Benjamin Britten. Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo (1940)
Cycle for voice and piano

  • XVI: “Si come nella penna e nell’inchiostro”
  • XXXI: “A che più debb’io mai l’intensa voglia”
  • XXX: “Veggio co’ bei vostri occhi un dolce lume”
  • LV: “Tu sa, ch’io so, signor mie, che tu sai”
  • XXXVIII: “Rendete agli occhi miei, o fonte o fiume”
  • XXXII: “S’un casto amor, s’una pietà superna”
  • XXIV: “Spirto ben nato, in cui si specchia e vede”

Franz Liszt. Three Petrarca-Sonnets for piano solo
from Années de pèlerinage: Deuxième Année (Italie)

  • Sonetto 47 del Petrarca
  • Sonetto 104 del Petrarca
  • Sonetto 123 del Petrarca

Franz Liszt. Three Petrarca-Sonnets, 2nd version (S.270b)
Cycle for voice and piano

  • Benedetto sia il giorno (Sonetto 47 di Petrarca)
  • Pace non trovo (Sonetto 104 di Petrarca)
  • I’ vidi in terra angelici costumi (Sonetto 123 di Petrarca)
Discover the programme

A sonnet is a labyrinth of words, a precious, meticulous filigree construction exploding with color and depths.

The verse form sonnet – the “little song” or “the little sound” – has maintained its appeal for poets for more than five verse form. 14 lines of iambic rhyming in intricate and complex constructions, the sonnet – made eternal by Renaissance poets as Francesco Petrarca, Michelangelo Buonarroti deal with ever-lasting themes of love and romance, death, time, and faith.

Franz Liszt’s Sonnets of Petrarch were originally composed as songs for tenor, while the piano versions of these pieces, which Liszt included in his second, Italian, year of his Années de Pélérinage, all retain a strong sense of the sung melodic line. All three are based on Sonnets, or Canzone, by the Italian Renaissance poet Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374). They are meditations on love, specifically the poet’s passionate love for Laura de Noves.

Interestingly, both the song and solo versions exist in two quite different versions – in different forms and variations.

Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo was the first complete song cycle Britten wrote for Peter Pears, and he dedicated the set to him. It is an ardent and romantic setting of Michelangelo’s verse in the original Italian. The whole cycle – like the text – depicts a wide range of emotions towards the object of affection: by turn passionate, soulful, fiery and tender.

Both Liszt’s Petrarca Sonnets and Benjamin Britten’s Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo are both towering masterpieces from two of music history’s most interesting composers.

Both have based their cycles on sonnets from the 14th and 15th centuries, drawing inspiration from old music, while mixing that with their unique music language.

About duo

Egle Andrejevaite and Stein Skjervold has over the years developed an active and searching musical partnership through both romantic and modern music. They have explored standard repertory such as Franz Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin, but have also had music composed for them by Jonas Jurkūnas, Vidmantas Bartulis and Albertas Navickas. Their latest project was an exploration of children portrayed in music, with songs and piano music by Jurkūnas, Schumann, Šenderovas and Mussorgskij.

Lithuanian concert pianist Eglė Andrejevaitė is giving her special attention to recital programs – Beethoven Hour (2015), Engraving dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Baltic States (2018), Chopin Haiku (2020) and its version with famous Lithuanian actress Birutė Mar Winter In Mallorca (2021) received success in Lithuania and were also presented for the audience in Australia and USA.

Active both as soloist and chamber musician she made her debut in Graz Philharmonic, Austria in 2012 with her piano-violin Duo (Jusionytė – Andrejevaitė) and in 2013 Duo received a Special Jury Prize for the outstanding performance of contemporary composition at International Johannes Brahms Chamber Music Competition in Poertschach, Austria. MALLORCA PRELUDES – the first album of the pianist will be released in 2024.

Stein Skjervold – the Norwegian baritone studied at the Oslo Academy of Music in Norway and Hamburg with professors Barbro Marklund and Håkan Hagegård. He has been an active performing singer for 25 years. His repertoire consists of music from the Renaissance to the present day, from opera to chamber music. He has sung the part of Orfeo in Monteverdi’s Orfeo, as well as contemporary opera. A special place is occupied by the Lied genre, for example. romantic composers Hugo Wolf, Johannes Brahms and Franz Schubert.

For the past 15 years, he has been living in Vilnius and has performed with chamber ensembles and as a soloist with the main Lithuanian orchestras and choirs, several concerts were broadcast on LRT. In addition to concert activities, he also teaches singing and chamber music at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.