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Jessica Duchen
Saturday 9th January 2010
Think It's Cold Out There? Try This

I have a piece in this week's JC about the baritone and writer Mark Glanville, who's performing his dream project A Yiddish Winterreise at the Purcell Room tomorrow, with the one and only Alexander Knapp (who arranged about half the songs) at the piano. It's a sequence of specially chosen songs in Yiddish mirroring the physical and emotional world of Schubert's cycle, this time telling the story of a man escaping the Vilna Ghetto after his family has been murdered. It's just out on a Naxos CD. The other day I listened to the whole thing with a hefty lump in my throat through about 20 songs and nursing a heap of tissues for the remainder. It has a power that grabs you where it most hurts. The deep resonances of the language are extraordinary to hear and especially so in the one song from Winterreise itself, 'Der Lindenbaum', in translation. The arrangements by Knapp are virtually Schubertian too, spare and concentrated. And Mark's story - how creating the cycle has helped him find himself and his true voice - is very inspiring. There are still some tickets, so if you're not snowbound tomorrow, don't miss it.

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About Jessica Duchen

Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.

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