Katharina Konradi. Catriona Morison. Ammiel Bushakevitz
Fragrance. Color. Sound

The soprano and alto registers are of dazzling ambiguity. Sacred music was long conceived for boys' voices or castrati, and even on the Baroque opera stage male voices occupied all vocal ranges, with exceptions proving the rule. The gender classification of vocal ranges into female and male voices only came later, even if trouser roles were invented for female singers at the same time in order to let gender fluidity back in through the back door, so to speak.

The gender classification was followed by characterizing clichés: for example, that of the angelic, soulful soprano, and that of the alto voice of "fallen flesh" and frivolity. These attributions have thus been effective for a long time and also characterize the program composed of duets and solo songs by Katharina Konradi, Catriona Morison and her accompanist Ammiel Bushakevitz, which brings German and French song culture into an insightful dialogue. The festival's main composer Brahms is represented with a block of solo songs and three duets, of which "Die Schwestern" in particular gets to the heart of the tense competition between the two vocal characters. Rarities on the program include songs by Josephine Lang, of whom Felix Mendelssohn said: "She has the gift of composing and singing songs as I have never heard anything, it is the most perfect musical joy". Rarely heard are duets by Mel Bonis (pseudonym of Mélanie Hélène Bonis), Charles Gounod and Gabriel Fauré.

Concert with intermission

Katharina Konradi


Catriona Morison


Ammiel Bushakevitz


Robert Schumann
First encounter
Love gram
Cover me with flowers

Fernando Obradors
Coplas de Curro Dulce
El molondrón
Del cabello más sutil
El vito

Johannes Brahms
Your black eye
Girl's song
Old love

Josephine Lang
Parting view
Whether I sometimes remember you

Johannes Brahms
The seas
The messengers of love
The sisters

Ernest Chausson
La Nuit

Scots Songs
Ye banks and braes
Can ye sew cushions
Ca' the yowes
The discreet hint

Robert Schumann
The lotus flower
The sea fairy
The walnut tree

Mel Bonis
Le Ruisseau

Charles Gounod
La Siesta

Gabriel Fauré