Friday, May 31, 2019

The Karlsson-Holmertz Duo will perform Wallin at June in Buffalo

The first evening concert in June in Buffalo 2019, to take place on Monday 3rd, will feature the Karlsson-Holmertz Duo, formed by Cikada ensemble's pianist Kenneth Karlsson and soprano Elisabeth Holmertz. The two worked together for the first time in 2005, in the opera Ophelias: death by water singing by Henrik Hellstenius, where Holmertz sang the main part. After this, Cikada—where Karlsson is also the artistic director—invited Holmertz to sing on several projects. One of these became the critically acclaimed CD Nordheim, that was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy award. The duo was formed at Karlsson's 2010 birthday party when, late in the night, he and Holmertz started playing Swedish romantic pop songs.

(The Karlsson-Holmertz Duo)

Although a big part of their repertoire consists of contemporary classical music, and they enjoy working closely with composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Klaus Lang, Rolf Wallin and Carola Bauckholt, the duo also has a burning passion for lieder, Swedish Romantics, and the performance of well-known popular music—like Bob Dylan, Josephine Baker and others—in new and different ways, often using Karlsson's Indian harmonium. They have also formed the group Vollen United, an experimental ensemble that freely mixes genres like baroque, contemporary, pop, and improvisation. Vollen United has different incarnations, and members have included Fredrik Bock playing the theorbo, Per Bure on baroque violin, and Karin Hellqvist on violin.

During their Monday 3rd concert, the Karlsson-Holmertz duo will offer a Rolf Wallin portrait concert, in colaboration with the composer himself. The program will begin with Three poems by Rainer Maria Rilke for voice and piano, followed by a work for a decidedly less common instrumentation: Scratch, for balloon, played by Wallin. Karlsson will then play Seven Imperatives, a solo piano work divided into seven movements, as announced by the title: Seek, Push, Sink, Spin, Stab, Lean and Quit. After that, Wallin will again take the stage to perform Seven Imperatives Remix, where he reprocesses and modifies recorded material from his piano work on the computer. The concert will end with another voice and piano duo, the 1987 piece ...though what made it has gone...

(Wallin - ...though what made it has gone...)

The text of ...though what made it has gone... was taken from the poem Whoever finds a Horseshoe, by the polish-born Russian poet Osip Mandelsam, who died in 1938 in one of Stalin's prisoner camps. In his piece, Wallin set fragments of the original Russian and also an English translation, to provide occasional glimpses of the meaning of the poem for people who don't know the original language.

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