Schubert: Winterreise (Winter Journey)
The Winter Journey or Winterreise is certainly Franz Schubert’s most beautiful lieder cycle. With its intensity and its drama, the work goes beyond anything the musician created before.
Schubert was 31 and would die the following year. He began the cycle in February 1827 for the first twelve lieders and when he discovered the others during the summer, he completed the first set with a second, which were corrected and finished in October of the same year.
After a difficult personal and creative period for the musician, these songs are a “prelude” to his greatest masterpieces, written during the final year of his life: the more portended death approached, the deeper and the more moving his music became.
Winter Journey is also the composer’s saddest work, leaving no way out; winter is evidently a symbol of death. At the time, Schubert was living alone in Vienna, little known and disregarded because of the success of his model Beethoven; illness, solitude and the distress of impending death were his lot. The destination of the Winter Journey is simply death.
Written for a tenor, the Winter Journey finds an exceptional interpreter in Werner Güra. Sought out all over the world for his memorable interpretations, notably for Philippe Herreweghe, Nikolaus Harnoncourt or René Jacobs, Werner Güra has recorded this Schubert cycle with the pianist Christophe Berner, who will accompany him in Versailles for this concert marking the opening of the contemporary art exhibition “A Winter Journey” in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles.
Winterreise (Winter Journey)