We had the great pleasure of working the Swansea International Festival 2016 at the Friends Festival Lecture in the stunning Lord Mayor's Reception Room at The Guildhall in Swansea last night (11th October).
The Lecture "Drama in Song" was given by David Jackson, Artistic Director of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. David played and discussed recordings of some of the greatest singers of recent history, and examined what makes a great dramatic song or Lied, and equally importantly, what makes a great vocal performance.
When were approached by Lyndon Jones, Artistic Director of the Festival to ask if we would be happy to provide a suitable Hi-fi for the Lecture we jumped at the chance, and once we saw the room it was going to be held in we got quite excited. We took with us electronics by Chord Electronics and Dynaudio Contour series loudspeakers.
We arrived at the Guildhall around 4pm to start set-up for the evening, and as soon as we hit play on the first song to check the system out it was absolutely stunning! I had hoped that the system would sound good but it was a lot better than I expected considering how large the room is. Not long after we had set up we even had people coming in the room that had heard the music travelling down the corridors and had followed their ears as it sounded so good.
Having everything ready and the DJ duties left to Lyndon I could join the audience and enjoy the Lecture. I could have listened to David for hours as it was so interesting hearing the story of what music was about to be played and the reasons why he had chosen each piece. Several times I caught myself about to clap after each song they were so good, which was obviously why they had been chosen.
David's last choice of song was Schubert: Der Erlkonig, sung by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in which the singer must portray four parts, the narrator, the Father, the boy and the Elf King. I had never heard this song before and found it simply amazing, I've already been playing it in the shop again today!
If you would like to track the recording down that David had chosen, the recording is by EMI - catalogue number CDM769 503-2 TRACK 21.
I have to once again say a huge thank you to Lyndon for inviting us to help with the evening and to David for such an enjoyable Lecture.