News - 02 Jul 2024

Jonathan Lemalu, Bass soloist, in 'Journeys'

Vocally, these Mahler songs demand the full range, from top to bottom, absolute lyricism and theatrical word painting, and with orchestra the vividness of the story lines is wonderfully HD and the emotions and textures palpable.

Mahler’s songs always have a wonderfully supportive orchestral landscape, and often as a singer it’s about getting out of the way and allowing the music to lead and guide, often with the singer being like David Attenborough observing and commenting, whether dramatic or jovial in nature. I personally prefer these songs with orchestra to piano - a drummer boy without a drum seems a little underwhelming!

These have always been among my favourites - it is very easy to see this cinematically - the darkness, smell of death, sensing physical and emotional exhaustion, fear, foreboding, a young man having to grow up too quickly and feel things they should never have to - a cautionary tale of war. I hope the audience sees and hears the theatrical relevance of these vignettes and the kaleidoscope of colours and vistas which voice and orchestra evoke, whether you laugh and/or cry. One of the songs, “Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt”, always reminds me of a scene from 'Finding Nemo'!

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