The Song Duo with the Swiss soprano Franziska Andrea Heinzen and British-Polish-German pianist Benjamin Malcolm Mead was founded in Düsseldorf in 2014. The Duo is constantly seeking for ways to vitalise the classical Lied repertoire by combining unknown Lied treasures in specially curated recital programmes. During the past five years, they have been giving successful recitals in Switzerland (Rhonefestival/Schubertiade de Sion), the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain (Schubert Cycle of the Schubertiada Vilabertran), and Germany (Schumannfest/Düsseldorf Festival).
DEBUTS & PROGRAMMING
The two young musicians took second prize at the chamber music competition „Sieghardt-Rometsch“ and first prize at the 2. International Song-Competition „Rhein-Ruhr“ in 2017, are laureates of the international competition „Les saisons de la voix“ and received a special award from „Juventudes de musica españa“ in giving a series of song recitals in Spain in 2018. Together they received the music endowment award of the state capital of Düsseldorf in 2017.
Franziska and Benjamin have had the honour of working with Julius Drake, Richard Stokes and Christoph Prégardien at the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme in Aldeburgh, with Malcolm Martineau, Roberta Alexander, and Olaf Bär during the Udo Reinemann International Masterclasses in Brussels, as well as with Graham Johnson and Elly Ameling during the 42. Masterclass for Lied organized by the Internationale Hugo Wolf Akademie in Stuttgart. Further masterclasses with Dame Felicity Lott, Boguslaw Strobel, Hans Eijsackers, Jeff Cohen complement their passion for the art of Lied as well as Ulrich Eisenlohr, Hartmut Höll, and Wolfram Rieger.
BELLE EPOQUE (2021)
This song recital tells about musical utopias around the penultimate turn of the century: Dreams and hopes of an exotic elsewhere, fantasies and longings about (soul)landscapes, eternal love and the”promised land“ emerges and dissolves in inner or outer exile.
Daydreams from Claude DEBUSSY, Maurice RAVEL to Arnold SCHÖNBERG, Cole PORTER and others.
HOMAGE TO BAUDELAIRE (2021)
“La musique souvent me prend comme une mer!”
Charles BAUDELAIRE (1821–1867) recital for his 200th anniversary, with songs by DEBUSSY, CHARPENTIER, DUPARC, VIERNE, FERRE, COWIE and others.
SHAKESPEARES GRAVE (2021)
Already at the end of the 16th century, William SHAKESPEARE offers a fascinating insight into the soul worlds that have been twisted and torn apart by life and love.
A staged search for traces by Henry PURCELL, Erich KORNGOLD, Richard STRAUSS to WOLFGANG RIHM and many more.
ROCK FACE. SWISS MUSIC FROM THE ALPS (2019-2021)
LES SIX (2020 – CD-Release in 2021)
In 1920 an album of piano pieces was published by a group of composers called Les Six. The composers HONEGGER, AURIC, DUREY, MILHAUD, POULENC, and TAILLEFERRE each contributed one short work.
The peculiarity of these works is to be rediscovered, as the inter-war years – les années folles – inspired artists to fusion the genres, create avant-garde treasures as well as to conduct dadaistic experiments. 100 years later, our recital brings this piano cycle back to life whilst being complemented by songs composed by the members of Les Six.
BETWEEN DREAMS & REALITY (2020)
WOMEN COMPOSERS (2019)
DREAM CROWNED. HOMAGE TO RAINER MARIA RILKE (2018)
A world of its own, dream-crowned: Rainer Maria RILKE’S formulation of the concept of death, life and its transcendantality inspired a whole century of composers lasting into contemporary music to highly emotional, congenial musical works of art.
The audience is abducted into a world full of poetry and love, as well as soul abysses with works by A. MAHLER, BERNSTEIN, DUREY, BARBER, PEJACEVIC, HINDEMITH and REIMANN.
ABOUT KINGS AND PRINCESSES (2019)
Stories are not only fascinating for children, adults do dream too! They are perhaps dreaming of of (good) old times, past love and fantastic figures beyond the daily life.
This recital leads you into a musical journey of another world, where kings drink from golden cups and ride unceasingly through the night (Franz SCHUBERT), where exotic princesses seductively sing from a promised land (Maurice RAVEL), where knights sit for many hundreds of years observing the unlucky luck (Robert SCHUMANN).
OLD TALES REDISCOVERED. HOMMAGE TO SWISS POET GOTTFRIED KELLER (2019)
Swiss and international composers as Othmar SCHOECK or Hugo WOLF were both highly inspired by the Swiss Poet Gottfried KELLER, who is celebrating his 200th anniversary in 2019.
First set in music by Johannes BRAHMS, the poem cycle “Alte Weisen” (“Old tales”) about different women characters found its musical continuation in settings by Hugo WOLF, Felix WEINGARTNER, Hans SOMMER, and Hans PFITZNER.
ANCIENT FEMALE CHARACTERS IN CONTEMPORARY SONG (2019)
This recital is dedicated to the modern and contemporary art of Lied. Even the composers of our time like getting involved with archetypes, searching for personal expression as well as (unusual) musical and vocal settings, revealing to us enlightening and refreshing answers to timeless questions.
The program talks about mystical female worlds that have inspired male composers such as Moritz EGGERT, Wilhelm KILLMAYER, Wolfgang RIHM, and Alexander MUNO.
CELEBRATING WITH FRIENDS: DEBUSSY, BERNSTEIN & CO (2018)
SCHUBERT: GOETHE AND THE POETS OF SENSIBILITY (2018)
LOVE’S MAGIC ON THE RHINE (2017)
BETWEEN EAST AND WEST, SPACE AND TIME (2017)
This is a recital spanning from works by the Liedermeister Franz Schubert to exotic and contemporary sounds: The “elsewhere” as opposed to the “here” in lyric poetry and music serves as an antipode to the poetic shaping of spatial and emotional distances. Thus, in this recital, the easterly wind is the ambassador of love, space and time, whilst simultaneously symbolising the secret love between Wolfgang von GOETHE and Marianne von WILLEMER.