San Francisco - Countertenor Brian Asawa returns to San Francisco in early September to perform Im Abendrot – Songs of Schubert and Strauss with San Francisco Conservatory’s Kevin Korth on piano. Asawa and Korth’s engagement launches LIEDER ALIVE!’s 2014/15 Liederabend Series of recitals at Salle Pianos’ Music Salon in San Francisco’s Mid Market.
LIEDER ALIVE!’s Founder and Director, Maxine Bernstein, herself a soprano and “devoted advocate for opera and lieder”, expressed the following regarding Asawa’s upcoming lieder performance: “Brian has an expansiveness in his soul and in his innate musicality (which) is at the heart of this music..he really is deeply romantic by nature.”
Asawa offered a small anecdote regarding the name of his upcoming collaboration: “Executive Director Maxine Bernstein and I came up with the idea for Im Abendrot…both Schubert and Strauss wrote lieder by this name, which literally means “evening red”, referring to dusk or sunset, when the sky is often glowing with hues of different, gorgeous shades of color. As our event takes place at 5pm, we thought Im Abendrot was the perfect choice for our recital title. Maxine sees Strauss lieder as an exciting, new vehicle for my voice and Schubert is certainly one of my favorite composers, so we went all in. Our recital is lovingly dedicated to both composers.”
Pianist Kevin Korth emailed these Im Abendrot thoughts: “For me, these pieces are all about atmosphere. The opening prelude to Nacht und Träume, for example, may look deceptively simple on the page. But what is not indicated in the score, and only becomes clear upon immersing oneself in the poem, is the quality of stillness and spaciousness that the music requires. If the pianist can lull the audience into that meditative state during the introduction, then the soft, heavenly entrance of the voice becomes one of the most ecstatic moments. Brian’s instrument is so sensitive and flexible, and he is such an intuitive musician, that these moments seem to just naturally happen again and again in rehearsal, even on the first run-through. Just a simple glance at each other and a slight nod of the head, and I can tell we’ve shared the same experience.”
Im Abendrot – Songs of Schubert and Strauss with Brian Asawa and Kevin Korth | Sunday September 7, 2014 5pm (doors at 4:30 pm) | The Music Salon at Salle Pianos | 1632C Market Street, San Francisco (between Franklin and Gough) | $35-$75 via Eventbrite