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Jeff Spurgeon: On this broadcast from Carnegie Hall Live. You are going to hear one of America's great musical organizations once again on this legendary stage. The Cleveland Orchestra and music director Franz Welser-Möst to our back on the Ronald O. Perelman stage in the Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall with a program steeped in the culture of the city of Vienna.
We are going to hear music by two composers on this program, Franz Schubert and Alban Berg. I'm Jeff Spurgeon, and alongside is John Schaefer.
John Schaefer: And you know, it's always exciting when a major orchestra appears on this historic stage here at Carnegie Hall, but tonight is a special night. Franz Welser-Möst hasn't just brought the Cleveland Orchestra. He's also brought the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and five vocal soloists for a performance of Franz Schubert's Mass No. 6, which we'll hear in the second half. But I think Jeff, everybody's really interested in this first half.
Jeff Spurgeon: I was going to say that I think this concert is for two audiences who are lucky enough to hear it both. Because I'm really excited about the mass in the second half, but I know that what is happening in the first half, which is very special, is something you're really looking forward to.
John Schaefer: Well, yeah, I mean, if you look at the printed program, it says Alban Berg Lyric Suite, and then it says Franz Schubert Unfinished Symphony, which we're going to hear just not in that order. What we'll be hearing is the three movements of Berg's Lyric Suite interspersed with the two movements of Schubert's famous Unfinished Symphony. Uh, these are two composers from Vienna, the first and second Viennese schools so-called, and each movement of the Berg will be followed by a movement of the Schubert until we get to the end of this five-part. It's almost like a mixtape really.
Jeff Spurgeon: They call it Schu-Berg.
John Schaefer: Schu-Berg.
Jeff Spurgeon: That's what the orchestra remembers see, we are told, are calling this program Schu-Berg.
John Schaefer: I love it. I love it. Well, we asked the conductor, Franz Welser-Möst about this unusual presentation.
Franz Welser-Möst: I all of a sudden had this idea and I thought, you know, to listen to the unfinished with fresh ears, how can I achieve that?
I, I had this idea putting these two uh, pieces together and especially, you know, after the first movement of the unfinished, then listening, uh, to that Allegro misterioso, uh, which sort of cleanses your ears again, the second movement of the unfinished sounds so much more peaceful and forgiving. You listen to the Alban Berg in a different way when you hear in between the Schubert and you hear, listen to the Schubert in a different way when you hear Schubert surrounded by Alban Berg.
Jeff Spurgeon: So, it's a club sandwich of music tonight with the three movements of the Berg Suite and the two movements of the Schubert together. A very special presentation that we'll enjoy this evening.
John Schaefer: And Franz Welser-Möst, he has proven on this stage and in one of our previous broadcasts, has a way with Schubert.
Jeff Spurgeon: And this is, yeah. So, it's -very exciting to have Schubert on both sides of this program with the mass in the second half and then this special combination, um, to open this concert. Um, Welser-Möst is in his 21st season with Cleveland. Now his contract goes through 2027, at which time he will be this orchestra's longest serving musical director uh, beating the record of the legendary George Szell, and pretty soon they'll be saying the legendary Franz Welser-Möst, all in time. Cleveland champions lots of new works. They've made some innovative approaches to presenting opera in Cleveland, started their own recording company. The orchestra has moved forward with the Welser-Möst in the leadership position, and we asked him about his longevity with this group of musicians and the city they come from.
Franz Welser-Möst: When I started in 2002, uh, when I signed my contract actually in, in May '99, I thought, Hmm, maybe, uh, five, 10 years. But I can't tell you how excited I am still leading this institution artistically. It starts really with where we are at home. Cleveland is a beautiful city, and it has a highly devoted and motivated audience. And then it's this constant drive for excellency, for perfection, even knowing that perfection does not exist, but you try to go at least to, it’s that. And, and also the constant challenging each other.
You know, I, I think a lot about when, when I put together a program in which areas, I still can challenge the orchestra. And as they come really extremely well prepared to a first rehearsal, they also challenge the conductor. And I think that's what keeps this relationship alive, fresh, and beautiful.
John Schaefer: Conductor Franz Welser-Möst. He is the music director of the Cleveland Orchestra. And Jeff, it's interesting to hear him talk about challenging the orchestra with his program.
Jeff Spurgeon: That caught my ear as well.
John Schaefer: I mean, you know, playing interweaving movements of two separate pieces from allegedly two different styles. You know, Schubert the, the pinnacle of romanticism, Alban Berg from the so-called Second Viennese School, the beginning of 12 Tone music, et cetera.
Although still a very romantic cast to a lot of Berg's music as we'll hear. Um, you know, and you referred to, you mentioned that the orchestra refers to it as Schu-Berg, the Schubert Berg. They've actually had to kind of weave together the manuscripts as well.
Jeff Spurgeon: The librarian I spoke to, uh, the orchestra's librarian, Michael Ferraguto, who told us that yes, they, they bound scores together for these players, so they don't have to switch from, grab the Schubert, oh, now grab the Berg. Perfect. So, it's all bound together. So, this is, um, sort of new musical creation of Franz Welser-Möst who has said that he feels like Alban Berg is sort of Franz Schubert's grandson. That, that, uh, that, that Berg finished some things that Schubert started and, um, Welser-Möst has said that he appreciates that this is a way to hear a conversation between composers over time as well.
John Schaefer: And, and as he said, also to hear a thrice familiar piece like the Schubert unfinished symphony with fresh ears, which is always a wonderful thing.
Jeff Spurgeon: And you just wouldn't imagine pairing it with this Berg work. But we're going to hear it. The stage door is closed, the orchestra has been out on the stage for a little while, but now the door opens and there is applause for the Cleveland Orchestra's new concert Master David Radzynski, who, uh, was appointed to this position in, uh, 2022 last year, but has just begun his work here with Cleveland. So, this is a special edition in this concert as well.
John Schaefer: And there's that work as he tunes up the orchestra before the arrival of Franz Welser-Möst at the podium to perform this really inventive mix of two works written about a hundred years apart by two different Vietnamese composers, Franz Schubert the unfinished symphony, officially his Symphony Number Eight, and the three movements of Alban Berg's Lyric Suite for string orchestra stage door opens out strides.
The music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, Franz Welser-Möst. And the first piece you'll hear is the Andante amoroso from the three pieces from the Lyric Suite by Alban Berg, and then some familiar music by Schubert right after from Carnegie Hall Live.
MUSIC - Berg: Andante amoroso, from Three Pieces from the Lyric Suite
MUSIC - Schubert: Allegro moderato, from Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D. 759 “Unfinished”
MUSIC - Berg: Allegro misterioso—Trio estatico, from Three Pieces from the Lyric Suite
MUSIC - Schubert: Andante con moto, from Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D. 759, “Unfinished”
MUSIC - Berg: Adagio appassionato, from Three Pieces from the Lyric Suite
Jeff Spurgeon: From Carnegie Hall Live, you've just heard the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Franz Welser-Möst playing music of two composers, Franz Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony Number Eight, and the Lyric Suite of Alban Berg. The orchestra on its feet. Welser-Möst addressing the audience. Now, stepping off stage and backstage here at Carnegie Hall, I'm Jeff Spurgeon alongside John Schaefer.
John Schaefer: And what a convincing, uh, collision of composers, you know, uh, separated by just over a hundred years. Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, written in 1822, the Lyric Suite by Alban Berg, originally written in 1925 for string quartet.
As a five-part piece, the middle three movements were orchestrated, and that's, those are the three pieces from the Lyric Suite that we've just heard interspersed with the two movements of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. And, you know, Jeff, the end of the, the first movement of the Alban Berg, this kind of sighing figure in the strings beautifully sets up the stirring of the low strings that begins the Schubert Unfinished Symphony. Oh, it was just a magical moment.
Jeff Spurgeon: That may have been, who knows, maybe that was the one that Franz Welser-Möst himself heard and thought these pieces can speak together and to each other.
John Schaefer: Well, also, if you noticed, he really played up the kind of Landler, you know, that folk Austrian folk-dance. The music that's lurking behind the famous unfinished symphony theme.
Jeff Spurgeon: Right.
John Schaefer: Really played that up. And then you hear that same kind of Landler dance rhythm in the second part of the Alban Berg suite. Again, just beautifully constructed, uh, whether it's a mixtape, as I put it, or a club sandwich as you put it, this Schu-Berg, this Frankenstein creation of, uh, two composers from Vienna. I... really worked a treat, I thought.
Jeff Spurgeon: Yes, no, and, and it's, it's one of the great attractions of this concert. And I don't know, had you thought of putting this together, had that occurred to you that Schubert and Berg could, could work together in that way?
John Schaefer: Well, uh, I mean, of the three composers of the so-called Second Viennese School, Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern, Alban Berg is definitely the one that you would pick for this, this assignment. The most, the most companionable of the three with other kinds of music for sure.
Jeff Spurgeon: It's intermission at this concert at Carnegie Hall by the Cleveland Orchestra, a program of Alban Berg and Franz Schubert in the first half and a program of just Schubert's. One of his great and perhaps greatly underappreciated masses will be the second half of this concert. But now at intermission, I'm happy to say that we're joined by one of the members of the Cleveland Orchestra cellist Martha Baldwin. Welcome. Thanks for talking with us.
Martha Baldwin: Well, thanks so much. It's a pleasure.
Jeff Spurgeon: So when you heard about this, this, um, um, Schu-Berg mashup, what was your reaction? Did this occur to you as a good idea, as a reasonable idea, or was it an adventure for you and the rest of the orchestra?
Martha Baldwin: I would say, it didn't surprise me that Franz suggested it. You know, we've worked with him for a while now, and I was like, oh yeah, that, that sounds like a, sounds about right. Um, and I was glad to get another run at the Berg. We've, you know, we've done it before and it's, it's, it's such a rich piece, and it's, there's just so much, and I, it, it just, I feel like it gets more interesting every time I play it.
John Schaefer: And do you feel like, you know, bracketing it with the, the movement of Schubert, the music of Schubert from a hundred years earlier, does it kind of play up the sort of romanticism that's always been lurking in Berg's music?
Martha Baldwin: You know, the, I mean, your experience of a concert is so different if you're on the stage and if you're, you know, in the audience. So, I would say for me, it definitely, as a player, it really illuminated some of the vocal elements that, that are in the Berg. I mean, Berg is such a, a songwriter in a way, and it definitely highlighted for me the length of line and that, that's really in this suite.
I mean, it is called the Lyric Suite. So, I guess that makes sense, right? Um, but it definitely makes it like a challenge mentally to switch back and forth between the two pieces so instantaneously. And especially as a cellist, because we start the, we start it with this like, super hard quiet thing, you know, kind of technically tricky.
And, and so you're just, you know, you're so focused on the bearing, then all of a sudden, you're like, oh, oh, good grief the spotlight's on us again.
Jeff Spurgeon: So, it's been a great ride for you, this particular work? It's, it's at a new ride.
Martha Baldwin: Yeah. It's been challenging in a good way, which is nice because you know, sometimes you play Schubert a lot and you're like, oh, it's Schubert again. And this time it was like, oh man, it's Schubert!
John Schaefer: Yeah. Well and in a different context, which really does change. It's interesting to hear you call Berg a song composer because of course Schubert is like the ultimate song composer.
Martha Baldwin: Absolutely.
Jeff Spurgeon: But Berg is famous mostly for those two operas for Wozzeck and Lulu. So, so the singing absolutely paces you, but you mentioned more Schubert and that's what we're going to get in the second half of this program. So, what's your history with, with a Schubert Mass or this Schubert mass?
Martha Baldwin: You know, I, I feel like I probably must have played it before, but I don't remember playing it, so it might be my first time. And it's just gorgeous. It's really, it is so beautiful. And the way he uses, I mean, it's not a shock, right? But the way he uses the, the words, the, you know, the text is so incredible, which, you know, I mean, sometimes the, in masses you get sort of like a massive sound, right? And the text, you're like, oh yeah, yeah. We all know what it is. You know, a bunch of curs, whatever. But in this one, it really comes to life. I think just every word is really chosen and carefully.
John Schaefer: Well, it's interesting that you used the word chosen because he did choose not to use a few words. And got in a little bit of trouble in a decidedly Catholic country like Austria in nearly 19th Century.
Martha Baldwin: Well, you know that, in his era, the Catholics weren't really known for their flexibility. Right?
Jeff Spurgeon: You are from, you are from Calgary. What was your growing up experience with music? It's a large city, but it's also in a really large territory.
Martha Baldwin: Yes. So, I was extraordinarily lucky because you know, you think of Calgary and you're like, oh, Calgary, they have the, they have the big rodeo thingy there. You know, the stampede.
But there was an incredible music program in Calgary, which happened to be led by a phenomenal cello teacher named John Kadz. And this program was called the Academy of Music. And it, I grew up with this sort of group of music students who were amazing and really fun. And it was like this whole other social group away from school, which, you know, in middle school is really a blessing to have a second place, second home to go to.
Um, but you know, from my generation, they're, we're kind of like all over the place in major quartets and major orchestras and it's, we were just really lucky to grow up there in this incredibly vibrant program. Um, so it, you wouldn't think, oh, Calgary, you know, the hotbed of classical music training and yet it is.
John Schaefer: Yeah. Well, and now you've been with the Cleveland Orchestra just about as long as Franz Welser-Möst, so you've...
Martha Baldwin: Oh, longer actually. But we don't need to focus on the number. Right?
John Schaefer: No. But you know, it's interesting that you've been there for his tenure, and you've seen the development of the relationship between conductor and orchestra. How, how has that been over the years?
Martha Baldwin: I mean, it's certainly gradually changed and morphed over time for sure. And how, I mean, he, he definitely has a different confidence in terms of just like really being like, this is my orchestra than maybe he did at the beginning. Um, where he's more like, oh, yay, we're all serving this together now.
It's like, this is mine and we are going to just do this. But he goes through God, I hope he is he listening? Um, but he, I feel like he kind of goes through these long phases of like really intense interest in something. Like right now there's a lot of Schubert and a lot of Berg, and a lot of, you know, a lot of like Viennese composers, both modern and not so modern. And, um, I feel like he's really diving deep into that world. And, you know, a while ago he was really, it was like all Bruckner all the time. And, you know, that, you know, sort of morphed through these different eras, as it were. So, we're kind of in the legato era now, I think.
Jeff Spurgeon: We're talking with Martha Baldwin. She's a, a cellist in the Cleveland Orchestra and has been there, as John said, for, uh, most, in fact, all of Franz Welser-Möst's tenure. So, you visited Carnegie Hall a time or two? What's it like to come here?
Martha Baldwin: It's, it's the one place I think on the planet where I can be guaranteed after all these years that I still get a little sort of anxious, just a little like you just sort of knows, I was like, oh, why? Oh, I feel like... oh yeah, I'm at Carnegie. Of course, you're little, you know, "whew. It's Carnegie Hall." So, but it's such a, it's a really fun hall to play in, you know, it's really rewarding. The sound is incredible, obviously. Um, but it's really clear. It's really easy to hear on stage, which isn't always the case.
Um, and just being backstage and, you know, it's such an inspiring place. The, you know, the photographs from the decades of, of performers who've been here, you sort of feel honored, like, like I'm a really, really, really lucky kid who got the golden ticket that I got to come backstage at Carnegie Hall, you know?
Jeff Spurgeon: Well, we certainly feel like we've got the golden ticket tonight to hear you and your colleagues in the Cleveland Orchestra. It's been amazing so far. Do you have a favorite section of the Schubert? Is there one that you're looking forward to in The Mass, the Schubert. There's been a lot of that.
Martha Baldwin: You know, I love the last movement. It's just, there's, there's just a couple of really big moments there. And then plus also by the time we get there, I'm usually pretty hungry. So, you know, it's like gig. I get to go eat now. My work's done.
Jeff Spurgeon: A wonderful conversation with Martha Baldwin, cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Martha Baldwin: Well, you're so welcome. It was a real pleasure.
Jeff Spurgeon: And we'll look forward to the rest of this concert as, uh, Martha Baldwin joins the rest of the cello section and the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, 120 Singers strong coming in tonight for this concert as well.
So, we have lots to look forward to in the second half of this performance. This is classical New York, 105.9 FM and HD WQXR Newark and 90.3 FM WQXW Ossining. Intermission here at Carnegie Hall. And, uh, we'll have some other Schubert music to share with you now from, ooh, about 10 years ago when we invited the Emerson String Quartet to come to the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at the studios of WQXR in New York. Special evening, it was the Quartet's final Public Appearance with cellist David Finkle. So here is a moment or two from that evening, some incidental music from Rosemunde by Schubert.
MUSIC - Schubert: Rosemunde
John Schaefer: Live performance from the year 2013 in our Jerome L. Greene Performance Space downtown, the WQXR Studios. That was the Emerson String Quartet playing Schubert's incidental music from Rosemunde. And there is more music by Schubert coming up in the second half of this program as we broadcast live from Carnegie Hall. The second half of the program given over to Schubert's Mass Number Six, which will surprise I think a lot of people, the fact that Schubert wrote not just a mass, but six of them.
Uh, this one completed just a few months before he died at the age of 31. Now the conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, Franz Welser-Möst most grew up with Catholic church music and the masses of Haydn and Mozart and Schubert. Uh, this Mass Number Six apparently is quite popular in Austria after having gotten off to a slow start, what with Schubert's untimely death and the fact that he had neglected to set a few key elements of the text, which the church did not like. Um, but it, it has become a very popular work in Austria. Welser-Möst holds these pieces near and dear to his heart. He has performed or sang or conducted all of them, and he told us what's special about this mass, number six by Schubert.
Franz Welser-Möst: The last mass it's from his last year is, uh, a lot of people considered more to be a kind of requiem. He leaves out a lot of the Latin text and most of the times it's about God father. What he leaves out, which is a hint towards his relationship with his father, was a very complex and difficult one.
And so, it's a very personal statement of his faith, of his beliefs, which is a sort of mix between the age of enlightenment and the early romanticism, discovering really the individuality. Philosophically, this piece is a very personal expression of what Schubert believed in and what he stood for.
Jeff Spurgeon: Franz Welser-Möst conductor, music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, speaking of the work that we are about to hear him conduct with the orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, about 120 singers strong on stage. And this, uh, mass also calls for five soloists. They are all standing in front of John and me, right backstage at Carnegie Hall, uh, Joélle Harvey, the soprano, Daryl Freedman, the mezzo-soprano, two Tenors, Julian Prégardien and Martin Mitterrutzner, and the Bass Dashon Burton.
John Schaefer: Now, Franz Welser-Möst also says that the choice of singers for this specific work has to be based on a, a few criteria.
Franz Welser-Möst: When you hire singers for this piece, soloists, you need people who know how to sing in an ensemble. They don't have that much to sing. Actually, in this piece, a lot of the singing is really left to our beautiful chorus, but you need people who have experience in singing Schubert songs and at the same time know also how to sing as an ensemble. For instance, in the Benedictus when the quarter sings, that's where the choice of solos really comes into place.
Jeff Spurgeon: Franz Welser-Möst speaking of more about what this, uh, what we're about to hear, this Mass Number Six of Schubert. We should mention too the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus is conducted by Lisa Wong and now Schubert's Mass number six, with the Cleveland Orchestra conductor, Franz Welser-Möst coming to you from Carnegie Hall.
MUSIC – Schubert: Mass No. 6
From Carnegie Hall Live, you have just heard the final mass composed by Franz Schubert, mass number six in E flat, written in the last year of his life, a work that he never heard performed. You, however, have just heard it, in a performance from Carnegie Hall Live by the Cleveland Orchestra and their music director, Franz Welser-Möst, the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, and five soloists Soprano, Joélle Harvey, Mezzo-Soprano, Daryl Freedman, Tenors Julian Prégardien and Martin Mitterrutzner, and Bass Dashon Burton. The orchestra on its feet now, and the soloist as well. And, uh, backstage sitting comfortably, I'm Jeff Spurgeon alongside John Schaefer.
John Schaefer: And probably the first time this particular piece has been heard on this stage here at Carnegie Hall.
Jeff Spurgeon: Well, in a very long time, for sure. These are not well-known works in this country, I believe. And as you've said earlier, and it's, we've heard from Franz Welser-Möst, these are words that he knows very well right, and very closely and are part of his growing up.
John Schaefer: But, uh, here, uh, a rare opportunity to hear the, uh, the last of the masses by from Schubert. It is a big piece.
Jeff Spurgeon: Oh, yes.
John Schaefer: And it's worth mentioning that this is a big stage here at Carnegie Hall. It is not however big enough to allow a 120-voice chorus to stand six feet apart from each other. And so, yes, the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus sang that entire mass masked,
Jeff Spurgeon: which is a surprise, I know, to listeners. We were surprised to see it but hearing it as well. Yeah, that cheer that you hear now is for Lisa Wong, Director of Choruses for the Cleveland Orchestra, so that's her special moment with these 120, as you said John, masked singers making an absolutely beautiful sound. Um, not very covered, I would say either by these masks.
John Schaefer: Yeah. I mean, I suppose if this were the Verdi Requiem where the chorus needs to sound like it's trying to break down the gates of heaven, maybe you go for it without them, but it, it, it fit beautifully with the mood of this piece. It is a work that has moments of drama, but in large part it seems to be a work of comfort and consolation.
Jeff Spurgeon: Franz Welser-Möst, who most in the notes that he wrote for this program, and, and we would both recommend that you find them on the Carnegie Hall website, Franz Welser-Möst, we don't usually get notes on works from the,
John Schaefer: from the conductor. Yeah.
Jeff Spurgeon: From the conductor. So, another piece of evidence of the importance of this work to, uh, Welser-Möst and, and he wrote about the mood that is in this Requiem and for Welser-Möst, this is a Requiem, I'm not a Requiem, it's a mass that is on a human level. Schubert is trying to, to connect humanity to this work.
John Schaefer: And it did, in a sense, serve the same, uh, function in his overall output as the Requiem in Mozart's output because, it was completed just before he died.
Jeff Spurgeon: Right. And these works are only about 40 years apart. That is to say this Schubert Mass and Mozart's own Requiem, they are certainly works in sympathy, composed in the same place, right? And not very far apart in time in terms of music at, at that moment. And so, they speak to each other as well. Again, all the cast on the stage, the orchestra on its feet our five soloists, the director of the choruses and the 120 members of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Music director, Franz Welser-Möst.
John Schaefer: probably as well, probably also worth pointing out. It is an all-volunteer chorus a rarity because I mean, there are plenty of volunteer choruses, but this one is associated consistently, regularly with one of the, the sterling orchestras of, of North America in the Cleveland Orchestra. They, they've been on numerous recordings, won Grammys, uh, professionally prepared, professionally led professional in every sense, except for the fact that they are volunteers.
Jeff Spurgeon: Yes. And many of them, uh, well, they, the or the chorus worked to pay for its way to come to New York for this performance. The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus has performed in Carnegie Hall, well, uh, more than 25 times, uh, over the course of its 71 years of history.
George Szell, asked for the chorus to be created, and, uh, we understand he called in Robert Shaw to help him put it together. That's a pretty good foundation for a lasting musical organization. But we do, as you said, John, understand that some of these singers come from many, many miles away to be part of this extraordinary musical organization an absolutely unbelievable orchestra, and to be associated with that is worth the sacrifice that many of those singers make.
John Schaefer: Well, the, uh, the ovation was prolonged and well-deserved for a fascinating program, an innovative first half that mixed the music of Alban Berg with, uh, the unfinished symphony of Schubert. And then in the second half, this Schubert Mass number six. And joining us at the microphone is one of the soloists who has just performed in the mass, the soprano, Joélle Harvey. Welcome.
Joélle Harvey: Thank you so much.
John Schaefer: Um, it's not an overly taxing mass,
Joélle Harvey: you could say that
John Schaefer: so how does it compare to, say, the masses of Haydn or Mozart or any of Schubert's contemporaries?
Joélle Harvey: Um, having sung the Mozart Requiem, uh, or in various masses numerous times, um, that's a lot more heavy lifting for sure for the soprano in particular, the, the great mass, um, c minor mass. Um, this, you know, it's just beautiful music. There's nothing particularly grand about the entire thing. It's just really beautiful. And, um, it's, I always say it's, it's really exciting and special just to be able to sit on stage and feel and hear the music in that way. So, I think we get really spoiled, especially since we sit for most of the time anyway.
John Schaefer: it reminded me a little of the Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes.
Joélle Harvey: yes, absolutely. Yeah. There's, um...
John Schaefer: I'm glad, I'm glad you it, it just struck me as an odd, but it popped into my mind.
There's a lightness and a lift.
Joélle Harvey: Yeah, absolutely. Mm-hmm. Absolutely. It's really, it's very pleasant to sing. Um, it's not particularly difficult except that it is kind of so exposed and so minimal, and so then, you know, you feel like you really want to do a good job for the little bit that you sing.
Jeff Spurgeon: And that was something I wanted to ask you about because as, as a singer who does this work, you are on stage all the time.
Joélle Harvey: Yeah.
Jeff Spurgeon: And active for a small fraction, especially in this mass. So, I would imagine that one of the challenges for a vocalist is to, is to be warmed up, to be ready, and to, and to manage your energy so that you can be where you need to be as you want to be when it's time.
Joélle Harvey: Yes. It definitely takes time, you know, when you're starting your career, they don't really, um, prepare you for this part at school, the just sitting and trying to look pleasant and involved. And, um, but I think, you know, I've been doing this for a while now, and you find what works for you. I have these little, um, lozenges that I like to keep tucked in my cheek if it's a particularly long one.
Like, uh, Messiah for example. I sit for nearly 40 minutes before I sing. Um, and you know, just finding the way that you like to, to sit and of course if you know the piece particularly well, then that's a little bit easier. But if it's a new one sometimes that it's, uh, it's challenging to remember when to stand up and everything like that.
John Schaefer: Is this a new one for you?
Joélle Harvey: Um, I did this one actually for the first time, uh, about 10 years ago and I hadn't done it since then. Okay. Um, but I think, uh, what Franz did was just wonderful. Yeah.
Jeff Spurgeon: You've sung a fair amount of Schubert. You're doing some work at, uh, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Joélle Harvey: Yes. It's my, uh, few weeks of Schubert amidst, amid some, amid some, uh, Mozart.
Jeff Spurgeon: You were, you spent your Christmas in New York.
Joélle Harvey: That's right.
left off here
Jeff Spurgeon: Because you were part of the cast of the Julie Taymor's reduced scale.
Joélle Harvey: The truncated Magic Flute.
Jeff Spurgeon: Yeah, the Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera.
Joélle Harvey: Yeah. That was great fun. I had done it, uh, actually right before the pandemic, and it was my first real opera since the pandemic, because I do mostly concert work, and so it was really fun to get back into it. It was just, we had fun every day in the rehearsal room, so feel really lucky to have done that.
John Schaefer: Have you, have you done a lot of work with Cleveland? With Cleveland Orchestra?
Joélle Harvey: I have. Um, the first thing that I ever did with them was Bach B Minor Mass, and that was with Franz. And I've done, uh, the Mozart C Minor Mass, um, Mahler two, Mahler four, and during the pandemic, uh, when they introduced their Adella, uh, online series. Um, I did some Villa-Lobos the Bachianas Brasileiras, which was amazing to, to get to do that. It's, it's something that had been on my bucket list. Uh, maybe not in that way. I, I wasn't even allowed to turn around and look at the cellist because of all the covid precautions at the time. But, um, I'm so glad to have had the chance to do that.
Jeff Spurgeon: That's wonderful. Do you, do you, it's not fair to ask artists what they're doing in their future, because you have so many schedules, but do you remember what you're singing at Lincoln Center?
Joélle Harvey: Um, yes. I'm doing, um Gretchen am Spinnrade, Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, and Auf dem Strom.
John Schaefer: Wow. So, some of the hits.
Joélle Harvey: Yeah, some of the hits and like, and larger pieces. So, um, so...
John Schaefer: there'll be a clarinet.
Joélle Harvey: More than this. Yes. A French horn and then a piano.
Jeff Spurgeon: Well, we all got to enjoy the performance and you got to participate in a little bit of it tonight. So, thank you so much, soprano, Joélle Harvey. What a treat to enjoy your work and the work of your four colleagues, what a special concert.
Joélle Harvey: Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
Jeff Spurgeon: Thank you so much for being with us tonight on Carnegie Hall Live. Soprano, Joélle Harvey.
John Schaefer: And we'd like to thank some of the other folks who made tonight's broadcast possible, including of course, Clive Gillinson and the staff here at Carnegie Hall and the WQXR engineering team Edward Haber, George Wellington, Irene Trudel, and Duke Markos.
Jeff Spurgeon: The production team includes Lauren Purcell-Joiner, Eileen Delahunty, Laura Boyman and Aimee Buchanan. I'm Jeff Spurgeon.
And I'm John Schaefer. This program is a collaboration between Carnegie Hall and WQXR in New York.
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