Briefe an die unsterbliche Geliebte / Letters to the Immortal Beloved (Counterpoint Music, Toronto, 2020)
for mezzo-soprano (or baritone) and piano trio (or piano) accompaniment. Settings of excerpts from Beethoven’s letters to the “Immortal Beloved”
“Letters to the Immortal Beloved” has been performed on five continents, with notable performances in Brazil, Portugal, Germany, China, Australia, Canada, the USA and elsewhere. Reviewer Michael Schulman (WholeNote Magazine, 27 February 2019) writes: “James Wright has rearranged excerpts from the letters to compose a moving, memorable 15-minute cycle of three songs, Briefe an die unsterbliche Geliebte (Letters to the Immortal Beloved), [which] effectively express the hyper-emotional words of Beethoven’s desperate longing … These beautiful, heartfelt songs should be welcomed into the lieder repertoire … Wright’s fervent song cycle definitely deserves repeated hearings (https://www.thewholenote.com/index.php/booksrecords2/classicalabeyond/28803-immortal-and-beloved-gryphon-trio).
Youtube video-recording, captioned with text (baritone David John Pike, pianist David Briggs, violinist José Pereira, cellist Miguel Fernandes, recorded live atIngreja da Lapa, Oporto, Portugal): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6emxQD-j2iQ
1) “Immortal and Beloved” (Montreal: Analekta AN 2 9522, January 2019): David Pike (baritone) and the Gryphon Trio. See https://carleton.ca/fass/letters-to-the-immortal-beloved/ and
2) “Elements Eternal” (Naxos 8.573533): Julie Nesrallah and the Gryphon Trio (recorded at the CBC Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto): http://www.naxos.com/feature/Elements_Eternal.asp
Potsdam, Germany (Palais Lichtenau), June 2, 2022: Tehila-Nini-Goldstein (mezzo-soprano), Han-Wen Jennifer Yu (piano), Mayu Tomotaki (violin), Yu-Hsuan Feng (cello).
Broadcast Interview (James Wright with Giacomo Panico: CBC Radio One “All in a Day” (28 July 2012):
Premiere performance: July 27, 2012, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival (mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah, and the Gryphon Trio – Annalee Patipatanakoon, Roman Borys, Jamie Parker).
James Wright’s Essay (“Beethoven’s Letters to the Immortal Beloved”): Beethovens Letters to the Immortal Beloved – J Wright (Wolfgangs Tonic)
Published Interview: Wright-Nesrallah Immortal Beloved – Fassinate 2013 (pp 8-9)
Ottawa Citizen article: AA- Ottawa Citizen Article (27 July 2012) – Wright LVB Immortal Beloved- from G3PressKit
Other noteworthy performances: Briefe an die unsterbliche Geliebte has been performed on four continents, including performancs by Julie Nesrallah and the New World Trio, Escola de Música e Artes Cênicas, Goiania, Brazil (November 1, 2013); Julie Nesrallah and the Gryphon Trio, Koerner Hall, University of Toronto (September 29th, 2014); Zhao Shuguang (baritone) and Wang Tianyang (piano), Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, China (July 6, 2016); Baritone David John Pike (Luxembourg, www.davidjohnpike.com), pianist Maxim Bernard, NACO violinist, cellist Tim McCoy, “Immortal Beloved” (Ottawa Choral Society Series), March 24, 2017. Baritone David John Pike, pianist David Briggs, violinist José Pereira, cellist Miguel Fernandes, recorded live at Igreja da Lapa, Porto/Oporto, Portugal (July 15, 2017), posted on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6emxQD-j2iQ; Briana Elyse Hunter (mezzo-soprano, (http://www.brianaelysehunter.com/), 7:00 pm, Sunday, November 12, 2017, Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church, Detroit, Michigan.
Reviews (Briefe an die unsterbliche Geliebte / Letters to the Immortal Beloved):