Considered to be the last of the triptych of Schubert’s song-cycles after Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise, Schwanengesang is set apart by some important differences: while the two earlier cycles are from the pen of poet Wilhelm Müller and read as an ensemble of coherent narratives, Schubert’s ‘Swan Song’ combines texts from three different poets and follows a tenuous narrative thread, to say the least.
These characteristics have brought certain commentators to question the naming of this collection as a song-cycle, that it is rather a piecing together of works by an editor in a hurry to capitalise on the reputation of the preceding cycles by the recently deceased Schubert.
Shadi Torbey and Stephane Ginsburgh ponder the fine line between cycle and collection, the validity of the perception of a narrative framework, as well as on the relevance of the sequence of tonalities during this ‘Conversation in Concert’ within the walls of the Hôtel Max Hallet.
Shadi Torbey, bass-baritone
Stephane Ginsburgh, piano