Gregory Feldmann and Nathaniel LaNasa present “Degenerate Music” in Weill Hall Debut
Join baritone Gregory Feldmann and pianist Nathaniel LaNasa (current student of Robert Durso) on a journey through the world of dissenters, social critics, and activist composers of the Third Reich. Winners of the Joy in Singing International Art Song Competition, the duo will present an evening of “Degenerate Music” at Carnegie’s Weill Hall in New York on February 27, 2020.
“Degenerate Music” is a reimagining of the “Entartete Musik” concert given by the Nazi regime in 1938 to make a mockery of artists they deemed beneath Reich ideals. By contrast, Feldmann and LaNasa have revived and celebrate the works of composers who have fallen out of the regular canon because of political censorship employed by the Third Reich.
Social critic Kurt Weill opens the program inviting the audience to explore an increasingly darkening Berlin. Works by Pavel Haas and Viktor Ullmann on ancient Eastern texts, sensual (“debauched”) songs by Franz Schreker, and miniature dramas of exiled composers Alexander Zemlinsky and Erich Korngold illuminate other corners of an artistic world in crisis.
“When we memorialize victims of atrocities such as WWII,” writes LaNasa, “we must also remember the conditions that led to such horrors, and the voices of those who tried to tell the world what they feared was approaching.” Feldmann adds: “We want to commemorate the lives and work of these artists by giving our audience the opportunity to respond to their work. The oppressors of their day prevented society from hearing these words and scores, and it’s a privilege for us to thwart that mission with music that is so beautiful and potent.”
Feldmann and LaNasa presented an abridged version of this program in the finals of the Joy in Singing Competition in March. The duo began their collaboration in 2017 at The Juilliard School, where the two remain active (Feldmann in the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program, and LaNasa in the Vocal Arts Piano Fellowship). For tickets and more information, visit www.carnegiehall.org or www.gregoryfeldmannbaritone.com