This concert is actually half of a diptych; the other half is the concert performed by The Erlkings the day before. Whereas the band approached Schubert’s song repertoire from the standpoint of troubadours, thus shedding a fresh new light on Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, this is the original version of the piece.
The cycle consists of twenty of Wilhelm Müller’s poems set to music. Together, they tell the story of a travelling apprentice who starts working at a mill and falls in love with the miller’s beautiful daughter. She, however, falls for the charms of a hunter. Heartbreak causes the boy to drown himself in the millpond.
Just as in his equally famous cycle entitled Die Winterreise, the natural world is a key feature. While everything is gradually blinded by a snowy landscape in Die Winterreise, green predominates in Die schöne Müllerin: young love, the approaching spring, and the colours of the hunter and the nearby forest. Here, the romanticist speaks of nature as a force that dominates humans without them being able to understand or even conceive of what is happening to them.
Tip: If you want to hear the scandalous version of Die schöne Müllerin, don’t miss The Erlkings performing it on Saturday, 1 June at 15.15.
Artists and performers
Franz Schubert - Die schöne Müllerin