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with Alban Nikolai Herbst | Reading & Performance

The next event in the series "Lieder und Dichter:innen" takes you to England in the first half of the 20th century. Various songs from the late and late romantic period are presented, including works by two of the most important song composers of this era: Ivor Gurney and George Butterworth.



Their lives have many characteristic parallels: both set texts by the poet and scholar A.E. Housman, found in his 1896 volume A Shropshire Lad, to music. Both were also closely associated with the famous composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and were active during the First World War (Butterworth died at the Battle of the Somme aged just 31, while Gurney spent much of his life in psychiatric institutions due to "war neurosis". ).


Some of Housman's settings, including Gurney's Ludlow and Teme song cycle, will be presented at this event. The program is supplemented by songs by Frank Bridge and Arnold Bax.


Alban Nikolai Herbst (born 1955 in Bensberg) is the writer who reacts to the songs with his own lyrics. Herbst is considered an outstanding loner in contemporary German literature. He became famous in 1994 with the important novel "Wolpertinger oder das Blau" (whose revised new edition was published by Ivory in 2021). The Otherworld trilogy followed between 1998 and 2013. Most recently, his volume of poetry "The Breasts of Béart" (diaphanes 2022) was published.


This event is carried out in cooperation between the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the House of Poetry.


Poetry: Alban Nikolai Herbst
Vocals: Joel Allison | Matthew Newlin | Annika Schlicht
Piano: John Parr
Additional information