Schumann's Dichterliebe to be Performed Tuesday Night

Schumann's Dichterliebe to be Performed Tuesday Night

April 7, 2007

Crouch Gurga3.jpgApril 7, 2007, Greencastle, Ind. - On Tuesday, April 10, Gabriel Crouch, baritone and professor in the DePauw University School of Music, will perform Robert Schumann’s epic Dichterliebe with accompanist Stephanie Gurga. This special presentation of what is considered Schumann’s most masterful work will take place in the Performing Arts Center's Thompson Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Dichterliebe, meaning “the poet’s love,” consists of sixteen poems by Heinrich Heine, set to music by Schumann. Composed in the early 1840’s, the cycle exemplifies aspects of German romanticism, with its highly emotional texts, descriptions of physical love, death, nature, dreams, and the loss of love. Each of the sixteen works are jewels within thelieder genre. The piano plays a highly integral part -- it is almost as if Schumann speaks through the instrument with the aide of the singer, rather Crouch Gurga2.jpgthan the other way around, using Heine’s poems to express the intensity of his love for his wife, Clara, while foreseeing the insanity and pain that will befall him later in life.

This DePauw musical offering will be performed on a set staged to represent a living room -- epitomizing the typical musical salon experience of the romantic generation.

“In exploring this extraordinary work, we have focused on the interchange of voice and piano in exposing the meaning of the poetry and music," notes Professor Crouch. "In the true spirit of collaboration, we have tried to deepen our understanding of each other’s role by mastering each other’s parts, and even (briefly and painfully) swapping parts during rehearsal. Though short (a mere 30 minutes in performance), Dichterliebeis a work to be lived with, struggled with ... it requires a lifetime of patience and understanding.”

Gabriel Crouch is director of choral ensembles at DePauw. A seasoned performer, from 1996 until 2004, Crouch occupied the second baritone position in The King’s Singers, and in thoseCrouch Gurga1.jpg eight years made a dozen recordings on the BMG label (one of which received a Grammy nomination), and gave more than 900 performances in almost every major concert venue in the world.

Stephanie Gurga is an increasingly sought-after piano soloist and accompanist in the United States and abroad. A 2006 graduate of DePauw, she performs a wide variety of repertoire -- from Bach to Glass -- on organ, harpsichord and piano.

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