Linos Festival 2: Magic

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With the help of Debussy, Dukas and Boondiskulchok we bring fairy tales to life.

A frisky faun, a bewitched broom, and a girl-gone-goose! We all remember how lifelike characters like these appeared in our childhood fairy tales. Now, with the help of Debussy, Dukas & Boondiskulchok we bring stories like these to life – and to the stage – with a touch of magic.

You can read the full festival programme here.  

Programme

Claude Debussy – Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (arr. by Linos Piano Trio)

Paul Dukas – The Sorcerer's Apprentice (arr. by Linos Piano Trio)
Linos Piano Trio

Prach Boondiskulchok – Goose Daughter (2016) a quasi-operatic tragicomic song cycle based on the poem  „Tame“ by Sarah Howe (you can read the text here)
Herdís Anna, Prach, Konrad, Simone & Vladimir

Goose Daughter

Goose Daughter

a song cycle

for voice, violin, viola, cello and piano

  1. Proverb
  2. The Lychee Tree
  3. No Name
  4. Lullaby
  5. Profit, Loss

I. Proverb

“It is more profitable to raise geese than daughters.”

II. The Lychee Tree

This is the tale of the woodsman’s daughter.
Born with a box of ashes set beside the bed, in case.
Before the baby’s first cry, he rolled her face into the cinders – held it.
Weak from the bloom of too-much-blood, the new mother tried to stop his hand.
He dragged her out into the yard, flogged her with the usual branch.
If it was magic in the wood, they never said,
but she began to change: her scar-ridged back,
beneath his lashes, toughened to a rind;
it split and crusted into bark.
Her prone knees dug in the sandy ground
and rooted, questing for water,
as her work-grained fingers lengthened into twigs.
The tree – a lychee – he continued to curse as if it were his wife –
its useless, meagre fruit.
Meanwhile the girl survived.
Feathered in greyish ash, her face tucked in, a little gosling.

III. No Name

He called her Mei Ming: No Name.
She never learned to speak.
Her life maimed by her father’s sorrow.
For grief is a powerful thing – even for objects never conceived.
He should have dropped her down the well.
Then at least he could forget.
Sometimes when he set to work,
hefting up his axe to watch the cleanness of its arc,
she butted at his elbow – again, again – with her restive head,
till angry, he flapped her from him.
But if these silent pleas had meaning, neither knew.

IV. Lullaby

The child’s only comfort came from nestling under the lychee tree.
Its shifting branches whistled her wordless lullabies:
the lychees with their watchful eyes, the wild geese crossing overhead.
The fruit, the geese. They marked her seasons.
She didn’t long to join the birds,
if longing implies a will beyond the blindest instinct.
Then one mid-autumn,
she craned her neck so far to mark the geese
wheeling through the clouded hills – it kept on stretching – till it tapered in a beak. Her pink toes sprouted webs and claws;
her helpless arms found strength in wings.
The goose daughter soared to join the arrowed skein:
kin linked by a single aim and tide,
she knew their heading and their need. . .

(... so manchen süßen Traum.
Als riefen sie mir zu: “komm her zu mir,
Geselle, hier findst du deine … )

V. Profit, Loss

. . . They spent that year or more in flight,
but where – across what sparkling tundral wastes –
I’ve not heard tell.
Some say the fable ended there.
But those who know the ways of wild geese
know too the obligation to return, to their first dwelling place.

A woodsman snares a wild goose
that spirals clean into his yard – almost like it knows.
Gripping its sinewed neck
he presses it down into the wooden block,
cross-hewn from a lychee tree.
A single blow. Profit, loss.

Tame

by Sarah Howe

(with a fragment from Der Lindenbaum

in Winterreise by Franz Schubert)

About the festival

The Linos Festival is back and the theme this year is Stolen Music. The Linos Piano Trio explores this concept, derived from their transcriptions project, with the scintillating choice of music which has come to be expected from them. Alongside their guests this year Herdís Anna Jónasdóttir (soprano) and Simone von Rahden (née Jandl -  viola), they will navigate a colourful programme of chamber music standards, orchestral works, new music and more, including selected works from the trio’s second studio album “Stolen Music”, which will appear this summer, released by CAvi music and the Bayerischer Rundfunk. The Linos Festival is the only chamber music festival of its kind in Cologne and was founded by the trio in 2019. It is an expression of the musicians’ artistic vision: to expand the borders of classical chamber music as we know and experience it.  

Linos Piano Trio –  Artistic direction

The Linos Piano Trio brings together the members’ five nationalities and three musical voices into the single artistic vision of “reinventing the repertoire”. Pushing at the boundaries of the trio genre, Linos has, since its inception in 2007, championed hidden gems and created new trio transcriptions, alongside its fresh, personal and visceral performances of the core repertoire. 

Praised for its “slow-burning, gripping performance” by The Strad, and “virtuosity, presence of mind, and wit” by Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Linos Piano Trio’s reputation has taken it to prestigious stages and festivals internationally. With its pioneering spirit, the trio recorded the first complete recording of C.P.E. Bach’s Piano Trios (CAvi-music, 2020) which received several five-star reviews from across the European press.

Of the ensemble’s numerous awards and affiliations, the Linos Piano Trio was the First Prize and Audience Prize winner of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition 2015, the 2014 winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Albert and Eugenie Frost Prize, and since 2017 holds the position of Carne Ensemble-in-Residence at Trinity Laban Conservatoire.

Linos (Λῖνος), in Greek mythology, was a son of Apollo. He received from his father the three-stringed lute, and became known as the inventor of new melodies, lyric songs, and eloquent speech. He was the teacher of Heracles and his brother Orpheus.

Herdís Anna Jónasdóttir – Soprano

Herdís has taken part in various theater productions in Iceland, Germany and Switzerland. For her performance as Violetta Valery with the Icelandic Opera she received the Icelandic Theater Award, “Gríman”, as singer of the year. Herdís has given solo recitals in Iceland and in Germany and also been very active on the concert stage, performing with e.g. at the Carl Orff Festival, with The Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra, The Faroese Symphony Orchestra, The Saarland State Orchestra, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra in Australia and The Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. After her studies, Herdís spent time at the International Opera Studio at the Opera in Zürich and was engaged as a soloist at the Saarland State Theatre in Saarbrücken, Germany in 2013-2018. Born in Ísafjörður, Iceland she studied piano, violin and singing from an early age. In 2003 she continued her music studies, majoring in singing at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavik and graduated with a B.Mus. degree in 2006. Herdís continued her studies at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin where she graduated with a diploma and a Konzertexamen degree.

Simone von Rahden (née Jandl) – Viola

Violist Simone von Rahden has established herself as an internationally in-demand violist. She has toured the world with chamber music partners such as Sir András Schiff, Antoine Tamestit, and Tabea Zimmermann and has given solo performances with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln. She is a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Spira mirabilis project, and regularly plays with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Simone has been Principal Viola of the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona and has been guest Principal with the Philharmonia Orchestra London and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Historically informed performance also part of her repertoire, Simone is currently Principal Viola of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Most recently, she has taken teaching positions at both Hochschule für Musik „Hanns Eisler“ in Berlin and at Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock.

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