Christoph Schnackertz (Piano), Christoph Prégardien (Tenor)
While travelling to Paris, in January 1862, Moniuszko wrote to his Vilnius publisher Adam Zawadzki asking for consent for his songs to be published in France: ‘The opportunity has arisen to have my songs from the Songbooks published in French translation. Allow me to hope that you won’t oppose it.’ The opportunity for a French edition arose thanks to the support of Gioachino Rossini, and negotiations with the publisher, Flaxland, were conducted on the composer’s behalf by his devoted friend Jozef Wieniawski. Over the course of his long life, Henri Duparc composed only a small number of works, yet he holds an important place in music history as one of the greatest composers of French songs. As a pupil of Cesar Franck, he aroused the admiration of both his master and his colleagues. Paderewski composed the Twelve Songs to words by Catulle Mendes in Morges, in 1903, during a lengthy break from his concert travels. ‘Those were happy times!’ he later recalled. Zygmunt Stojowski and Helena Modjeska, who were staying with him at that time, mention that he wrote quickly and with incredible facility, a new song appearing almost every day and presented to them in the evening, such that the whole set was completed in just two weeks. Christoph Pregardien is regarded as one of the leading lyric tenors and esteemed as an outstanding interpreter of German Lieder, but his interests and experience make him the perfect candidate to present these French Chanson/Pieti.