Friday, November 25, 2011

Eric Owens Discusses the Joy of Recitals in His Career

What's your sense of where recital singing fits into the imagination of the listening public? There are die-hard fans of lieder -- it's a lot of great repertoire -- but it can be difficult for some. The intimacy is something I like as a performer and as a listener.

How is it different for you as a singer to approach that repertoire? It can be daunting; there's so much out there. As a recitalist, you're able to be your own artistic director, setting the flow and arc of the evening. The first half of this recital, for example, is unified around the texts, starting with the Wolf, which is serious and somber. The Schumann next, a depressed, tortured soul -- I don't know what it is about depression and artistic release, but it produces such amazing stuff. The Schubert some people won't have heard; there are a couple of precursors to Wagner, in their lush harmonies. Then I'll cleanse the palate with Debussy, open the windows a bit. The Duparc shows the composer taking a sturdier approach; the Ravel Don Quichotte songs I just adore. The Wagner song, which quotes the Marseillaise, seemed like a fitting way to end the second half.

Read the full interview
here.

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