Die schöne Müllerin
Franz Schubert - Ludwig Berger

Die schöne Müllerin

Markus Schäfer

Label: CAvi
Format: CD
Barcode: 4260085533336
Catalog number: AVI 8553333
Releasedate: 28-08-15
- World Première and First Recording of Ludwig Berger’s „Schöne Müllerin“ cycle, several years before Franz Schubert, of 10 poemes by Mueller

- a recording with the Fortepiano as accompanging instrument and therefore stylistically trying to be authentic from the time of origin

It all began with a musical parlor game. In the Berlin home of Privy Councilor Friedrich August von Staegemann in autumn of 1816, a group of young art-lovers put on a brief play with interspersed songs. It told the story of how Rose, the “lovely maid of the mill”, is courted by three men: a young miller, a gardener and a hunter. The latter eventually succeeds in winning her heart.

A number of songs were improvised for the occasion, based on poems some of the participants had written. The group of friends eventually wished to have those spur-of-the-moment songs replaced with true musical settings so turned to Berlin composer Ludwig Berger, who selected ten pieces and published corresponding settings in 1818 under the title Songs from the Liederspiel “Die schöne Müllerin".

In accordance with the Lied aesthetic en vogue in the early 1800’s, Berger set most of the poems as songs containing several stanzas of equal length.  Five of the ten texts Berger set to music were poems by Wilhelm Müller. Born in 1794, it is no wonder that Müller took up the role of the miller-lad in the parlor song game.

Schubert only set twenty of Müller’s twenty-five poems. Three particularly extended numbers with many stanzas would have inserted too much delay into his interpretation designed to lead straight to the miller-lad’s bitter, mortal end.

Markus Schäfer and Tobias Koch have intensely studied the performance practice of Schubert’s time. However, their take on Berger’s and Schubert’s Lieder is not intended to be an act of purely reconstructive historicism, but rather a consciously subjective appropriation and transformation of a historical practice – far beyond merely ornamenting the original notes.
Tobias Koch , pianoforte
Tobias Koch’s musical credo is to trace the essence of sound with the joy of discovery and
open-minded versatility: he is certainly one of the most fascinating current performers in the
area of period keyboard instruments. Koch never ceases to surprise his audiences with a series
of exceptional projects, featuring an extensive variety of repertoire and an impressive knack
for discovering the most appropriate instrument for each kind of repertoire. His performing
career has taken him all over Europe. He appears as a guest artist in leading festivals such as
Schleswig-Holstein, Ludwigsburg, Verbier and the Warsaw Chopin Festival. Important musical
partners include Andreas Staier, Gottfried von der Goltz, Steven Isserlis, Concerto Köln, Frieder
Bernius and the Stuttgart Hofkapelle. For years he has been collaborating with well-known
early music tenor Markus Schäfer. Tobias Koch works in tandem with instrument makers and
with some of the most important musical instrument museums, and he is on the faculty of
the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf. A wide range of publications and a great
number of broadcast productions for radio and television round out his work in the field of
music, along with over 25 CD releases of works ranging from Mozart to Brahms.
Pianoforte by Johann Fritz, Vienna, ca. 1830.
Length: 240 cm; figured ash veneer; range: CC-g4, Viennese action;
four pedals (una corda, moderator, double moderator, forte).
Beetz Collection
Markus Schäfer, tenor
Lyric tenor Markus Schäfer enjoys international recognition thanks to continual, intense
collaboration with early music ensembles and conductors such as La Petite Bande with Gustav
Leonhardt and Sigiswald Kuijken, Concentus Musicus Wien under the direction of Nikolaus
Harnoncourt, and many others. His opera career began in Zurich and led him to the opera
houses of Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Berlin. He currently makes frequent appearances at
renowned festivals and music venues, such as Salzburg Festival, the Rossini Festival in Pesaro,
Rheingau Music Festival, Styriarte in Graz, the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Lockenhaus
Chamber Music Festival, Lincoln Center and Wigmore Hall. Schäfer has been on the faculty of the
Hochschule für Musik in Hannover as voice professor since 2008. His extended and variegated
repertoire is documented on a great number of recordings for the music industry and for 0
– not only featuring Classical and Romantic works, but also world premieres of music by living
composers. Schäfer has nevertheless preserved his special relation with historical performance
practice and early music, which has marked him the most and still occupies the larger portion
of his widespread musical activity.