Music world unites in timeless grief

Music world unites in timeless grief


norman lebrecht

March 27, 2015

A Philadelphia reader has shared this comment on a New York Times report on the Germanwings disaster:

Submitted by E.Dougherty Philadelphia, PA

Attended a remarkable recital here in Philadelphia on Tuesday evening by the bass-baritone Eric Owens that featured Schubert’s Fahrt zum Hades, and Gruppe aus dem Tartarus, and the almost awkward sight (until explained) of tears streaming down Mr. Owens’ cheeks during the performance. After intermission, when Mr. Owens returned, he paused to explained to the audience that the reason for his overcomed and bereft manner was that he had learned, only an hour or so before he walked on stage, that his colleague, Maria Radner, was indeed on the manifest of the doomed plane and had indeed perished (along with her husband and infant son). If ever there was a moment when the distant meanings of these distant songs was made real in the present (‘When will these tortures finish? When?’), it was in Mr. Owens’s explanation of why he was so earlier bereft, of the fusing of Schubert’s music with this very contemporary and lacerating intrusion. It all made his entire presentation – his performance, his utter, convulsed devastation – one of the most memorable and poignant tributes to a fallen colleague I’ve ever witnessed.

maria radner


  • Pamela Peled says:

    Words can’t really express the sadness of it, and the loss to the musical world of Maria Radner, and of Oleg Bryjak who also perished on the plane. Eric Owens sang his recital thinking of his colleague and thereby honoured her memory in a way that only a fellow musician can.