Sophia Burgos. Daniel Arkadij Gerzenberg

Daniel Gerzenberg_(c)Julia Mittelhamm

A song recital in the form of a palindrome, a sequence that can be read both forwards and backwards: Sophia Burgos, the sensational American vocal artist with Puerto Rican roots, and Daniel Arkadij Gerzenberg place three arrangements of folk songs from Puerto Rico in the centre of their programme. In the wake of corresponding arrangements by Johannes Brahms or Benjamin Britten, the two develop free adaptations for the genre of the art song. Around it they group songs inspired by Iberian poetry and the language of Latin America – from excerpts from Hugo Wolf's "Spanish Songbook" to the timelessly beautiful canciones of the Argentines Alberto Ginastera and Carlos Guastavino to
George Crumb. The innovator of American song, who died in 2022 at a ripe old age and preferred to set Federico Garcia Lorca to music, knew better than anyone how to condense experimental sounds and immediately suggestive ideas into musical poetry. Contemporary poetry from Puerto Rico – recited and improvisationally spun out – forms the exciting framework of the evening: the literature of the Caribbean island, with its strong population of three million, is still little known abroad. Both the Spanish colonial power and the U.S. invaders long suppressed the further development of the island's evolved culture; only since about 1980 has creativity been able to flourish without repression.

Concert without intermission
Duration approx. 60min

Sophia Burgos


Daniel Arkadij Gerzenberg


Recital and improvisation about a contemporary Puerto Rican poem

Alberto Ginastera
Cinco Canciones Populares Argentinas

George Crumb
Sun and Shadow – Spanish Songbook II

Three Puerto Rican folk songs (arr.)

Hugo Wolf
Five songs from „Spanish Songbook“

Carlos Guastavino
Canciones Argentinas

Improvisation about a Puerto Rican poem