The concert series SimplySchubert was born during a chilly February-evening in Bangalore, where we just were preparing for the first ever performance of our a cappella programme with The Bangalore Men. I have always been very drawn to the music of Schubert, having sung many of his immortal lieder, but haven’t really heard much of his compositions for male choir. After having performed his Der Gondelfahrer (The Gondoliere), together with members of French choir Akademia under the baton of Ms Francoise Lasserre, I started to explore more, and stumbled upon a CD by the Swedish male choir Orpehi Drangar, where they sang “the goodies” from Schubert’s compositions for male choir. I was hooked!
Together with my troops (The Bangalore Men), our Leading Lady (Natallia Kapylova on piano) and our brilliant guest artist, Ms Payal John, soprano, we decided upon a programme displaying the musical genius that is Schubert – in short SimplySchubert!
Our programme concept was simple, yet varied. Male choruses, mixed with some of Schubert’s most well-known Lieder and piano solos, showcasing his breadth in style and expression. I especially wanted music that showcased all the human feelings through music – joy, anger, grief, fear and so on. Feelings we all can relate to and have experienced!
Our rehearsals went on as per planned, and the 19th of August the first out of three concerts of SimplySchubert hit the stage at the auditorium Alliance Francaise de Bangalore. And such a response we got! Not only did we sell out all tickets, we also managed to deliver a performance that were not only true in interpretation, with high musical standard throughout but also got an amazing support and reception from the full auditorium. A truly memorable experience, and we all were floating on little clouds after the evening was over, and I dare say also the next day!
Without further ado, we all met on an early Sunday morning to start off to Mysore for our second performance. Travelling together with choir mates on tour is something special! You re-live your latest concert, someone practices, someone listens to music and the excitement is tangible for the evening! After a smooth journey, we reached our venue for the evening – Jaganmohan Palace, in the heart of Mysore. This magnificent palace with it’s massive auditorium, gave a worthy frame to Schubert’s music, and the enthusiastic audience was very encouraging. The collaboration with Mysore Music Association is something we will nourish and look forward to a new collaboration soon again.
After a week, it was time for our final performance of SimplySchubert for this time – together with the support of our friends in the Hyderabad Western Music Foundation, we all packed off to Hyderabad, arriving comfortably by air and transported to our venue – the Hyderabad Public School in Begumpet. And such a lovely venue indeed! Inspiring architecture, greenery and amazing acoustics vouched for a night to be remembered.
Thanks to the brilliant organization of the concert by Goethe-Zentrum Hyderabad, we yet again drew a full house, and after an inspiring, successful and appreciated concert, we all enjoyed a late night barbecue together with our friends from HMWF and Goethe-Zentrum. We will come back – for sure!
SimplySchubert – an evening of musical genius has touched the hearts of more than 600 people in south India, and already now we are in discussions with other cities in the country to repeat the programme, something we eagerly look forward to.