Classissima My classical music

 

NEWS

December 21   -   The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Today is the Winter Solstice and winter officially starts. The Ear greets it once again by listening to Franz Schubert’s song cycle “Winterreise.”

By Jacob Stockinger Despite all the snow and cold of the past few weeks, winter officially begins today. The winter solstice, bringing with it the longest night of the year, arrives today at 4:44 a.m., Central Standard Time , this morning, Wednesday, Dec. 21. To mark the occasion, people often listen to appropriate music such as the “Winter” section of “The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi or the “Winter Dreams” Symphony by Peter Tchaikovsky . Over the past several years, something else has become a tradition for The Ear. Every year on the arrival of the Winter Solstice , he listens to a recording of the song cycle “Winterreise” (Winter Journey”) by Franz Schubert . It takes about 70 minutes. One unforgettable hour plus. Too bad it isn’t performed live every year or featured every year on Wisconsin Public Radio . There are so many excellent recordings of the work. Over the years, The Ear has listened to the songs performed in recordings by Dietrich Fischer Dieskau , Haken Hagegard, Mark Padmore, Jonas Kaufmann and UW-Madison baritone Paul Rowe, who one year did perform it live with pianist Martha Fischer on the Winter Solstice at the First Unitarian Society of Madison *(below) — and it was magical. Yet his favorite remains the version by the English tenor Ian Bostridge with Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes for EMI Records. (Bostridge also made one for Hyperion Records with pianist Julius Drake.) The Ear likes the way Bostridge uses a kind of Sprachstimme or speech singing to bring expressiveness to the music. He also like the touch of lightness that the tenor range brings to the music, which is plenty dark by itself. Also, every year, The Ear sees if he has a new favorite song in the cycle. But so far he still has two favorites, which you can find on YouTube along with the rest of the cycle. One is the opening song, “Gute Nacht” or “Good Night.” It is hard to imagine a better way to kick off the mysterious cycle than with such an obviously metaphorical song in which “night” plays so many roles and has so many meanings. Here it is: And of course, he also loves the last song, “Der Leiermann ” or “The Organ Grinder.” Listen to its alternation with between voice and piano, to that drone broken by silence showing despair, solitude and loneliness, and you understand why it was also a favorite of the great modernist playwright Samuel Beckett. Here it is: The Ear wishes you a hopeful winter – despite all the signs that it will instead be a winter of deep discontent – and hopes you will find time to take in “Winterreise.” It is Franz Schubert’s winter journey. But it is also my own and yours. Here is Bostridge talking about what the cycle means to him: Enjoy. And tell us if you have a favorite performance of “Winterreise” and why? The Ear wants to hear. Tagged: Arts , baritone , Chamber music , Classical music , cold , Compact Disc , cycle , depair , Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau , Dreams , drone , EMI , First Unitarian Society of Madison , Four Season , Franz Schubert , Haken Hagegard , Hyperion , Ian Bostridge , Jacob Stockinger , Jonas Kaufmann , Leif Ove Andsnes , loneliness , Madison , Mark Padmore , Martha Fischer , metaphor , modernist , Music , night , organ , organ grinder , Paul Rowe , Piano , playwright , Samuel Beckett , Singing , snow , solitude , solstice , song , song cycle , Tchaikovsky , tenor , United States , University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music , University of Wisconsin–Madison , Vivaldi , vocal music , winter , Winter Dreams , Winterreise , Wisconsin , wisconsin public radio , YouTube


Read this article in its entirety on The Well-Tempered Ear...

Today   -  Classical music: Explore how modern and contemporary piano music uses bird songs

Yesterday   -  Classical music: Single tickets for the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s new season are now on sale

August 14   -  Classical music: The Ear listens with eyes open and finds interesting photos at concerts

August 12   -  Classical music: Why do we love Chopin? Ask pianist Jeremy Denk

August 11   -  Classical music: We should hear more encores, especially at outstanding chamber music concerts. Plus, a FREE Farmer’s Market organ recital is this Saturday at 11 a.m.

August 10   -  Classical music: The Oakwood Chamber Players announce their new season with the theme of “Journey”

August 9   -  Classical music: The second annual Madison New Music Festival will take place this Thursday through Sunday

August 8   -  Classical music: The Salon Piano Series at Farley’s House of Piano announces its new season of four concerts

August 7   -  Classical music: YOU MUST HEAR THIS — the slow movement of the Violin Concerto by Gerald Finzi

August 5   -  Classical music: Which well-known composers or works can’t you stand and consider overrated?

>>

Medias | Blogs | Forums |

See also...

Classissima NEWS