What is The Art Song Project?
Who are we? Hélène Lindqvist – swedish-egyptian soprano and Philipp Vogler – pianist, conductor, composer and professor at the University of Music in Munich Germany.
What about the music? Anyone looking through a music encyclopedia will find that a fraction of the composers listed are actually played in concert halls all over the world. Of course the repertoire differs a bit so that you will hear more french composers in France than in Germany or Finland for example. The variety of music played at one specific concert hall of course also depends on the interest and focus of the artistic director. This could be „18th century music“ or „contemporary classics“ etc.
But Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Mahler, to name a few, are omnipresent.
To hear a symphony by Heinrich von Herzogenberg or chamber music by Rebecca Clarke, you will probably have to travel further than to your local town hall. Unknown music doesn‘t draw a crowd. Dwindling attention from the audiences puts pressure on the organizers. So they play it safe with popular symphonic repertoire. Chamber music concerts are rare, and art song concerts only ever reach break-even financially with the big names.
Happily there are record labels off-mainstream that make it possible to at least hear unpopular music on CD.
One might ask why these composers are so obscure. Isn‘t there something like a natural selection taking place to let only the highest-quality music reach immortality? Yes and no. Of course there were always composers writing boring music around. Famous composers no exception. But it certainly would be a mistake to think a composer probably is of little interest only because he‘s unknown.
Stay with us. There’s much to explore.