Roderick Williams in recital

Roddy Williams singing on stage

A woman’s life and love? For Milton Court Artist-in-Residence Roderick Williams, Schumann’s great song cycle opens up some remarkably modern perspectives on identity and the human heart.

‘The joy is the love, the love is the joy’ declares the (supposedly) female narrator of Frauenliebe und-leben. ‘I have said it, and won't take it back!’ And since human emotion acknowledges no gender, Williams has assembled an entire recital that explores the limitlessly fluid ways in which two souls can merge.

It’s an inspired idea for a song recital: since every song is itself an encounter of words and music, singer and pianist – each enriched by the other. Brahms is a natural complement to Schumann, but songs by Sally Beamish, Herbert Howells and Rhian Samuel all offer an utterly distinctive perspective.  For Roderick Williams, though, it’s simply about communication: ‘I’d love audiences to think, “What an amazing juxtaposition of music and poetry this is”.’

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architecture detail of the barbican hall

Composer Focus – Episode 2: Benjamin Britten with Roderick Williams

In episode two, host Ed Seckerson is joined by baritone and composer Roderick Williams to discuss Benjamin Britten, a complex and often contradictory character, and one of the 20th century’s greatest opera composers.

an orchestra playing classical music in the barbican hall in central london

Listen: Classical Music on Spotify

Follow our regularly updated Classical Music playlist for a sample of the music you'll hear across our programme. 

a great photo of joyce didonato at the barbican centre in london before a concert

Watch: Classical Music

Explore our programme of classical music through our series of talks and interviews with the world's top soloists, musicians, conductors and collaborators.
 

Milton Court Concert Hall

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