The story of love in song and music

Helen Hancock, Eszter Cetinceviz, and Ramin Haghjoo to perform Schumann’s iconic ‘Frauenliebe und -leben’ in Galway in April

A ringing endorsement! Phyllis McNamara of Cobwebs (left), well known for her passionate enthusiasm for classical music, gives her seal of approval to Galway-based soprano, Helen Hancock, ahead of Helen’s Ring On My Finger concert - featuring music centred on love, relationships, and marriage - in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church this month. Photo by doorusphoto.net.

A ringing endorsement! Phyllis McNamara of Cobwebs (left), well known for her passionate enthusiasm for classical music, gives her seal of approval to Galway-based soprano, Helen Hancock, ahead of Helen’s Ring On My Finger concert - featuring music centred on love, relationships, and marriage - in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church this month. Photo by doorusphoto.net.

Schumann’s iconic Frauenliebe und -leben, a song cycle charting the journey of life as defined by the experience of love, will be the centrepiece of a concert in Galway this month.

Ring On My Finger, featuring Irish soprano Helen Hancock, accompanied by cellist Eszter Cetinceviz (Hungary ) and pianist Ramin Haghjoo (USA ), takes place in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Galway City, on Sunday 28th April at 3pm.

Themed around love, marriage, life together, painful departures, and the depths of the human heart, the programme also includes works by Schubert, Strauss, Beach and Bruch.

Schumann composed Frauenliebe und -leben in 1840, the year he married his beloved Clara Wieck. The cycle’s eight songs were originally poems by Franco-German writer Aldebert von Chamisso which Schumann arranged for female voice and piano.

Collectively they explore one woman’s life from falling in love to becoming engaged, married, to giving birth, her grief and pain after her husband’s death and how these experiences have moulded and shaped her.

Love and death reoccur in Schubert's ‘Auf Dem Strom’, written towards the end of the composer's life. It depicts a man setting out on the water, a metaphor for the journey towards death, gazing up at the stars and hoping he might encounter, in some way, someone only referred to as ‘Her’.

The joy of love will be given expression in Strauss's iconic lied ‘Morgen’ - written in 1894 and part of a set of songs as a wedding gift to his wife, Pauline Struss-De Ahna - and the ecstatic, charming ‘Chanson d'Amour’, by the pioneering American composer, Amy Beach.

The concert also features Max Bruch’s Kol Nidrei. Written for the cello and inspired by the Jewish liturgy, it is his most frequently performed piece after his famous Violin Concerto No.1.

Dublin-born, Galway-based soprano, Helen Hancock, is a busy recitalist, with a particular passion for the lieder and baroque repertoire. She performed at the Ulysses Centenary for the Embassy of Ireland, Berlin, in 2022; at Castleknock Music Festival 2023; and at Galway Early Music Festival 2023. She returns to Germany in June as part of the Zeitgeist Irland 24 programme.

Eszter Cetinceviz, from Hungary, held the position of Principal Cellist in The Miskolc National Theater Orchestra and was a member of The Hungarian Symphony Orchestra Miskolc. Now based in Galway, she is a member of the Ivernia String Quartet and Trio. She will play with The Luminosa Orchestra for the first time in April.

Pianist Ramin Haghjoo is a graduate of, and former teacher at, the University of California Music Department. He moved to Galway in 2012 and works as piano and theory/composition teacher for Maoin Cheoil na Gaillimhe, where he also conducts the youth orchestra. Since 2018, he has taught at the University of Galway Music Department.

The concert will also feature a guest appearance by the Con4za Quartet from Coole Music, performing work by Katharina Baker. Tickets are available via https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/ring-on-my-finger-tickets-864734342697?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

 

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