Vienna (AT) - Porgy & Bess, Brick 15 & Theater Schönbrunn
14.10 Fritz Pauer Tribute – Duo Georg Vogel + 19.10 Die schöne Müllerin – Julian Prégardien & Daniel Heide
+ 24.10 MDW Gala 20 Jahre Ipop Uraufführung 'Something got lost (along the way)'
These past few weeks in Vienna have been a wild ride filled with songs and encounters in all shades of green and blue and ended with a new beginning – a premiere of a piece I wrote in January this year performed by the MDW stageband in the beautiful theatre in Schönbrunn.
But I’m jumping to the finale now, let me start from the beginning:
I arrived a couple of days before the concert at Porgy & Bess to rehearse with Georg Vogel for our Duo Set for the Fritz Pauer Tribute that took place from October 12th-14th. It spread out over three nights combining 8 kinds of ensembles and musicians. All gathered to dive into Fritz Pauers incredible variety of works as a pianist, composer and arranger, sharing them on stage at the one and only Porgy & Bess. Dear Hans Strasser thank you for the incredible organization of this beautiful festival and its power sets. It was such an honour to be a part of this tribute, thank you for inviting Georg and me and introducing us to the Fritz Pauer and Laurie Antonioli Song Book. Over the course of their lifelong friendship they created so so many songs together that Georg and I started to go through the collection in summer and over the course of a couple of weeks we picked 8 for our duo set at Porgy, starting the evening with ‘Sweet Sounds of Spring’ followed by ‘Friendship’ : ), a beautiful ballad. Right before we went on stage we found out that Laurie Antonioli was actually watching the live stream from San Francisco and Georg and I ended our set with the tune ‘Going to San Francisco’ : ) hoping that not only Laurie and but everyone in the room enjoyed our versions of these ‘pauerful’ songs. It was an absolute pleasure to play with Georg, his vocabulary and artistry is truly inspiring and I can only hope we get to play again soon!
We were followed by the ensemble Power Puzzle and closing the night was the Powerful Directions Sextet combining all the jazz cats who have known and played with Fritz like Hans Strasser of course, Ed Neumeister, Herwig Gradischnig and many more. What a finale for this heartfelt tribute to the pianist, composer, arranger and much much more Fritz Pauer.
I had a couple of days to prepare for the next stop : ): Brick 15 with Julian Prégardien, Daniel Heide and Soley Blümel. I met Julian as soon as he got to town at Café Korb for a pre-organizational chat over one or two cold beers : ). Julian had organized a tour through Vienna with the magical song cycle by Franz Schubert ‘Die Schöne Müllerin’. And for each night he had invited special guests to join him on this journey through the songs about the young Miller, about the river, the moon, roses and different shades of blue and green. The moment I was part of his tour I could feel the magic of the song cycle and once heard you’ll never forget it. mathias rüegg had arranged one song of the cycle for the amazing pianist Soley Blümel and me ‘Der Müller und der Bach’ or as we call it now ‘Miller & River’ and as an extension of the songs by Schubert I sang ‘Cry me a River’, also in an arrangement by mathias. It’s hard to describe what Julian and Daniel do on stage : ) but believe me when I say that they really take you on a journey that will stay with you engraving the melodies by Schubert and poems by Wilhelm Müller under your skin. I’m truly grateful to have been a part of the Müller*in Wien. I wouldn’t have gotten to know and feel the cycle of songs if it weren’t for these nights with and beyond the songs and journey of the ‘Müller’. Thank you Julian!
And here we are now, back at the finale that to me was the beginning of something new. I did my bachelors at the ipop, the institute of the MDW, the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna that on that day was celebrating its 20th anniversary. I was more than excited to be a part of this Gala as for the first time I was about to sing a song I had written a couple of months before. To perform an original was something completely new for me.
The lyrics I had written together with the amazing writer Zach Ring who I met and worked with during my semester in Los Angeles. For this night Barbara Bruckmüller had arranged my song for the MDW stageband including a background choir of three conducted by Markus Geiselhart with a solo on Flügelhorn by Benedikt Fehringer. The night was filled with all kinds of genres, and different performers, who are all one way or another connected to the ipop. It really meant a lot to me being a part of this night seeing so many familiar faces, reconnecting and sharing the stage at this beautiful theatre in Schönbrunn. It was a crazy long day but in the best way. It started early in the morning for make-up and dress rehearsal at Max Reinhardt Seminar where everyone involved spent almost the entire day : ). ORF III was recording the gala that’s why schedule was fixed and make up was done early in the morning with a touch up schedule : ). The song I performed is called ‘Something got lost (along the way)’ and it’s a ballad based on one of my favourite recordings by Billie Holiday ‘Crazy he calls me’ and I can only repeat myself by saying how truly special it was for me to perform this ballad on this night, where so much for me had started. I loved studying at the institute and it opened a lot of doors for me. Thank you Geri Schuller for inviting me back to reconnect and start with something new : ).
Also thank you to the amazing performers of the night Anja Om (thank you for fixing my hair), Ankathie Koi (so glad we finally met with so much time to chat : ) ), Nataša Mirkovic, Astrid & Beate Wiesinger, Ciara Moser, Beat Poetry Club (thank you Juci for the glitter) Wolfgang Puschnig and many many more.
One magical night celebrating 20 years of Ipop – thank you for aaaaall the music!
P.S.: I’ll keep you posted on when to turn on the radio for the Fritz Pauer Tribute and when to turn on the TV for the MDW Gala.