Thursday, December 01, 2005

Rick and Schubert's Winterreise

Ulrich Hartung and Winterreise ...somewhere in a remarkable past... the years collapse and the remote years are vividly alive..was it 1977...1978...? There in Loewe Theatre Rick united with Schubert and Müller, and for an instant there was an intense presence of the poet and composer, but with Rick as the Wanderer, the lover whose love has been squandered and not returned...the bitterness and sadness...oppressively sorrowful...

Rick became the wanderer in that moment, somehow his own pain emerged in the evolution of the character singing of his utter, absolute despair forming the foundation of an inner reality, and his voice and demeanor were now the saddened wanderer on a winter's journey...a "celebration" of isolation and desolation... his immersion in the moment transcended the words and music and became the complex character depicted in the poems of Müller whose spirit and substance is captured in one of Schubert's most eloquent musical expressions.

Rick's performance transcended the singer of a song cycle transformed the that the audience was the Wanderer...the audience was stepping through the terrain of winter lurking in the shadows like death...frozen footsteps across the snow where there is nothing left to hope for... This is the essence of the Romantic sensibility, the remote and unrequited passion, misunderstood, and alone forever...

Yet in that moment of Rick's disclosure of this monumental masterwork, I was caught up in the sheer beauty and majesty of such eloquent perception and execution...the delightful anguish of it all! Even now, I can hear/feel this performance as one of those passionate moments that live forever.

As the years go by, and Rick and I sit in Bruno's with our cafe lattes, one might think that this performance has receded into the nothingness of a distant past. Yet as we speak I can still see in those eyes, the spirit of the wanderer still engaged in a long winter's journey, and somewhere the performance still echoes and resounds through the catacombs of remembrance.

No comments: