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Roderick Williams takes us on an intimate three-year journey through the world of Schubert lieder, exploring the composer's last song cycle, Schwanengesang.

Roderick Williams has spent the last three years learning, exploring and performing three song cycles by Franz Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin, Winterreise, and Schwanengesang. During this process he kept a blog detailing the ups and downs of this process, the errors, pitfalls and payoffs.

In this programme, Roderick Williams journeys into the world of Schubert’s last song collection, Schwanengesang. He explores the challenges surrounding the performance of this music, including the language, discusses why he chose to study Schubert’s final song cycle first on his journey, and also relates some of the pros and cons of presenting this music interspersed with poetry.

Produced by Luke Whitlock for BBC Wales

1 hour

Music Played

  • Franz Schubert

    Liebebotschaft (Schwanengesang, D 957)

    Performer: Iain Burnside. Singer: Roderick Williams.
    • Delphian DCD34170.
    • Delphian.
    • 7.
  • Franz Schubert

    Kriegers Ahnung (Schwanengesang, D 957)

    Performer: Justus Zeyen. Singer: Thomas Quasthoff.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4710302.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 2.
  • Franz Schubert

    Standchen (Schwanengesang, D 957)

    Performer: Gerald Moore. Singer: Hermann Prey.
    • PHILIPS 4222432.
    • PHILIPS.
    • 4.
  • Franz Schubert

    Aufenthalt (Schwanengesang, D 957)

    Performer: Alfred Brendel. Singer: Matthias Goerne.
    • DECCA 4756011.
    • DECCA.
    • 15.
  • Franz Schubert

    In der Ferne (Schwanengesang, D 957)

    Performer: Alfred Brendel. Singer: Matthias Goerne.
    • DECCA 4756011.
    • DECCA.
    • 13.
  • Franz Schubert

    Standchen, arr. Liszt (Schwanengesang, D 957)

    Performer: Leslie Howard.
    • HYPERION : CDA-66957.
    • HYPERION.
    • 7.
  • Franz Schubert

    Abschied (Schwanengesang, D 957)

    Performer: Sir András Schiff. Singer: Peter Schreier.
    • DECCA 4256122.
    • DECCA.
    • 8.
  • Franz Schubert

    Ihr Bild (Schwanengesang, D 957)

    Performer: Aribert Reimann. Singer: Brigitte Fassbaender.
    • DG 4297662.
    • DG.
    • 14.
  • Franz Schubert

    Das Fischermadchen (Schwanengesang, D 957)

    Performer: Aribert Reimann. Singer: Brigitte Fassbaender.
    • DG 4297662.
    • DG.
    • 14.
  • Franz Schubert

    Der Doppelganger (Schwanengesang, D 957)

    Performer: Gerald Moore. Singer: Hans Hotter.
    • EMI CDH5651962.
    • EMI.
    • 13.
  • Franz Schubert

    Die Taubenpost (Schwanengesang, D 957)

    Performer: Benjamin Britten. Singer: Peter Pears.
    • DECCA 4362012.
    • DECCA.
    • 21.
  • Franz Schubert

    Galopp and 8 ecossaises D.735 for piano: Galop in G major

    Orchestrator: Bruno Maderna. Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Claudio Abbado.
    • DG.

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