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Joyce DiDonato’s New Album, ‘Winterreise’ & the Female Perspective

Joyce DiDonato and conductor-pianist Yannick Nézet-Séguin join forces to take on one of the most brilliant song cycles ever written: Franz Schubert’s Winterreise (Winter Journey) in a new album released by Erato. DiDonato, however, casts a different light on this beloved cycle of 24 songs in telling their story from the perspective of the woman, the lost love. This album features recordings from their Carnegie Hall performance in NYC back in 2019.

Winterreise is typically performed by men, but Joyce features female singers on her album including Brigitte Fassbaender, Christa Ludwig, Elena Gerhardt, and Lotte Lehmann.

Joyce DiDonato stated,

“Perhaps one element of a true masterpiece is that it invites itself to be experienced in a new light... but what about her? The woman he loved and who, for whatever reason, disappointed him. Perhaps it’s my identification with Charlotte in Massenet’s opera ‘Werther’ that kept this question front and center in my mind. I’ve always wondered what happens to her when the curtain comes down [after Werther has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound] … What if the young man of Winterreise sent her his last journals before he parted? What if his final words arrived to her as a kind of suicide note? … And what if she reads the writings? Word for word. Over and over … ‘Ces lettres … ces lettres,’ Charlotte screams out in Werther … So what about the woman who spoke of love in the first song of Winterreise? This can also be her journey.”


April 23, 2021

(Available in CD format as well as digital downloads).


You can preorder the album or downloads by visiting the link below:

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