sense of text and diction, an unsettling timbre and a musical intelligence that together lend a highly personal vision to each of the works he interprets.
Acclaimed in all the major venues throughout the world, from London to New York, his sober and magnetic presence is unforgettable.
A formidable interpreter of the baroque, he is equally admirable in the English repertoire and the German Lieder. His recordings run from Handel to Janácek, and memorably include Britten (an exceptional Folk Songs and Illuminations), Schubert (Winterreise) and Schumann (Dichterliebe).
Schubert’s compositional range for voice is prodigious. Rather than the larger and more famous cycles (Winterreise, Schwanengesang), Ian Bostridge performs in Lille a varied array of melodies from the composer’s oeuvre. Whether transcribing into music the works of the classic poets (Goethe, Schiller) or the artists of his own generation, Schubert always finds their quintessential musical expression.
Following this first half devoted to German song, the rest of the programme is devoted to French melody: Claude Debussy, with Les Fetes Galantes based on the superb collection of poems by Verlaine, a reference to the elegant and frivolous society of the 18th century ; Faure, whose melodies are among the most successful of the genre by virtue of their refinement, their intimacy, their reflection; Britten who, as part of his immense output, also set to music a number of French texts.
Programme of melodies and lieder:
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Das Heimweh, Sehnsucht, Bei dir Allein,
Im Freien, Der Wanderer an den Mond, Das Zügenglöcklein, Die Perle,
Freiwilliges Versinken, Der zürnenden Diana, Lied das Gefangenen Jägers, Normans Gesan.
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Fetes Galantes II.
Gabriel Faure (1845-1924)
Fleur Jetee, Le Berceaux, Au bord de l’eau, Prison, Clair de Lune, Nell.
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
La belle est un jardin d’amour, Eho! Eho!, Quand j’etais chez mon pere.
Ian Bostridge Tenor
Julius Drake Piano
2H with intermission
Individual ticket sales start Saturday 12 September 2009 at 9 a.m.