Sun, Jun 12 | Aula der Neuen Universität Heidelberg

Schubert Lounge by Eivind Buene

Heidelberger Frühling
Schubert Lounge by Eivind Buene

Time & Location

Jun 12, 7:30 PM
Aula der Neuen Universität Heidelberg, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

About the Event

Tora Augestad (mezzo-sopran)

Halvor Festervoll Melien (baritone)

Eivind Buene (vocals, piano)

Christian Eggen (conductor, piano)

Oslo Sinfonietta

Schubert Lounge at Heidelberger Frühling

This  newest project in a series of collaborations between Oslo-based  composer/author Eivind Buene (*1973) and Norway’s principal ensemble for  contemporary music is a contemporary reflection on Franz Schubert’s  (1797-1828) Lieder-œuvre from three different musical angles.

Buene’s  work is based on his own previous approach to the Schubertiades  from a singer-songwriter-perspective – the Schubert Lounge series – and  his idea that classical music can be altered in the same way as literary  material can be changed by directors and dramaturgs in classical drama,  by adding or removing, thereby turning the material into something  different.

“The  human voice has been a theme in both of my novels. In Enmannsorkester,  one of the characters, a history student, experiences a breakdown  related to Schubert's Winterreise […]. Parallel to writing this, I  started experimenting a bit with Schubert's songs, reworking their form  and attitude as popular music. I tried to imagine how it would sound if  Schubert was a singer / songwriter in the seventies. […] The result was a  series of performances, mostly house concerts in Schubert's spirit."  (Buene)

By  presenting Schubert in new ways, with Buene’s own voice and a  simplified accompaniment, he achieved a surprising twist on how these  Lieder can sound – actually in accordance with Schubert’s own methods –  while at the same time recreating the house concert’s social form.

Oslo Sinfoniettas version of the Schubert Lounge takes this idea yet a step further:

Buene  will select a number of songs from Schubert’s œuvre as a departing  point for a new autonomous ensemble piece that will complement and  contrast both the original versions of these songs for voice and piano,  as well as Buene’s English singer-songwriter-like versions. The  result is a full-length concert constituted by 15–20 minutes each for  Schubert songs in original and singer-songwriter versions, and 30  minutes of Buene’s new material.

The  composer’s work is thus twofold: The composition of the new piece is  accompanied by his curatorial work of intertwining the new music with  the existing songs in their different formats, thereby creating a  continuous flow, a homogenous work that oscillates between different  styles, époques and instrumentations.

Schubert  Lounge was premiered at Eclat Festival 2019, by Oslo Sinfonietta,  Eivind Buene himself, Tora Augestad (mezzo-sopran), baritone Halvor  Festervoll Melien and Oslo Sinfonietta’s conductor, Christian Eggen, who  also played the piano.