Production Language German
Country of Origin United States, France
Description Schubert wrote Die Winterreise in 1827, a year before his untimely death at the age of thirty-one. Set to twenty-four poems by Wilhelm Müller, Schubert's music infuses the naïve, folk-like verses with universal significance, exploring with frightening intensity a mind hovering between nihilism and delusion. Charting the progression from blithe innocence through subsequent disillusionment, Die Winterreise suggests a frozen, trance-like stillness which gives way to the increasingly weary rhythm of a wanderer's footsteps.
The BAM presentation of Die Winterreise features a site-specific installation by French conceptual artist Christian Boltanski who describes the work as "a voyage to death, a voyage of death." Simply and suggestively, Boltanski's visual interpretation of the melancholy song cycle implies, but never directly makes reference to, the Holocaust. Using old photographs, clothing and other ephemeral materials, Boltanski's visual metaphors-light in darkness and projected flashes of a moving train-provoke a meditation on destiny. Performed by James Maddalena accompanied on piano by Brooklyn Philharmonic's Robert Spano, this staging of Die Winterreise evokes the solitude and poignancy of Schubert's music.