18 February 2023: Recital
Re-interpreting a colossal work such as F. Schubert – W. Müller’s Winterreise, lauded as the pinnacle of German art song, is equally colossal as an effort.
In what appears as a local fan tribute to the masterwork, placed next to the internationally acclaimed ballet by Christian Spuck and music by Hans Zender, Winterreise by esteemed local scholar and pianist Tran Nhu Vinh Lac is much anticipated as a latest and linguistic (Vietnamese) re-exploration of the work in Vietnam, accompanied by Thai Hoa Apéro’s vocal performance.
Through relatable sharp cross-cultural references and analytical guidances to navigate seemingly familiar emotional territories, audiences are expected to join in examining the Wanderer, the mythos boasting “a long history that extends back to ancient civilization at the same time […] marching forward from its nineteenth century popularity onto the pages of twentieth century culture,” and of course even nowadays.
Compiled and dissected upon in-depth materials, both academically and passionately, this Winterreise presentation can be viewed as half adaptation and half illustrative classroom to both captivate the audiences and showcase the classic work’s timeless qualities, with nearly half of the lieder presented.
With loyal yet authentic singable text in Vietnamese, Winterreise will accompany participants across “a symbolic series of stations that are more mindscape than landscape” “into the recesses of [the Wanderer’s] own psyche – a journey in which the elements become metaphors for the long winter of the heart”.
19 February 2023: Cinematic Ballet Screening
#22 Schuberts WINTERREISE Ballett Zürich
Franz Schubert’s Winterreise, a cycle of 24 songs for voice and piano set to poems by Wilhelm Müller, is not only regarded as the zenith of Schubert’s song composition, but as the pinnacle of German art song in its entirety. German composer Hans Zender arranged the cycle in 1993 with the title: „Schubert’s ‘Winterreise’ – a composed interpretation“. Zender’s version for tenor and chamber orchestra reveals the cycle’s potential to disturb, and approaches Wilhelm Müller’s poems in its own way. Zender pushes into the darkest regions of human existence. With his interpretation, he brings to light emotions that pulsate just beneath the surface in Schubert’s work, uncovering the uncanny layers in the depths of the music.
Like Hans Zender, Christian Spuck’s production, which was awarded the renowned «Prix Benois de la Danse» in 2019, concerns itself less with illustrating the external stations of the traveler’s journey. Instead, it approaches the cycle with thoroughly comprehensive abstraction. Using a mixture of large ensemble scenes and intimate solo images, Christian Spuck undertakes a journey into the innermost self. As he does so, he explores such timeless themes as love, longing, alienation, and abandonment, allowing the medium of dance to provide new perspectives on one of the greatest works of classical music.