Monday 12 December, 6pm
Baritone Rafael Fingerlos and pianist Sascha El Mouissi perform songs by Austrian-born American composer Robert Fürstenthal and present their new Toccata Classics CD of his works.
The composer Robert Fürstenthal, born into a Jewish family in Vienna in 1920, left Austria in 1939. After a brief stay in the UK he moved to the USA, where he settled on the West Coast and continued composing while making a career as an accountant. From his retirement in 1985, he devoted himself entirely to composition and died only last month, knowing that this recording – which he had heard – was already in production. In his songs he sets the words of such poets as Rilke, Eichendorff and Hofmannsthal, writing in a tonal, accessible style that continues the tradition of Hugo Wolf. You can sample – and buy – the new recording on the Toccata Classics website.
For Toccata Classics the young Austrian baritone Rafael Fingerlos, who this season joined the company of the Vienna State Opera, and the German pianist Sascha El Mouissi have recorded an album of Fürstenthal’s songs produced by Michael Haas, originator of Decca’s landmark ‘Entartete Musik’ series and the author of Forbidden Music: The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis.
At the Austrian Cultural Forum, Fingerlos and El Mouissi will present the new album and perform a selection of songs. The event will last approximately an hour and will be followed by refreshments.