I had high hopes for Daniel Behle and his Winterreise arrangement, performed at the Wigmore Hall on 19 April. I had in my mind the ‘reimaginings’ of Christopher O’Riley, Luciano Berio and could not decide whether I would hear a mere extension of the original or something completely different. The interpretation of the cycle was engaging and I enjoyed the drama; there was always the sense that the strings were either not utilised enough (plenty of sul ponticello tremolo) or did not really extend the material piano but merely provided some additional material that didn’t add much in my mind. The final song, however, was expertly judged. The string timbres were perfect for the hurdy gurdy man and playing directly on the strings of the piano was the right sinister timbre. Perhaps the final song was arranged first and inspired the rest of the project? I’m not sure a venture will catch on with other cycles but it reminds us how ‘complete’ song cycles are in their voice/piano duo writing.
Nonetheless an interesting idea. A complete YouTube performance is here.