Kornél Mundruczó directs Schubert


Creator of the Cannes Prize-winning White God is preparing the most promising performance of the spring concert season, together with Danubia. Winterreise, one of the paramount song cycle in the literature of music now gets updated in Hans Zender’s modern musical rearrangement, accompanied by Mundruczó’s video installation.  

The lyrics to Schubert’s two revolutionary song cycle were created by Wilhelm Müller: both Die schöne Müllerin (D795) published in 1823 and Winter Journey (D911) published in 1827 represent the summit of Schubert’s work as well as the German literature of songs.

An exhaustive analysis on the songs of Winterreise written by one of their most enthusiastic interpreters Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau describes their impact on the listener in superlatives:

“a poetic domain transformed magically into music… taking a paralyzing effect on the listener”

The introductory song of Winterreise interpreted by Dietrich Fischer Dieskau (baritone) and Murray Perahia (piano)

According to József Kling’s analysis published some years ago, Winterreise is a personal confession in which the lyric poet divined the end. The orchestral score of the first song (Gute Nacht) was finished in 1827, and Schubert died in next November – for an unknown reason. Winter Journey is a testament of the last of the composers of the Viennese classicism that deals with the biggest questions of life in search of its reason and the phases of its quality.

Contemporary German composer Hans Zender re-arranged the cycle of songs to the order of the Ensemble Modern. A composed interpretation – is how the subtitle defines the innovative intention. In the version of 1993 the vocal solo is framed by an ensemble sound in great strength. Winterreise according to Zender

“a masterpiece that has become a cultural icon of the European spirit… nevertheless, should it be enough to have two persons in tuxedo standing on the stage and reproducing the notes written by Schubert?

The introductory song of Winterreise re-arranged by Hans Zender

This is the sequence of ideas carried on by Kornél Mundruczó who, by his extraordinary video installation on stage, turns the performance of Danubia into a postmodern multidisciplinary experience.

Schubert’s tragic themes provided me a particular opportunity to ponder on the eternal foreignness of Man. And, to raise the question, may art provide a shelter when the fundamental conditions of our existence is called into question?”

Mundruczó Kornél a Fehér isten alkotója Schubertet rendez az Óbudai Danubia Zenekarral
Mundruczó Kornél a Fehér isten cannes-i díszbemutatóján – oldalán Psotta Zsófia és Body, a film főszereplői

The Winterreise song cycle composed by Franz Schubert, re-arranged by Hans Zender and put on stage by Kornél Mundruczó may be seen at two performances in March 2015 in the concert hall of the Budapest Music Center.

Choose the occasion you prefer and reserve your ticket to Kornél Mundruczó’s extraordinary performance of Winterreise: