RIYADH: Saudi audiences have been treated to a 10-day feast of classical music, including the world premiere of the Arabic translation of the lyrics of Schubert’s “Winter Journey” romantic song cycle.
The performances took place at the German diplomatic missions in Riyadh and Jeddah, the French Consulate General in Jeddah, the Goethe Institute in Riyadh and KAUST in Thuwal.
The musicians were the German Debussy Trio, comprising cellist Birgit “Cella” Erichson, violinist Ulrich Beetz and pianist Vasil Laghidze.
As founders of the Abegg Trio, Erichson and Beetz have over 40 years’ experience performing in concert halls worldwide. Their latest formation, with the young Georgian pianist Vasil Laghidze, is called the Debussy Trio after the French composer of the late 19th and early 20th century, who created the gateway to modern music.
The French Consul General El-Mostafa Mihraje hosted the trio’s performance of an all-Debussy concert, including the famous Clair de Lune, played under the stars.
It was part of the worldwide centenary Debussy’s death that began in January in Paris with a concert for French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
For their German concerts the musicians performed Schubert’s “Winter Journey,” with the lyrics by Wilhelm Müller recited in German by Claudia Ziegeler and — in a world premiere — in Arabic by the Saudi poet Dr. Adel Khamees Alzhrani.
The musicians concluded their encores in Jeddah with upbeat classical versions of the German and Saudi national anthems, delighting the diverse crowd attending.