I just discovered an article on twitter today about a fascinating presentation of Schubert's song cycle, "Winterreise," that is is going to be presented in New York City this week. Reading it gave me chills because this type of presentation, that definitely falls outside the box of accepted performance practice for lieder recital, incorporates elements that Tadd and I have been tossing around ourselves in discussing our own upcoming song recitals. It seems to me that song recitals pose an even bigger challenge than do instrumental performances in today's multi-tasking world of instant gratification. I happen to love vocal music and poetry yet I still sometimes find it tiring and distracting to read along with a translation during a performance. I can understand why others, and surely those who insist on multi-tasking during a performance as do so many in a college setting, have a difficult time connecting to the music being sung. My husband and I have started using supertitles in addition to providing the traditional translations for our recitals which I think may help, but I realize the issue of language can still be a barrier.
This article states that the musicians performed the cycle already in London and that it wasn't necessarily received very well, at least not by the audience attending or by the critic from The Times that happened to be there. Well, I don't know if that really means much. Perhaps it actually is a good thing. I wish this performance the best of luck and for those of you that can make it into NYC to see this, please do and let me know what you think - I'm most curious!