Recording coming soon!
The Good Song: Gabriel Fauré in the 1890s
With guests Harry Baechtel, baritone and Michael Seregow, piano
Gabriel Fauré began working on his epic D minor Piano Quintet (Op. 89) in 1887, but set it aside in the early 1890s to write his unique and inspired song cycles, La Bonne Chanson and Cinq Melodies de Venise, both of which feature poetry by the symbolist poet Paul Verlaine. Sylvestris Quartet, baritone Harry Baechtel, and pianist Michael Seregow join forces to present these three remarkable and sublime works. La Bonne Chanson is uniquely scored for voice, piano, and string quartet. The composer finally finished his piano quintet in 1906, nearly twenty years after beginning working on it!
Baritone Harry Baechtel is Assistant Professor of Voice at Portland State University, and a frequent oratorio and opera soloist with such companies as Boston Lyric Opera, The Berkshire Opera, Eugene Opera, Intermezzo Opera, The Jarvis Conservatory, and The New Opera, as well as Oregon Music Festival, Boston Baroque, the Oregon Bach Festival, Portland Baroque Orchestra, the Oregon Mozart Players, and Vox Resonat (voxresonat.com). He has a particular passion for art songs, and completed his doctoral thesis on Mahler and German folk idioms at the University of Oregon, where he was sole recipient of the Award of Excellence in teaching and Outstanding Graduate Performer in Music Award. He also holds degrees from Northwestern University and the Boston University Opera Institute.
Pianist Michael Seregow enjoys a multifaceted career as a teacher, performer, and scholar. He finds himself at home on a variety of keyboard instruments, in particular 19th century pianos and their repertoire. For the 2016-17 academic year, Dr. Seregow joins the faculty at the University of Puget Sound. Prior to this he taught at the University of Oregon, where he earned his D.M.A. in Piano Performance, was invited to serve as a sabbatical replacement for three members of the piano faculty, and was twice named Outstanding Graduate Performer in Keyboard as well as Outstanding Graduate Performer in Music. As a recitalist, he recently gave the American premiere of solo piano works by British crossover musician and producer Guy Sigsworth, played a solo performance at the Festival of the American Liszt Society in Los Angeles, and performed Schubert’s great song cycle, Die Winterreise, with baritone Harry Baechtel.