Franz Schubert holds a unique position in music history. Suspended between the Classics and the Romantics, he shaped both styles and yet followed his own very distinctive path. He was a wholly individual spirit, an eccentric and an outsider. Many of his works barely reached the public sphere during his lifetime and, if they did, they were often misunderstood.
His influence went far beyond the art song for which he was initially recognized. Whether it’s the piano sonatas, the varied chamber music, or the symphonies—his works prove time and again that he was a highly inspired composer who could both capture the “magic moment” and think in larger dimensions.
On the occasion of Schubert’s 220th birthday on January 31, 2017, the Pierre Boulez Saal embarks on a series of projects to celebrate his music. Daniel Barenboim will perform the complete piano sonatas and, together with the Staatskapelle Berlin, all of Schubert’s symphonies. And as a tribute to the great lieder singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who devoted himself to the cosmos of Schubert’s songs like no one before him, a group of celebrated lied interpreters will come together in a series of recitals to perform all of Schubert’s 600 songs over the course of this and the coming seasons. This extraordinary cycle, which was originally initiated by Fischer-Dieskau in the 1996–97 season in Cologne, begins with the iconic Winterreise, performed by Christian Gerhaher and Daniel Barenboim.