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SONGS OF A WAYFARER
"The International Art Song Competition held by the Hugo Wolf Academy in Stuttgart was the birthplace of this CD. During the competition, Fiona Pollak and I took a certain amount of musical risks and were ultimately rewarded with the First Prize, as well as with the opportunity to record this CD. We
thus extend our most heartfelt thanks to SWR, to CAvi-music, and to all the organizers for their trust and support!
This recording features songs by composers from the period of the kaiserlich-und-königlich Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary around the turn of the 20th century. We wanted to venture outside our comfort zone to discover as many different timbres and new songs as possible. We have selected composers from the Austro-Hungarian Empire of that time, including the region of Vojvodina, which is now part of Serbia.
The variety of art songs featured here not only reflects the Austro-Hungarian period, but also the Austria of today, along with each of our individual artistic personalities. We are two musicians with entirely different origins and religious backgrounds: Austria is where we met and started making music together.
Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer form this recording’s dramatic nucleus.We found it fascinating to present this cycle in a rarely performed higher version for tenor. In our view, the Songs of a Wayfarer serve here as a prologue, a foreshadowing, and a summing up of the content you will encounter in the
remaining songs on this CD. The wayfarer’s story begins with Frühlingsmorgen, a morning in spring. In Franz Léhar‘s two songs he discovers love for the first time. However, he undergoes his first emotional transformation, associated with the first heartache, in Hugo Wolf’s Der Mond hat eine schwere Klag’ erhoben (The moon has raised a grave complaint). From there we wander into the Balkan mountain range, to the Vojvodina region on the Danube. In Elegie the wayfarer expresses his pain and sorrow. Along with the change of mood, the language changes, as well. It comes with the heartfelt yearning to turn back time.
Childhood reminiscences emerge in the thoughts of the wayfarer, who by now has grown older. He returns to his homeland. A confrontation with death, along with a meditation upon its meaning, comes in the songs of Brahms, and Mahler. In the epilogue Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (I am lost to the world), we come full circle. The wayfarer finally attains the inner peace for which he so yearned..." © 2019 Ilker Arcayürek
„We wanted to venture outside our comfort zone to discover as many different timbres and new songs as possible.“