Thomas Meglioranza and David Breitman – Early Music Series 2017-2018

4 p.m. Sun., Feb. 18 at the Byron Colby Barn

Baritone Thomas Meglioranza and fortepianist David Breitman perform Franz Schubert’s song cycle, Winterreise (Winter Journey). Breitman will play a fortepiano based on an 1819 model by the Viennese maker, Conrad Graf. Compared to a modern piano, this instrument has a kaleidoscopic range of colors and articulations, as well as a transparency and intimacy that beautifully illuminates this cycle. Composed in 1827 on texts by Wilhelm Müller, the 24 songs of Winterreise follow a heartbroken man as he walks through a winter landscape, reflecting on his sorrow as he encounters bare trees, frozen rivers, snowy meadows, dogs, crows, various atmospheric phenomena, among other things. Despite the bleak subject matter, Winterreise is one of the most powerful and beloved works in all of classical music. Müller imbues the wanderer with a profound self-awareness and humanity (as well as some gallows humor) that inspired Franz Schubert to compose his most harrowing and transcendent music.