Eine schöne Müllerin
“In my arranging and rearranging of images I’m like a child [...] I’m like a lunatic adorning my hair with dried flowers that are still alive in my dreams.”
Fernando Pessoa, Book of Disquiet, p. 193
A youngster, in search of a future, livelihood and love: euphoric dreams and lethal disillusions. Nothing new so far. Two centuries ago, Wilhelm Müller poetically captured this universal quest in a consciously naive style with folk-like simplicity, striving for a deep unconscious ardor in the shy articulation of what is most elevated. The burning result keeps smouldering into the present in Schubert's immortal melodies from Die schöne Müllerin, where a murmuring creek is the wordless companion of the ill-fated wanderer. For note whisperer Daan Janssens, this song cycle is the starting point for an updated reading of a topic transcending space and time. In this case, Schubert's composition itself is the guide to the exploratory voyage, at times sparkling at the surface only to submerge again as a deeply hidden undercurrent.
The confrontation with Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet places dreams and illusions in a different perspective, leading to a new song cycle subtly connecting Schubert's music with Daan Janssens’s personal language. The original score acts as a roadmap for a journey where recognition and alienation walk hand in hand in a sonorous labyrinth where all roads seem mysteriously connected.
In Eine schöne Müllerin, Daan Janssens constructs a series of tableaux for baritone and instrumental ensemble, in which the reverberations of the original linger on, reflected in the mirror of today.
Daan Janssens: Eine schöne Müllerin (2018)
Doppel-Zyklus for baritone and nine instruments after Die schöne Müllerin (Schubert/Müller) with additional texts by Fernando Pessoa
Commissioned by SPECTRA, Festival 20/21 and Muziekcentrum De Bijloke
Supported by the Ghent School of Arts/Conservatory Research Fund
SPECTRA, conducted by Filip Rathé
Thomas E. Bauer, baritone