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The week that's in it

Wandering in Waterford

Schubertreise XVII (imagine, almost halfway there) is approaching fast, and as usual I feel a mixture of fear and exaltation. Usually at this point my body provides a handy get-out clause in the form of fictitious sore throats (psychosoma). At the same time the desire to perform these oven-ready songs provokes the sort of feeling that greyhounds must feel before the starting gun.

On the menu this time: some more humdinging ballades, "Minona" and "Lodas Gespenst", the latter Schubert's first setting of the fraudulent Ossianic ballads "discovered" by the Scottish poet James MacPherson; the long and beautiful "Die Erwartung"; some attractive titbits ("Das Bild"); a mellow graveyard fantasy in the form of "Auf einen Kirchhof"; a minstrel's song in which the song itself is entirely represented by lengthy piano solos ("Der Sänger"); Schubert's first encounter with Greek mythology in the Beethovenian "Amphiaraos", and something of a rarity: two entirely different versions of the same song in "Sängers Morgenlied." Reason enough to propel you towards the delightful Chapelle Notre-Dame du Marché in Jodoigne next Sunday November 15th at 11am (ye gods), or (the same programme) in the equally delightful but entirely different converted chapel in Rosario, Bever, on Sunday November 22nd at 5pm. Tickling the ivories as usual is the ever-dependable, always inspired and inspiring Michel Stas.

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