In this special recital, international superstars perform exquisite music by two giants of French song: Debussy and Messiaen.

Download the programme notes here.

This programme combines the acclaimed duo of Mitsuko Uchida and Magdalena Kožená.

This starry pair have been performing together for over a decade and here they present an intoxicating evening of French song.

The programme pairs Messiaen’s dramatic and affectionate “Poèmes pour Mi” – dedicated to his first wife – with three cycles by the French impressionist Debussy, including his sensuous settings of Pierre Louÿs and the “forgotten songs” which set Paul Verlaine.

Magdalena Kožená mezzo soprano
Mitsuko Uchida piano

Chansons de Bilitis (10’)
Ariettes oubliées (17’)
Cinq poèmes de Baudelaire (25’)
Poèmes pour Mi (Nos.5–9) (17’)

About Magdalena Kožená
Born in the Czech city of Brno, Magdalena Kožená studied voice and piano at the Brno Conservatory and at Bratislava’s Academy of Performing Arts.

She signed as an exclusive artist with Deutsche Grammophon in 1999 and has since been awarded multiple prizes for her albums including Gramophone’s Solo Vocal Award, Gramophone’s Artist of the Year, Echo Klassik, Record Academy Prize Tokyo, and Diapason d’or. In 2017, she forged a long-term relationship with Dutch label Pentatone and her 3 recordings include ‘Il Giardino dei sospiri’ with harpsichordist Václav Luks and Collegium 1704, an intimate chamber music album ‘Soirée’, and her most recent release, ‘Nostalgia’ with pianist Yefim Bronfman.

Magdalena Kožená was appointed a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2003 for her services to French music.

About Mitsuko Uchida
One of the most revered artists of our time, Mitsuko Uchida is known as a peerless interpreter of the works of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Beethoven, as well for being a devotee of the piano music of Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, and György Kurtág. She is Musical America’s 2022 Artist of the Year, and a Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist across the 2022/3, 2023/4 and 2024/5 seasons. Her multi-award-winning discography includes the complete Mozart and Schubert piano sonatas. She is the recipient of two Grammy® Awards – for Mozart Concertos with The Cleveland Orchestra, and for an album of lieder with Dorothea Röschmann – and her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra won the Gramophone Award for Best Concerto.

A person leaning on her arm and looking into the camera.

Mitsuko Uchida

Main photograph of Magdalena Kožená by Julia Wesely

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