About the album
Kirsten Flagstad was born in Hamar, Norway, in 1895, into a life filled with music; both her parents were professional theatre musicians in Norway’s capital.
Throughout her childhood years at Vinderen in Oslo, music was a part of her life from morning until evening. Via her parents’ acquaintances, Kirsten was introduced to a broad repertoire; she would accompany herself at the piano in Schubert Lieder, revue songs by Vilhelm Dybwad, operettas by Franz Lehar and Emmerich Kálmán, as well as in the arias of Puccini and Wagner. Her début as an opera singer took place at the National Theatre in Oslo, in December 1913, where she sang the part of Nuri in Eugen d’Albert’s Tiefland, under the baton of Johan Halvorsen.
Despite that fact that Kirsten Flagstad is remembered as a singer mainly of large-scale works, with a voice that was suited to the largest venues, she had a particular love of Lieder and art songs. From her teens and throughout her career her repertoire included a significant number of German and Nordic songs. Her distinctive voice and ability made Kirsten Flagstad a source of inspiration to composers all over the world. Many wrote music for her, claiming that their music was so demanding that only Kirsten would be able to perform it. She had a predilection for Norwegian music and as often as not a recital programme would contain songs by Arne Dørumsgaard, Sverre Jordan, Øistein Sommerfeldt, Sigurd Lie, or Hjalmar Borgstrøm. Flagstad’s short, intense friendship with the Swedish composer Knut Håkanson inspired a special collection of songs that she kept in her repertoire all her life.
Die Intention dieser Aufnahme ist es, neue Facetten von Kirsten Flagstad als Interpretin des Kunstliedes zu beleuchten. Die hier aufgenommenen Lieder wurden von Komponisten geschrieben, von denen einige ihre Begleiter waren. Etliche von ihnen wurden lebenslange enge Freunde. Die Lieder sind von so hohem Niveau, dass sie die Aufmerksamkeit neuer Aufführungen verdienen. Isa Katharina Gericke ist bekannt für ihre Vielseitigkeit als Performerin mit einem Repertoire von Oper, Kammermusik und Konzertwerken vom Barock bis zur Gegenwart. Ihre Liebe zu Liedern und Kunstliedern hat zu vielbeachteten Konzertauftritten geführt, die sich auf das Leben und Wirken der Sängerinnen Eva Sars Nansen, Kirsten Flagstad und Jenny Lind konzentrierten. Ihre Aufnahmen haben alle eine Verbindung zum nordischen Kunstliedrepertoire. Der Pianist Bengt Forsberg ist eine führende Persönlichkeit der schwedischen Musik. Er ist ein gefragter Kammermusiker und tritt häufig bei Festivals in Europa und den nordischen Ländern auf. Zu seinen festen Mitarbeitern zählen die Mezzosopranistin Anne Sofie von Otter, die Cellistin Mats Lindström und der Violinist Nils-Erik Sparf, mit dem er zahlreiche Aufnahmen gemacht hat.
ISA KATHARINA GERICKE - SOPRANO
Isa Katharina Gericke is known for her versatility as a performer with a repertoire of opera, chamber music and concert works ranging from baroque to contemporary. Her love of Lieder and art songs has resulted in well-received concert performances centred on the life and work of singers Eva Sars Nansen, Kirsten Flagstad and Jenny Lind. Isa reveals further facets of her versatility in the cabaret “Frauen sind keine Engel” featuring music from Berlin in the 1930s and 40s. Isa is a sought-after presenter for various concepts centred on classical music, and she has been artistic director of Kongsberg’s Glogerfestspillene since the start in 2001.
Isa graduated from the Norwegian Academy of Music and the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. She has won several awards, including the very first Wesselpris awarded by Norske Selskab for her contribution to the promotion of Norwegian vocal music. Isa made her opera début in 2003 as Gretel in Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” at the Norwegian Opera and Ballet.
Solo engagements have included collaborations with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Akademie für alte Musik Berlin, Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, TrondheimSolistene, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Kammerakademie Potsdam, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and conductors Sir Andrew Davies, Manfred Honneck, Franz Brüggen, Philippe Herreweghe, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Antonello Manacorda and Ole Kristian Ruud.
Isa is a frequent guest at chamber music festivals in Norway and abroad, and her CD recordings for Simax Classics and LAWO all have a connection to the Nordic art song repertoire.
BENGT FORSBERG - PIANO
Bengt Forsberg is a leading figure in Swedish music. He is a much sought-after chamber music performer and appears frequently at festivals in Europe and the Nordic countries. His regular collaborators include mezzosoprano Anne Sofie von Otter, cellist Mats Lidström and violinist Nils-Erik Sparf, with whom he has made a number of recordings. Forsberg and von Otter have given recitals worldwide and several of their recordings have received prestigious awards. Forsberg’s solo career includes regular performances with the leading Swedish symphony orchestras as well as with many orchestras abroad.
Forsberg’s repertoire is impressively wide, and it is not unusual for him to bring forgotten works back into the limelight – these might be unusual works by well-known composers or undeservedly neglected works by lesser-known composers. Forsberg is artistic director of the chamber music at Allhelgonakyrkan (All Saints’ church) in Stockholm.