Here we go : ) - Part III of our „Kunstlied“ - trilogy - our "Brahms Song Book"– we‘ve been working on it intensively for quite a while! mathias started arranging it right after our Three-Days - Porgy Session last December, and a couple of weeks later he finished the arrangements.
Johannes Brahms was a close friend of Robert Schumann, but his great love was Clara Schumann. So after our "Schumann Song Book" our next step was very clear – it led us straight to Brahms. And here we are from Schubert to Schumann to Brahms. Over the last couple of weeks we rehearsed a lot, experiencing the ups and downs of our musical process with our Brahms Song Book together. I would like to say a very big THANK YOU to Ingrid Oberkanins – perc and Hans Strasser – bass for their incredible commitment during this time and of course for their unique musical colours making mathias‘ arrangements shine in oh so many ways. I can‘t believe how long it‘s been and still remember working on „gone too far“ almost six years ago. Can you believe it : )? mathias wrote himself quite some challenging material – he told us that while arranging he is just following the music and not thinking about the fact that he has to play what he writes later on : ). So you might think it is an advantage to be arranger and pianist but in mathias‘ case it‘s almost like two different people, two different state of minds : ). Back to our concert…: ) we all fell in love with Brahms and his songs and did our best to find our sound within. Joris Roelofs on clarinets from Amsterdam was our soloist, his sound, his playing is just amazing!!! The day before our premiere in Waidhofen we had an intimate final rehearsal in mathias's flat with friends that we trust and red wine that we love : ). Oh it was a wonderful evening!!! Thank you to everyone who spent it with us - listening with open hearts and supporting our Brahms Song Book. Dear Bert, as always : ) thank you for your beautiful pictures!!!
After sharing these songs for the very first time with our friends we were excited and looking forward to play in the beautiful „Kristallsaal“ at the „Rothschild – Castle“ in Waidhofen/Ybbs. Thomas Bieber the director of the „Klangraum“ invited us for the third time to his extraordinary concert series! We had the honour to play Schubert, Schumann and now Brahms at his series! OH and how much we all love playing there! Dear Thomas, thank you so much for your support throughout the years. Each time playing in Waidhofen is a gift!
We got there in the afternoon including all of our loved ones and had a relaxed soundcheck as always thanks to Mister T, Thomas Egger - our favorite sound magician! I got very nervous, as always, but especially nervous when it‘s the premiere. And then I forgot the lyrics of the first song : ))) aaaaahhh but they soooon came back to me and in the second verse I was back on track. The band was just incredible, what a premiere, thank you Hans, Ingrid, mathias, Joris!!!
In between I was starting to feel a little bit insecure wondering about what the audience might think but I could let go of my insecurity more and more, especially when Hans played his bass solo in „Rote Abendwolken“, Ingrid O her cajon solo in „Sagt mir o schönste Schäfrin mein“ and Joris his warm and powerful solo in the ballad „Du mein einzig Licht“. And when mathias played his pretty solo in Heidenröslein, I insisted on a second chorus : ) by simply waiting for my last verse a little longer : ). The last song of our setlist is "Kein Haus, Keine Heimat" and mathias' arrangement includes a lot of clapping, so we recorded a version for all of you to clap along : ). You can find it here: CLAP ALONG ! It is almost the original accompaniment of Brahms, it's true!!! So if you're in the mood, check it out and clap along with us at the Porgy on the 27th of November : )! We closed our set with this song including a powerful solo by Ingrid O!!! Oh yes! We did it : )!
As encores we played a little Schubert, a little Schumann, one more Brahms and when the clapping continued a little Chaplin : ). Thank you to the very attentive audience in Waidhofen – thank you for coming out to listen and support our „Brahms Song Book“. Some of you we met at „Schloss Wirt“ later that evening : ), where we all enjoyed an incredible tasty dinner and again some red wine : )…!
We can‘t wait to play & clap again : ) and let these songs unfold over and over again, yours Lia!
P.S.: The Brahms Song Book live at Porgy & Bess - Di 27.11!!!