FRANZ SCHUBERT – Vocal cycle Winterreise, Op. 89 / D. 911 (text by Wilhelm Müller)
Baritone Modestas Sedlevičius has captured prizes in the 1st International Virgilijus Noreika Competition for Singers (second prize) as well as various competitions in Germany and Austria. Sedlevičius honed his skills at the Academy of the La Scala Theatre (Italy), where he also was involved in three opera productions. The soloist can be heard on both concert and theatre stages; has appeared in Rossini’s l barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola, Leoncavallo’s I Paglacci, Puccini’s La bohème, Weber’s Der Freischütz, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, etc. Before his concert in Vilnius, Sedlevičius will appear as Valentin in Gounod’s Faust at Theater St. Gallen (Switzerland).
Ukrainian pianist Anna Anstett was born and studied in Donetsk, Ukraine. She also studied in Stuttgart and Manheim (Germany). The pianist currently continues her education in Karlsruhe. She has won a number of prizes in international piano and chamber music competitions. Together with baritone Sedlevičius she has taken part in several Lied competitions where the duo has earned first prizes and special prizes as well as the title of the best duo.
According to his contemporaries, when working on 24-song cycle Winterreise Schubert, dubbed the king of songs, was fully absorbed in Wilhelm Müller’s poems. In these poems resembling folksongs the composer discovered familiar feelings of love, dreams, loss, sadness and fright. Schubert was very sick and poverty-stricken. Still in the process of creation of Winterreise he brought several songs from the future cycle to Tobias Haslinger, the notable Viennese publisher who paid Schubert poor person’s honorarium – one gulden per song…
In his memoires Joseph Spaun, the composer’s friend, recounted one afternoon, when Schubert publically performed the entire Winterreise for the first time. His voice was trembling and disrupting – so deeply shocking were the last songs.