An Italian Songbook – Chiltern Arts Festival
Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch in a new English version created and directed by Jeremy Sams and Christopher Glynn
For his final masterpiece, Hugo Wolf looked south — to Italy — and produced acollection of tiny jewel-like songs that paint a kaleidoscopic portrait of village life.
The men and women of his Italian Songbook fall in and out of love, with squabbles and petty jealousies heard alongside serenades and love songs of great beauty. Darker undercurrents also occasionally emerge in a songbook that Wolf filled with humour andcharm, sarcasm and tenderness, delight and despair.
Like Mozart, Wolf creates characters that are astonishingly precise, vivid and detailed, but also somehow universal. Taking inspiration from the world of Cosi fan tutte, this vibrant village community is recreated by four singers – friends and rivals in love and life – presided over by someone who has ‘seen it all’ but maybe has still much to learn…
Little things, though, mean a lot. And Wolf’s tiny scenes from village life paint a bigger picture – a whole world of human frailty, passion and pain.
Chiltern Arts is thrilled to be presenting the world premiere of this stunning new staging and translation.
Roderick Williams (baritone)
Rowan Pierce (soprano)
Kathryn Rudge (mezzo)
Nicky Spence (tenor)
James Newby (baritone)
Christopher Glynn (piano)