Andrea Katz shares why she and her fellow Songmakers are giving voice to the canon’s rarities.
There is something uniquely immediate about art song, an intimacy that springs from witnessing a singer and pianist working together so closely. Emotion, so vital to this art form, becomes deeply entwined with our shared qualities, encouraging a listener to draw parallels between their own experience and that which is unfolding in front of them. The great composers of song – Schubert, Brahms, Schumann, Vaughn-Williams – were instinctively drawn to poetry that would give their melodies direction, using the music to amplify a character’s torment, or help them revel in joy.
Basing their work firmly within this European tradition of art song, Andrea Katz and the other performers that make up Songmakers Australia – Merlyn Quaife, Sally-Anne Russell, Andrew Goodwin and Nicholas Dinopoulos – bring this canon of works, so fondly performed across Europe, to the stages of Australia. A particular specialty is rarely performed cycles, offering audiences the chance to discover a trove of musical treasures, whether in Melbourne or regional New South Wales.
Songmakers is blessed, of course, by the outstanding proficiency with which each member performs, but beyond that, there is...