17. March, Sunday - 18:00


Organised by: Koncertzāle Cēsis

Ain ANGER, bass (Estonia)

Mihkel POLL, piano (Estonia)

Andrejs OSOKINS, piano




Franz Schubert, the Winterreise (Winter Journey) song cycle

Franz Schubert, Piano Quintet in A major (‘The Trout’)

The programme showcases two brilliant musical gems by the great Austrian composer Franz Schubert, a prominent representative of early Romanticism and a supreme melodist.

Interpreted by the world renowned Estonian bass Ain Anger, one of the most sought-after singers excelling in the Wagner repertoire, and pianist Mihkel Poll, we will hear Franz Schubert’s twenty-four-Lieder cycle Winter Journey (Die Winterreise) that has over the course of time become one of the musical opuses most loved by singers, pianists and listeners alike.

Franz Schubert wrote the cycle in two parts, each comprising twelve songs set to poems by the composer’s contemporary Wilhelm Müller. Schubert was the first composer who saw the art song (Lied) as a musical genre equal among others; it was thanks to Schubert that these songs found their place on the concert stage.

Schubert believed that the expression of words through music is of critical importance, and it is for this reason that the balance between the music and the lyrics is so harmonious in his works. And yet the most significant vehicle of meaning in his music is the melody, so extremely expressive despite its simplicity.

The song cycle is followed in the programme by Schubert’s so-called Trout Quintet (Forellenquintett). The composer wrote this piano quintet in summer 1819 on commission by Sylvester Paumgartner, an amateur cellist, but it was first published only a year after Schubert’s death, in 1829. Paumgartner is credited not only with commissioning the piece but also the suggestion that the composer include variations on the theme of his popular Lied entitled The Trout (Die Forelle): we can recognise the song in the fourth movement of the quintet. The make-up of the ensemble is also unusual in this piece: the piano is joined not by the classical string quartet (two violins, viola and cello) as usual but by violin, viola, cello and double bass instead.

The piano quintet will be interpreted in Cēsis by the brilliant Latvian pianist Andrejs Osokins and the Kremerata Lettonica Quartet. The members of the string quartet are Madara Pētersone (violin), Jevgēnija Frolova (viola), Iurii Gavryliuk (double bass) and Magdalēna Ceple (cello).