The German Society of the City of New York presents two free multimedia concert performances of Franz Schubert’s song cycle “Winterreise”, the first on Friday, April 11th at 7:30 pm, and the second on Sunday, April 13th at 3:00 pm at the Liederkranz Foundation, 6 East 87th Street, New York. Admission is free and open to the public; refreshments will be served following the performances.

The New York Concert Opera performances, titled “Die Winterreise”, and presented in the order of the original poems by Wilhelm Mueller, are sung by German-American baritone, Ulrich Hartung. He will be accompanied by a chamber ensemble consisting of piano, viola, cello,woodwind and brass players in an arrangement by Stefan Kozinski, a New York composer/conductor currently at Bremen Opera.

The dramatized performances are semi-staged with multimedia and presented in three parts lasting in totalabout 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Ulrich  Hartung

In his 1992 NYU dissertation on “Winterreise,” Ulrich Hartung makes the

argument that in the 19th century the popular cycle was performed with the

songs in the order of the final published version of the poems. Schubert

had originally found 12 of these poems in another publication; but, by the

time he found all 24 together – and in a different order – in Mueller’s

collection, progress on printing the first set wouldn’t allow any changes,

and he was obliged to set the remaining 12 poems as he found them as a

second part. Schubert died shortly after giving these songs to the

publisher. Some of the obvious text errors have been corrected in most

recent recordings and performances, but printed editions of the cycle

perpetuate the composer’s oversights and hasty transcriptions.


It is commonly acknowledged that the poet’s order provides a more

dramatic, linear sequence to the cycle, and the NY Concert Opera

performances try to highlight that fact. The song cycle is to be presented

in three  parts – Past, Present, Future – with an instrumental introduction

(reflecting the last song) and interludes making each part, as well as the

entire piece, an organic whole. The players will join the protagonist in

expressing pertinent ambience. The production will also have projected images

relevant to the songs’ mood and themes making the event a

multimedia experience.


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