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Bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni to make Bay Area recital debut with SFP

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April will begin with the Bay Area recital debut of bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni. His recital will be the third program in the Vocal Series of the 2013–14 season of San Francisco Performances (SFP). His accompanist will be pianist Wolfram Rieger, familiar to many SFP audiences as accompanist for baritone Thomas Hampson. By my count, this will be Rieger’s fifth SFP appearance.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the program Pisaroni has prepared is the attention he will devote to Johann Friedrich Reichardt. Like Ludwig van Beethoven, Reichardt was a composer whose works spanned the transition from the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries. However, his background was far more diverse. He studied under Immanuel Kant at Königsberg University; and his subsequent pursuits involved government service, politics, and literature, as well as music. He was a friend of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and his settings of Goethe’s texts account for a generous portion of the approximately 1500 songs he composed. Indeed, it would appear that the Goethe poems he selected may well have influenced the selections made by Franz Schubert, even if Reichardt’s musical achievements had little (if any) influence. The eight Reichardt songs that Pisaroni has programmed are all settings of sonnets by Petrarch.

This period of transition will also be represented by four Beethoven songs. The earliest of these, “La partenza” was composed in 1795 and not published during Beethoven’s lifetime. The remaining three songs Pisaroni has selected are from the first decade of the nineteenth century, and two were included in Beethoven’s Opus 82 publication. Advancing further into that century, the remainder of the program will be devoted to eleven songs by Franz Liszt and the five songs in Johannes Brahms’ Opus 72.

This recital will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Nourse Theatre (275 Hayes Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street and across the street from Davies Symphony Hall) on Tuesday, April 1. Ticket prices are $65, $55, and $38. Tickets may be purchased through the event page on the SFP Web site. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 415-398-6449.

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