Wednesday, 13th October 2021 – 20h

Sant Pau Recinte Modernista · Sala Domènech i Montaner · See map »

* Tickets available soon


Carolyn Sampson soprano

Joseph Middleton piano

Destiny to madness

Throughout history, men have been afraid of the madness supposedly attributed to women, burning them in bonfires, closing them in asylums or treating them with psychoanalysis. But at the same time they have not been able to escape their fascination. Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton have created and recorded this show ‘A reason in madness’ exploring the approaches of various composers to female madness, and have been inspired by Nietzsche’s phrase to create it: “there’s always a bit of madness in love, just as there’s always a bit of reason in madness.” Brahms’ songs about Shakespeare’s Ophelia dialogue with those composed by Strauss and Chausson about the same character, while Ophelia’s Death is described by Schumann and Saint-Saens. Mignon’s traumatized and mysterious vision appears in both Wolf’s and Duparc’s cycle, while the obsessed Gretchen cries on her dot wheel in Schubert’s incomparable music. Sadness and madness lead to witchcraft and unbridled eroticism with Pierre Loues’ poems about Bilitis, music by Koechlin and Debussy. Sampson and Middleton finish their recital when they began, with a suicide in the water, drowning in Poulenc’s monologue La Dame de Monte Carlo, where the old protagonist, who has been unlucky at the gaming tables, decides to throw into the sea.



Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Gretchen am Spinnrade

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)


Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Die Spinnerin  / Herzelied

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)


Wie erkenn’ ich dein Treublieb / Sein Leichenhemd weiss wie Schnee / Auf morgen ist Sankt Valentins Tag / Sie trugen ihn auf der Bahre bloss / Und kommt er nicht mehr zurück?


Richard Strauss (1864-1949)

Drei Lieder der Ophelia

Wie erkenn ich mein Treulieb vor andern nun / Guten Morgen, ‘s ist Sankt Valentingstag / Sie trugen ihn auf der Bahre bloss


Hugo Wolf (1860-1903)

Mignon Lieder

Kennst du das Land? / Heiss mich nich reden / Nur wer die Sehnsucht keent / So lasst mich scheiden, bis ich werde


Henri Duparc (1848-1933)

Romance de Mignon

Charles Koechlin (1867-1950)

Hymne a Astarté

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Chansons de Bilitis

La flûte de Pan / La Chevelure / Le Tombeau des naïades


Chales Koechlin (1867-1950)

Épitaphe de Bilitis


Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)

La mort d’Ophélie

Ernest Chausson (1855-1899)

Chanson d’Ophélie

Henri Duparc

Au pays où se fait la guerre


Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

La dame de Monte Carlo