Schubert: Winterreise (Hewat-Craw and Guo)
Winter is coming! – and very soon Schubert’s “Cycle of Ghastly Songs”, whose suggestive power fascinates the audience over and over again, will resound in many places.
Baritone Benjamin Hewat-Craw and pianist Yuhao Guo have been working together on the Winterreise for years and have performed it several times with great success. For their debut recording, which will be released in September on the ARS Produktion label, they could not have chosen a more substantial masterpiece.
Schubert’s cycle, which he composed in 1828 in the winter of his own life on texts of the Dessau poet Wilhelm Müller, is the epitome of romantic song art. In 24 Passion-like stations it reflects the impressions of a wanderer disappointed by love on his aimless journey through the landscapemarked by winter. Wavering between exuberanceand despair, the collection is an expressionof longing and existential human pain. But as depressing as the subject may be, so wonderful is the music, so masterful the compositional execution.