The Schubertíada begins in a week and I'm starting with this post the miniseries about the recitals there. As usual, they'll be shorter posts that intend to be useful to refresh the Lieder performed at the festival.
To begin with, the two first recitals, those of Florian Boesch and Malcolm Martineau on Thursday 20 and Juliane Banse and Wolfram Rieger on Friday 21. The first duo will perform Die schöne Müllerin and the second one, Winterreise.
Last week we said goodbye until next year to the students of the Master in Lied of the ESMUC, next week we'll start to talk about the recitals of the Schubertíada and in the meantime, I propose a trip by sea that, as you will see, is not a pleasure trip.
Recently I have read a book by Norman Lebrecht titled “¿Why Mahler? How One Man and Ten Symphonies changed our world”. The author explains that Gustav Mahler’s music is received by many as a source of spiritual revelation. Likewise, on the webpage “Mahlerlist” we can read the testimonies of people telling how Mahler’s music has been significant and therapeutic throughout their life.
To evoke a specific sensation in a listener is not a simple task: to transmit this particular emotion, and not another must be done skillfully. Paul Verlaine, the author of the poem En sourdine, found a magnificent way of doing so. Moreover, we have been lucky that Debussy provided the poem with a new musical dimension by exalting the words of Verlaine with elegance, subtlety and delicacy, well known of the great master.
In 1884 the 51-year-old bachelor Johannes Brahms wrote Wir wandelten, based in one of the poems in Polydora by Georg Friedrich Daumer, which was inspired by a Magyar text. When Brahms had the opportunity to meet Daumer in 1872, the poet had never heard neither of the composer nor his Lieders despite the fact that Brahms had written music to more than sixty poems by Daumer, including the famous Liebeslieder Walzer.
All Lieder talk about you. About you, About me, about us… With Lieder, it happens as with fairy tales, that if we stop to look at them carefully we find a metaphor of life itself. This is one of the things I experience more and more as a Lied student. And that is what happens with the Beethoven song that I am going to comment on.