Music as a Language

Music as a language: emotions in poetry

Romantic composers, Sergei Rachmaninov and Clara & Robert Schumann, wrote pieces coherently driven by love and imagery, in a world created to their own right. Rachmaninov’s Suite No. 1 (or Fantaisie-Tableaux for two pianos) elicits a series of “musical pictures” where each movement is associated with a poem written by some of the greatest Russian Romantic writers and Lord Byron. With its programmatic elements, our performance of this suite is realized with the poems, spoken by singer Walther Deubel.

Robert and Clara Schumann shared a great talent for composing and a tremendous love for one another. During the time Robert was writing his Romances, which he would later give as a Christmas present to Clara, his mental health was quickly deteriorating and soon after he was admitted to an asylum in Dusseldorf. Later, inspired by her husband’s Romances, Clara wrote three of her own and dedicated them to long-time friend and colleague, violinist Joseph Joachim, who described them as ‘marvelous, heavenly, pleasure’.

The combination of spoken and written words and music performance make this program a powerful experience, inviting the audience to be captivated by what they see and hear. The narrator guides audibly through the music, and projected text allows for further reflection.

Rachmaninov, S., Suite no.1 for two pianos
Several pieces of Clara en Robert Schumann, oboe and piano

Walther Deubel

Guido Moret
Ynke van der Wagt

Ian Barillas-McEntee