Franz Schubert’s Winterreise played on a hurdy gurdy? Soprano Nastasia Mirkovic-De Ro and Ex-pianist Matthias Loibner worked out a version of the definite romantic song cycle on winter cravings and death wishes for the instrument which at first listen might provoke medieval clichés.
But Loibner uses the instruments possibilities in his own way. The handheld hurdy gurdy, which originally is an medieval instrument indeed, is played by a crank handle which drives a wheel inside the wooden instrument which in turn strokes the strings at the front.
In addition the strings can be plucked by hand or brought to snaring sounds by a lever. The hurdy gurdy had a revival with the Folk wave of the sixties and today it is reported, that there are more hurdy gurdys built and played than ever before. So if you visit Radialsystem this sunday evening, you will witness an instrument at it’s high time. You will also witness Matthias Loibner at a high time…
Since Loibner switched to the hurdy gurdy for good, he has been invited to play his improvisations in Europe, Australia, Japan and Africa. “The New Music scene wasn’t for me anymore. I do not see myself as a musician, rather as someone who watches human affects and brings them to sound.”
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) | Die Winterreise
What sounds a little bit like a naïve folkloristic dogma, is – quite the opposite – a serious change of artistic principles. “Over the years I simply discovered, that it is important for me to know and to understand the composers of the music I play and listen to. When I moved two years ago, I duck taped my record shelve. And I have never opened it again. I only listen to and play music of persons I know and I like.”
Franz Schubert now is an exception, but still Loibner seems to have dug deep into the composition he then altered for the hurdy gurdy. As most of his projects, of which he does not do more than three or four a year, the Winterreise comes along with integrity and substance. And when the freshened winter cravings reach the final song you come to understand why Franz Schuberts poet Wilhelm Müller named it: “the hurdy gurdy player”.
Nastasia Mirkovic-De Ro & Matthias Loibner play Winterreise LIVE
Sunday, January 9th 2011 | 20:00 CET
Radialsystem V | Holzmarktstr. 33 | 10243 Berlin/Mitte