Roger Vignoles

Roger Vignoles

2 / IV / 2017
Teatre Martín i Soler
Robert Schumann

Myrthen, opus 25

Five Songs from Liederkreis, opus 39


Singers of Centre Plácido Domingo

Roger Vignoles, piano

The marriage of Robert and Clara Schumann is one of the most famous love stories of all time. They first met when he was 20, and she a girl of 11, the daughter of his piano teacher Friedrich Wieck, who was already bringing her up for a career as a virtuoso concert pianist. Wieck disapproved of Schumann, whom he suspected of being unstable and of dubious character, and when the young couple fell in love he fiercely opposed the relationship, enforcing a separation of several years during which they were only allowed to meet each other in public. It was only by going to a court of law once Clara was 21, that Robert and Clara were finally able to marry.

The song cycle Myrthen -Robert’s wedding present to Clara- reflects both their happiness at being together at last, and the years of separation, during which they had only been able to dream and hope. It is also like a scrap-book of their favourite poetry: not only German writers like Ruckert, Goethe and Heine, but also English (Byron and Thomas Moore) and, more surprisingly, Scottish: the cycle includes no less than eight settings of Robert Burns, introducing such colourful personalities as the Highland Widow and the Captain’s Wife. In the third song, Der Nussbaum, we may imagine a portrait of Clara herself, since C is the third letter of the alphabet. And we meet a whole cast of other characters – travellers, drinkers, gondoliers and of course lovers both male and female.

For this presentation we have added -at the beginning of the second half- five songs from Liederkreis Opus 39. Composed in the same year as Myrthen, they address similar themes -separation, love, marriage- but with an additional touch of magic.

Roger Vignoles