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New CD by Burkhardt Söll with songs and dances
Venus & Adonis - a modern version
Amsterdam, Tue, 30. Dec 2003A compilation of lyrics by William Shakespeare and Manuela du Bois-Reymond was set to music by Burkhardt Söll and others, resulting in a new approach to the classical myth.

The classical myth of Venus and Adonis tells the dramatic story of frustrated love. Reading Shakespeare's version of the myth, however, Burkhardt Söll thought that the story could also be seen as an early attempt of humour in human history.
Manuela du Bois-Reymond arranged eight couplets from Shakespeare's extensive poem for him and added some lyrics of her own. In that way the story was transferred into the present.
Between the vocal parts, sung by mezzosoprano Judith Gennrich and accompanied by guitarist Juliane Tief, we hear dance music improvised on various instruments by Leo de Klerk, Hans Greeve and Burkhardt Söll. These pieces, with titles as "Adonis falls in love" and "Adonis' farewell" form an integrated part of the story.
The CD-ROM section contains a short film with impressions from the premiere in Saxdorf, Germany and a performance in Leyden, The Netherlands.

A Musical Journey through a Magic Garden
'Peter's Garden' now on CD
Leyden (NL), Fri, 4. Oct 2002'Peter's Garden' is a song-cycle for mezzo-soprano, flute, cello and guitar with lyrics by Manuela du Bois-Reymond, who gained inspiration when painting in a beautiful garden in Saxdorf (Germany). The composition makes use of genres varying from folk-song to complex arias and 12-tone pieces.

Some 90 kms north of Dresden, in the southern part of Brandenburg (Germany), lies the village of Saxdorf. Here the painter Hanspeter Bethke turned the local vicarage's garden into a true paradise, with 3000 different plants and 300 different types of roses, disposed with an huge variety of forms and full of surprises.
'Peter's Garden' is a song-cycle for mezzo-soprano, flute, cello and guitar, with lyrics by Manuela du Bois-Reymond. The writer was actually sitting in Peters Garten when the lyrics spontaneously came into being: She was painting in water colours, and while doing so she wrote poetical words into her paintings in a way that text and picture came to form a close unity. It turned into a poetical water colour-text-diary, allowing the reader to share the inspiring moments of observing and painting. The lyrics are based on three days' work in the garden on various places and with different atmospheres.
These small poetical pictures held a great attraction for composer Burkhardt Söll. In his musical version the singer impersonates the painter-poet, while the instruments in solo or duet describe the beauty of the garden. For his composition Söll chose a great variety of forms: chanson, folksong, speech-song, complex arias and 12-note compositions: A small compendium of singing so to say.
One special melody flows like a Leitmotiv through all pieces, viz. the one that Augustin Harder wrote for Paul Gerhardt's 'Geh aus mein Herz und suche Freud'. The melody was heard by the composer in his youth from a schoolteacher of his, Fräulein Larose, and had remained stuck in his mind ever since. It was taken apart into tiny pieces and served as building material for almost every piece of 'Peter's Garden'.

Barbara Ochs, mezzo-soprano; Juliane Tief, guitar; Lutz Wagner, cello; Friederike Wiechert, flute.
Bloomline CDBS 0201


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