From Yiddish folk poetry

From Yiddish folk poetry

Concert and salon talk as part of the exhibition Helping means living at Villa Seligmann


Concert and salon talk as part of the exhibition Helping means living at Villa Seligmann

Narine Yeghiyan, Soprano
Natalia Skrycka, alto
Magnus Dietrich, Tenor
Elisaveta Blumina, piano

The program includes the work of the same name by Dmitri Shostakovich op. 79 and the Yiddish children’s songs op. 13 by Mieczysław Weinberg.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) is one of the most famous composers of modernism. In the song cycle
From Yiddish Folk Poetry op. 79
(1948), he sets Yiddish songs to music in Russian – and preserves them for eternity in times of growing anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union. The original Yiddish texts deal with love and parting, poverty and hardship, abandonment and death. But happiness and the good life are also sung about.

Shostakovich writes in his memoirs:

“I think when you talk about musical influences, Jewish folk music has made the strongest impression on me. I never tire of being inspired by it. It is so multifaceted. It can appear cheerful and in reality be deeply tragic. It is almost always laughter through tears. This characteristic of Jewish folk music comes very close to my idea of what music should be like.”

In addition to Shostakovich’s main work, the concert will also feature songs in Yiddish by Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996), who was a close friend and musical ally of Shostakovich. In musicology, the opinion is widely held that Shostakovich’s deep insight into Jewish or Yiddish music has to do with his closeness to Weinberg.

In the subsequent salon discussion, we will talk to the musicians about the song cycle and find out whether this proximity of sadness and joy, laughter and tears is characteristic of Yiddish folklore – and why Jewish folk music fascinated Dmitri Shostakovich so much, both aesthetically and politically.

The soprano Narine Yeghiyan studied at the State Conservatory in Yerevan and was a scholarship holder of the Richard Wagner Society and the Liz Mohn Cultural and Music Foundation. In 2016, she made her debut at the Philharmonie Berlin in the title role of Tchaikovsky’s “Jolanthe” and as Marzelline in “Fidelio”. Until 2018, Narine Yeghiyan was a member of the ensemble of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where she appeared as Pamina in “Die Zauberflöte”, Musetta in “La Bohème” and Zerlina in “Don Giovanni”, among others. In the 2018/19 season, she made her debut as Contessa in “Le nozze di Figaro” at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in México City.

Natalia Skrycka is a graduate of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. In 2011, she celebrated her opera debut with Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” at Opera Śląska (Poland). After being a member of the International Opera Studio at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and a scholarship holder of the Liz Mohn Cultural and Music Foundation, she became a permanent member of the ensemble in 2017. Guest performances have already taken her to the Bavarian and Hamburg State Operas and the Opéra national de Paris. Natalia Skrycka’s artistic profile is rounded off by numerous concert engagements and recordings of Mozart and Haydn’s Requiem settings.

The tenor Magnus Dietrich is a member of the International Opera Studio of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin. He made his debut there last season as Tamino in “Die Zauberflöte”. He also recently made his debut in the same role as a stand-in at the Semperoper in Dresden. Recent concert engagements include Schumann’s “Paradise and the Peri” with the Staatskapelle Berlin under Marc Minkowski. Magnus Dietrich is 2nd prize winner and special prize winner of the National Singing Competition 2022. He was awarded the Brixen Classics Young Artist Award 2022.

The pianist Elisaveta Blumina is Artistic Director of the Hamburg Chamber Music Festival and has been regarded as an outstanding representative of an entire generation of pianists, and not just since she was awarded the Echo Prize. In the meantime, 36 CDs have cemented her reputation as an exceptional interpreter of the music of the 20. and 21st century. On Spotify, Elisaveta Blumina is one of the most listened to pianists in classical music. She is a welcome guest at Carnegie Hall, the Elbphilharmonie, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, the St. Petersburg Philharmonie and the National Concert Hall Dublin.

Tickets for 15 euros (Great Hall) and 8 euros (Salon) are available in our webshop.
Admission is from one hour before the start of the event.

We recommend a visit to the exhibition “Helping means life” (01.02.-09.03.23) on the 1st floor of Villa Seligmann.

Logo Konrad Adenauer Foundation

The event will be presented as part of the exhibition“Helping means living – Jacob Teitel and the Association of Russian Jews in Germany (1920-1935)“. In cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (Political Education Forum Lower Saxony).