Reconstruction of Clara Schumann’s Concert in Guebwiller, France, with baritone Julius Stockhausen
Original programme held on Wednesday, 15 October 1862
Concerto Cristofori at Saffron Walden & District Music Club
Saturday, 19 November 2011, 7.30pm
Saffron Walden Music Club
The Baptist Church, high Street
Thomas Guthrie baritone
Sharona Joshua 1853 Pleyel piano
Die Schöne Müllerin
(Text: Wilhelm Müller)
The programme includes Chopin’s Ballade in g minor Op.23
For further details please go to Saffron Walden & District Music Club website
The performance includes readings of the lesser-known prologue, epilogue, and four remaining verses from Müller’s poem-cycle Die Schöne Müllerin, which Schubert refrained from setting to music.
Chopin’s Ballade in g minor Op.23, inserted half way through the cycle, was composed in 1835-36 and dedicated to Monsieur le Baron de Stockhausen, Hanoverian ambassador to France (a relation of Julius’? Perhaps). This piece is cleverly placed here, as it too, was inspired by a poem – “Conrad Wallenrod”, written by the polish poet Adam Mickiewicz.
I may have left the concert but it isn’t going to leave me for a very long time, if ever! Schubert’s ‘Die Schöne Müllerin’ is usually thought of as a song cycle but what we experienced today was more akin to a miniature opera.
The spine tingling singing was glorious and wholly at the service of the music. What we saw was a man suffering the bitter pangs of unrequited love and what we heard was every single nuance of his emotions rendered in glorious sound. Nor was Sharona Joshua’s fortepiano a mere accompaniment, it was the miller’s true companion on his journey. The lighter tones of the Pleyel piano exquisitely played worked superbly with the voice to enable the audience to share in an emotional journey of rare passion.
The rapport between the performers was palpable as they gave us a Schubert to see as well as hear; it was a privilege to be there.
Victor Hallett’s Festival Web Diary, Llandudno Festival