Thursday, March 8, 2018

Baritone Villanueva to Return to LIEDER ALIVE!

Eugene Villanueva and Peter Grünberg, from Eventbrite

Later this month LIEDER ALIVE! will present the fourth concert in its seventh annual Liederabend Series. The recital will present the second appearance in this series by baritone Eugene Villanueva, the first American singer to win the Tosti song prize offered by Instituto Nazionale Tostiano in Ortona, Italy. His accompanying pianist will be Peter Grünberg.

Consistent with Villanueva’s distinction, the second half of his program will be devoted entirely to a selection of the delightfully light and expressive songs by Paolo Tosti. There will also be an Italian side to the first half with Hugo Wolf’s settings of poems by Paul Heyse that he collected in his two-volume Italienisches Liederbuch (Italian songbook). Villanueva will sing five songs from each of the volumes; and those two sets will be separated by a piano solo by Grünberg, in which he will play his own concert paraphrase of Wolf’s 1887 “Italian Serenade” in G major, originally written for string quartet and subsequently arranged for string orchestra. The Wolf portion of the program will be preceded by a similar treatment of music by Johannes Brahms. Villanueva will sing six of Brahms’ songs arranged in three groups of two. Between those groups Grünberg will play two of Brahms’ intermezzo pieces, first Opus 117, Number 2, in C-sharp minor and then Opus 116, Number 6 in E major.

This performance will begin at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 25. The venue will the Noe Valley Ministry at 1021 Sanchez Street, between 23rd Street and Elizabeth Street. Single tickets will be $40 at the door with a $20 discounted rate for students, seniors, and working artists. If purchased in advance, the prices will be $75 for reserved seating and $35 for general admission. An Eventbrite Web page has been created for advance purchase. Those interested in advance purchase may also call LIEDER ALIVE! at 415-561-0100.

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