This project, which has been two years in the making, finds Anna Prohaska and Julius Drake exploring music on the themes of Eve, Paradise and banishment.
Some songs were obvious choices, such as Fauré’s Paradis, in which God appears to Eve and asks her to name each flower and animal, or Purcell’s Sleep, Adam, sleep with its references to Genesis. But Anna Prohaska also wished to illustrate the cliché of the woman who brought original sin into the world and her status as a temptress who leads man astray, as in Brahms’s Salamander, Wolf’s Die Bekehrte or Ravel’s Air du Feu. In Das Paradies und die Peri, Schumann conjures up the image of Syria’s rose-covered plains. Bernstein also transports us to the desert with Silhouette.
John Milton’s seventeenth-century masterpiece Paradise Lost was the inspiration for Charles Ives and Benjamin Britten, also featured in this very rich programme that constitutes an invitation to travel and reflection.