Franui performs the great repertoire of the period from the Baroque to the late Romantic era, but with a twist. This ‘musicbanda’ from East Tyrol performs its own interpretations of songs by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Mahler, and Purcell. With a line-up that includes brass instruments, dulcimer, harp, and violin, the musicians create a sound that combines classical music with folk music and jazz. This enables Franui – whose Mahlerlieder was a success at the 2013 festival – to explore unfamiliar facets of this famous repertoire. They are collaborating with Florian Boesch, the bass-baritone who was a phenomenal Wozzeckat last year’s festival, and video artist Jonas Dahlberg, whose film set shows the relentless passing of time. The songs emphasise impermanence. Let Franui bring consolation.
The Austrian baritone Florian Boesch had a big success at the 2016 Holland Festival with his performance in the title role of Alban Berg's Wozzeck. He will be returning to Amsterdam this year with a programme of lieder. It is a repertoire that's close to his heart, as evidenced by his Schubert and Schumann recordings. In
Alles Wieder Gut, Boesch gives the romantic song a different flavour. The striking Austrian ensemble Franui work with him and the Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg has designed the show.
The small village of Innervillgraten is High in the East Tyrolean Alps, at 1402 metres above sea level. This hamlet, with a population of 1000, is the birthplace of Franui, a ten-piece 'musicbanda'. In 1993, they converted a local hay barn into a rehearsal space where they could come together to play Alpine folk music. A quarter of a century later, Franui are a hit on the international concert and festival circuit, with their quirky reworkings of romantic repertoire.
In 2013, the ensemble made its debut at the Holland Festival with a programme centred around Gustav Mahler. The composer wrote his final scores in the mountain village of Toblach (now Dobbiaco), just one mountain pass away from Franui's home base in the Tyrolean Alps. 'We suspect that Mahler stole our music back then. We're now stealing it back again', Andreas Schett, Franui composer and trumpet player commented in De Volkskrant at the time.
'We want to knock Lieder off its pedestal', Schett sums up Franui's musical vision. 'We want to give the harsh, the trivial, the raw and the unpolished a place in this music again.' In Alles Wieder Gut , Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen can be heard alongside Schumann's Der arme Peter, and Schubert's Abendstem can be heard alongside Brahms's Über die Heide. A contemporary Lieder evening centred around timeless themes: life, love, suffering and death. Visual artist Jonas Dahlberg gave shape to the theme of finiteness in his own way by designing a 'transient stage set' for Franui and Boesch. Behind the musicians, a large projection screen shows a bedroom in shades of black and white that fades away almost imperceptibly.
Franui gets its name from an Alpine pasture near Innervillgraten, the East Tyrolean village where most of the members of the ten-piece ensemble grew up. The line-up of the 'musicbanda' has remained virtually unchanged since its formation in 1993, and the group have performed on internationally renowned stages such as at the
Wiener Konzerthaus, the Burgtheater in Vienna, the Philharmonie Köln and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. Franui is also a popular act at festivals such as the Salzburger Festspiele, the Bregenzer Festspiele, the Ruhrtriennale and the Holland Festival.
Aside from its concerts, Franui is also involved in musical theatre productions. The 'Singspiel' Steine und Herzen (Ruhrtriennale 2005) for example, marked the start of the ensemble's collaboration with Sven-Eric Bechtolt, who has since regularly performed with the group as a speaker. Other theatrical productions have included Meine Bienen. Eine Schneisse, based on a libretto by Händl Klaus, and Fool of Love with singer-pianist Karsten Riedel and puppeteer Nikolaus Habjan. The programme Tanz Boden Stücke premiered at the Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg and was released on record in 2015. Franui's CDs are released with the label col legno and have been awarded various prizes. The album Ende vom Lied won the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritiek (German Record Critics' Award), the releases Schubertlieder, Brahms Volkslieder and Mahlerlieder appeared as a 3-CD box set in 2012 and to celebrate the ensemble's 20th anniversary, their first vinyl album was released: Franui ist eine Almwiese (2013).
The Austrian baritone Florian Boesch (1971) was given his first singing lessons by his grandmother, the famous Viennese soprano Ruthilde Boesch. He later studied under Robert Holl in Vienna. In 2003, Boesch made his opera debut as Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Zurich Opera. Since then, he has performed in various productions, ranging from baroque repertoire to twentieth-century works. He sang in Handel's Radamisto conducted by René Jacobs, in Mozart's Così fan tutte conducted by Adam Fischer and caused a sensation at the 2016 Holland Festival with the title role in Berg's Wozzeck. In 2016, Boesch also performed at the Dutch National Opera in the role of Zebul in Handel's oratorio Jephta. In the Theater an der Wien, he worked on scenic performances of Schubert's Lazarus and Handel's Messiah. As a concert singer, Boesch has collaborated with leading orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic and Leipzig's Gewandhaus Orchestra. As a Lieder singer, Boesch has performed with various pianists, including Roger Vignoles, Malcolm Martineau and Christian Koch, with whom he gave an acclaimed performance of Křenek's Reisebuch aus den Österreichischen Alpen in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in late 2016.
Jonas Dahlberg (1970) studied architecture at the University of Lund and became a Master of Fine Arts at Malmö Art Academy in 2000. The Swedish artist lives and works in Stockholm. Over the past fifteen years, Dahlberg has developed a series of video works that focus on extremely slow camera movements within architectural spaces using scale models and experimental techniques. In addition to video art, he also pursues photography, book projects and art in public spaces. In 2012, he designed Verdi's Macbeth in Geneva's Grand Théâtre.
Dahlberg's work has been exhibited throughout Europe and Asia, such as at the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art Seoul (2007), Kunsthalle Wien (2008), Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2009), Galerie Nordenhake (2010, 2008, 2006, 2004), Lisbon Architecture Triennale (2010), New Orleans Biennial (2011) and the Kunstmuseum Bonn (2013).
- Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Henry Purcell
- Markus Kraler, Andreas Schett
- Jonas Dahlberg
- Florian Boesch
- clarinet, bass clarinet
- Johannes Eder
- Andreas Fuetsch
- alto saxophone, clarinet
- Romed Hopfgartner
- double bass, accordion
- Markus Kraler
- harp, cithara, vocals
- Angelika Rainer
- hammered dulcimer, vocals
- Bettina Rainer
- trumpet, vocals
- Markus Rainer
- trumpet, vocals, musical direction
- Andreas Schett
- valve trombone, vocals
- Martin Senfter
- Nikolai Tunkowitsch