New Press Release: Simply Schubert
Some interview material and background information for the concert this November
Royal Tunbridge Wells Choral Society have put together a fun press release for the upcoming Schubert concert, which you can find here.
I have also pasted below the my full responses to the questions I was asked by the publicity officer, Gillian Cameron-Cooper.
What is special to you about Schubert’s works?
For me, Schubert is the ultimate craftsman - his works are perfectly constructed and structured, and beauty is always at the forefront of the work. I've always thought of him as a Classical rather than Romantic composer, with his ultra refined and balanced approach to writing. However, even given all of the above, he still consistently finds ways to surprise you.
What do you like about the Schubert works in this programme?
I remember reading somewhere that Schubert was in his time comparable in terms of popularity with Rossini, and I think it's interesting to compare those two figures in light of our programme because the sacred works actually feel more than a little operatic. On the other hand, there are also some solo Lieder in the concert, which show a much more intimate, earnest side of Schubert's work, which I also really enjoy.
Is there anything particularly stellar/inspiring/challenging/wonderful about any of the solo parts you are singing?
As with a number of other composers of exactingly precise music, such as Bach or Mozart, singing Schubert is a little unforgiving, and the wonderful music he writes for soloists sounds beautiful only if they are able to meet the technical demands he sets them. There's a clear example for me in the Benedictus of the Mass in G, which we're singing: he gives a lovely, cantabile melody to the soprano, which is then taken up by the tenor, followed by the baritone... who sings the melody at the same high-voiced register as the other two, during which of course they should sound just as fresh and vibrant as the other two. Of course, the reward is a stunning bit of music and lovely vocal colour, and the same can be said of all the challenges Schubert sets for us.