Einsteinstr. 42 81675 München
Tenor Gregory Wiest sings Lermontov
Cycle of poems by the Russian poet, Mikhail Lermontov, translated by Anatoly Liberman
Tenor Gregory Wiest has been a crusader for American art song, even as he continues to reside in Germany. Every year he presents a recital of American songs, He sang DET’s Blessings in 2015, and in 2020 he will present a cycle of five poems by the Russian poet, Mikhail Lermontov,
In May 2018, I collaborated with soprano Maria Jette in a performance of songs by Carl Nielsen. Nielsen’s gentle lyricism and simple accompaniments charmed us both. At Maria’s urging, I had attended Anatoly Liberman’s reading of his translations of Russian lyrics on the day before Valentine’s Day three months before. Lermontov was but one of the poets heard on that occasion. Eager to write something in the Nielsen vein for Ms. Jette, I found many attractive lyrics in Mr. Liberman’s Mikhail Lermontov, Major Poetical Works (University of Minnesota Press, 1983) and chose five for a compact song cycle.
The protagonist of these Lyrics is drawn to the beloved in the first two songs, her voice, her face, her movements: “all is inimitable grace.” But like a cloud that drifts off a cliff, love floats away. Her music is remembered as the song of an angel who carries a soul “for miser destined and dole” on earth.
The cycle is dedicated to Ms. Jette.