Family Connections: A personal response

Last week I and my friend Justyn Reis had the pleasure of attending a vocal recital by soprano Charlotte de Rothschild, sensitively accompanied by my old friend, pianist @Barry Walmsley. It took place at the Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, Sydney.

What a delightful and interesting night it was! “Family Connections” was the theme and she presented songs by composers who had been connected with her illustrious family in their day. Those represented included Cherubini, Mendelssohn, Spohr, Chopin, Rossini, Sullivan, Poulenc, Barber and Bernstein. Mme de Rothschild explained the story behind the connection before each item. For those of us with an interest in the history of art-song this was fascinating in the extreme.

Hearing rarely-performed songs of Cherubini, Chopin and Spohr was especially remarkable, as was Liszt’s setting of Heine’s “Du bist wie eine Blume”, so different from the Schumann setting we all know. The five songs by Charlotte’s ancestor Mathilde de Rothschild (1832-1924) were really excellent compositions and stood proudly alongside those songs of more well-known composers. A highly enjoyable concert.

Vincent Colagiuri (posted Friday, 4 August 2017, https://www.facebook.com/Vincent-Colagiuri-Musician )

Charlotte de Rothschild: Sings a story of her Family Connections

In her Sydney-only recital, British soprano Charlotte de Rothschild will weave a fascinating story of her famous family’s connections with the great composers of Europe.

With her reputation as an international artist and after years of research, no-one is better placed than the soprano Charlotte de Rothschild to tell the unique story of the Rothschilds and their musical associations.

This is the musical story of her family which started via the family’s founder Mayer Amschel Rothschild. Under his direction and genius, his five sons (hence the five arrows of the family crest) were sent to France, Germany, Austria, Italy and England to create the banking dynasty that has become so famous throughout Europe today.

Charlotte is the latest scion of the family to immerse herself in the rich heritage of her forebears, acting both as chronicler and voice of her family history. She has put together a celebration of songs and a collection of delightful anecdotes and she takes the listener on an aural journey through the Rothschild musical vaults, including some previously unknown works by various famous composers. These were either friends, teachers or relatives, such as Liszt, Poulenc, Rossini, Mendelssohn, Chopin, and her ancestors, Meyerbeer and Mathilde de Rothschild. Mathilde was a very talented composer who wrote beautiful songs. She was taught at the age of fifteen by Chopin, who was so impressed that even during his last illness, when he took few pupils, he found time for “the Rothschild girl”. Her works were published by the major houses of Europe under her own name as “La Baronne Willy de Rothschild” or “Freifrau Willy von Rothschild” (she married a cousin). She was asked by many leading singers of the day to compose for them. Her most famous song “Si vous n’avez rien à me dire”, also known as her “Romance”, was the first of a set of five songs written for her friend Adelina Patti.

Some of this music was discovered in the form of a Livre d’Or – a musical autograph book, started in 1826 by a previous Charlotte de Rothschild, who obviously invited any composer who visited her to write either a song or piano piece into her book. The collection was added to by her daughter Mathilde and the book passed on through the female line, being added to well into the 20th Century by composers such as Bernstein, Hahn and Milhaud. Finding this musical autograph book was confirmation of Charlotte’s research over the years.

In her Sydney-only recital, Charlotte will sing works by Mendelssohn, Chopin, Cherubini, Rossini, Liszt, Poulenc, Barber, Spohr, Hahn and Mathilde de Rothschild.
Venue: Cello’s (Level 4), The Castlereagh Hotel, 169 Castlereagh Street, Sydney
Date: Thursday, 27 July, 2017
Time: 7.30 pm
(Drinks and Canapes will be served on arrival from 7 pm; Recital will commence at 7.30 pm.)

Book online at Eventbrite

For more on the Family Connections, see http://www.charlottederothschild.com/rothschilds