This week I'm posting on Tuesday instead of Wednesday to share with you the programme of the Schubertíada, presented a while ago.

Schubertíada Vilabertran


This summer, visiting the Schubertada will feel like visiting Vienna. Maybe you're thinking this happens every year, almost by definition, and you're right (shouldn't Vilabertran and Vienna become sister cities? I can imagine the sign on the roundabout exit), but that's the idea that came to my mind when I went through the programming. Let's see…

There are two recitals entirely devoted to Franz Schubert. The first one will be in Vilajuïga; baritone Josep-Ramon Olivé and pianist Victoria Guerrero will perform Winterreise, while we watch the film of the same name by director Inés García. I watched it a year ago; to put it simply, it's composed of twenty-four short films (one per song) with images inspired by poems and music, more abstract than figurative. I remember that the people sitting next to me, who didn't know the cycle, looked confused when it ended; I thought that this film is, above all, for the initiated. And, at the Schubertíada, there's no shortage of them!

The other concert with only Lieder by Schubert will be in Vilabertran; a singer who knows them in detail like few others, Christoph Prégardien, will make his version of Schwanengesang. And when I say his version, I mean his performance with Daniel Heide at the piano, but also that he will combine the songs in the cycle with some others. We have listened to similar proposals before, and they always lead us to rethink a work we will never know well enough.

Of course, Schubert will be present in more than two recitals. We are listening to a selection of his Lieder in six more recitals, including those of the two Academies this year, with Kajta Maderer and Amadeus Wiesensee; Jonas Müller and Anna Gebhardt; Mireia Tarragó and Carmen Santamaría, and Elionor Martínez and Olivia Zaugg.

It is usual (and logical, and necessary) to have programmes entirely with Schubert music at the Schubertíada. But it's not often that a whole program is dedicated to Hugo Wolf, so let's welcome it! We will be back in Vienna, sixty years later, to listen to the Italienisches Liederbuch, this pearl full of love, irony, tenderness, and sense of humor. The performers will be Johannes Kammler, whom I liked very much last year at his concert in Barcelona; soprano Anna El-Khashem, about whom I've heard many good things, and the wonderful Imogen Cooper.

We will remain in Vienna for a while. With Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler (and the Rückert-Lieder!) and Erich Wolfgang Korngold, the three of them at the recital of Julia Kleiter and Julius Drake. Later than Korngold, we will have music by Joseph Marx: Erika Baikoff and Kunal Lahiry will close the first part of the inaugural concert, really Viennese, with Lieder by this composer. It appears that the concert of Matthias Goerne and Alexander Schmalcz will also place us in Vienna; we don't know the full programme yet, but we know we're listening to Ludwig van Beethoven, who settled in Vienna a few years before Schubert was born.

We should now travel to Leipzig, where Robert Schumann composed the entire Lieder of André Schuen's and Daniel Heide's recitals. Or, in other words, Schuen will sing a whole Schumann recital, with the Liederkreis, Op. 39, a selection of Lieder with poems by Eichendorff, too, and Dichterliebe. Not to be missed!

I told Leipzig but we should actually add Dresden and Düsseldorf to the route, the other two cities of Schumann because we are also listening to Lieder from his second period at the Schubertíada. For example, the moving Gedichte der Königing Maria Stuart, with the great Dorothea Röschmann and the great Wolfram Rieger. Pay attention to this programme because it also includes the Liederkreis by Eichendorff. In other words: We will have the opportunity to listen to one of the most magnificent works in the repertoire with two duos with a great personality, for two days in a row. Beware of Stendhal syndrome! Without moving from these three cities, we can also listen to Clara Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn's Lieder at the concert of Kleiter and Drake (speaking of duos with great personality); we can even make a day trip to Berlin to hear a couple of Mendelssohn's Lieder. And, to finish the route through German-speaking cities, a big little city break into Zurich because Richard Wagner wrote there his Wesendonck-Lieder, which Röschmann and Rieger will perform (I insist, pay attention to the programme of this concert!).

Are you familiar with Kislovodsk? To vaguely place it on the map, it is a spa town between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, where Sergei Rachmaninoff wrote the Six Romances, Op. 38, his last collection of songs. And although Kislovodsk and Moscow are 1700 km away (roughly, like Vilabertran and Vienna), and from Moscow to St. Petersburg there are 700 km in the opposite direction, the musical imaginary places Rachmaninoff, Nicolái Rimsky-Korsakov and Pyotr Ilyich Tkaikovsky very close. All three composers will be heard at the recital of Baikof and Lahiry, and to hear the young soprano sing this repertoire is a pure joy.

Our trip to London will be even longer; we will be going there with the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams and the voice of Konstantin Krimmel; Songs of Travel seem like a cycle written for him. Given that Krimmel and Marcelo Amaral will perform later Lieder by Schubert and Wolf, that's another concert not to be missed. The most distance places in our trip is Buenos Aires; atharina Konradi (I'm happy to have her back in Vilabertran!) has included in her programme the Cinco canciones populares argentinas by Alberto Ginastera, which she sings beautifully.

It is also a pleasure to remain home. Konradi and Ammiel Bushakevitz will also perform the Cinco canciones negras by Xavier Montsalvatge, and Ferran Albrich, after singing Schubert, will sing songs by Eduard Toldrà and a premier: Accompanied by Albert Guinovart and Oriol Prat, he will perform a cycle in which the poems by Joan Margarit gather three more Catalan composers: Guinovart himself, Jordi Domènech and Salvador Brotons.

I know that I made a crammed, not exhaustive summary of the programme of the 31st Schubert. But you can browse the Schubertíada website with time, paper and pencil, and reorder the information; I'm sure you'll find many reasons to go to Vilabertran, including, of course, the chamber recitals I didnd't mention. And if you can visit the Schubertíada Cantabria in May or the Schubertíada Valdegovía/Gaubea in July, look especially for these two recitals: Johanna Wallroth and Malcolm Martineau, who were last summer in Vilabertran, will perform in Comillas, and Konstantin Krimmel and Daniel Heide will be in Tuesta to take our breath away with their Winterreise.

The article ends with music, as usual. We are listening to the wonderful Ganymed by Schubert at the recital of Albrich and Guinovart, which I presented to you a while ago; you could go over that article here, before listening to this week's version, with a young Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Günther Weißenborn.

Shall we meet at the Schubertíada?



Wie im Morgenglanze
Du rings mich anglühst,
Frühling, Geliebter!
Mit tausendfacher Liebeswonne
Sich an mein Herze drängt
Deiner ewigen Wärme
Heilig Gefühl,
Unendliche Schöne!

Dass ich dich fassen möcht’
In diesen Arm!

Ach, an deinem Busen
Lieg’ ich und schmachte,
Und deine Blumen, dein Gras
Drängen sich an mein Herz.
Du kühlst den brennenden
Durst meines Busens,
Lieblicher Morgenwind!
Ruft drein die Nachtigall
Liebend mach mir aus dem Nebeltal.

Ich komm’, ich komme!
Ach wohin, wohin?

Hinauf! strebt’s hinauf!
Es schweben die Wolken
Abwärts, die Wolken
Neigen sich der sehnenden Liebe.
Mir! Mir!
In eurem Schosse
Umfangend umfangen!
Aufwärts an deinen Busen,
Alliebender Vater!

How in the morning light
you glow around me,
beloved Spring!
With love's thousand-fold bliss,
to my heart presses
the eternal warmth
of sacred feelings
and endless beauty!

Would that I could clasp
you in these arms!

Ah, at your breast
I lie and languish,
and your flowers and your grass
press themselves to my heart.
You cool the burning
thirst of my breast,
lovely morning wind!
The nightingale calls
lovingly to me from the misty vale.

I am coming, I am coming!
but whither? To where?

Upwards I strive, upwards!
The clouds float
downwards, the clouds
bow down to yearning love.
To me! To me!
In your lap
Embracing, embraced!
Upwards to your bosom,
All-loving Father!

(translation by Emily Ezust)


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