Dedicated to Alice Frances Demske Hansen (1978-2012)
Schubert’s Winterreise (Winter Journey) is an intimate glimpse into grief; the simple story of a young man rejected by love conveys the universal experience of searching for peace. The dream-fantasy is rich with pain, love, despair, and resolve, emotions that Schubert juxtaposes in a haunting masterpiece.
Nothing can match the beauty of the human voice. My goal is not to arrange or improve the original work but to offer a different lens and add my individual perspective. I freely experiment with melodic fragments, highlighting meaningful gestures while not confining myself to their original placement or length.
Foremost in my mind was the text and meaning of Müller’s poetry. I built many pieces around individual lines that resonated with me and reflected the overall poem, leading to increasingly dramatic compositions and unusual techniques. Nearly all of the pieces use non-Schubertian styles, extended techniques, or
The result is a work that has clear origins with Schubert’s “Winterreise,” but is more of a refraction than a reflection. It represents my individual journey and experience with the music.
— Hilary Demske