Unique Concert Recital at Crane

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By Craig Thornton

FREE EVENT

SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music Presents 'Winterreise' Song Cycle in Concert with Guest Artist and Faculty Member Feb. 13

SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music invites audiences to enjoy a monumental winter journey in an upcoming recital featuring Franz Schubert's epic song cycle, "Die Winterreise." Guest artist Malcolm Smith, bass, will join Crane piano faculty member Paul Wyse for the recital, which will be offered on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater. Smith and Wyse recently presented the same performance at the University of Southern Maine School of Music.

"Die Winterreise" is a cycle comprising 24 songs, which features lyrics from a Wilhelm Müller poetry collection. It is the second of two song cycles Schubert wrote using Müller's poetry. The expressive and dramatic song cycle is presented from the point of view of a protagonist who is alone and wandering on a cold winter's evening. Schubert's piece balances the role of the singer and the pianist equally; the lyrical interpretation and piano's rhythm present an atmospheric story of yearning set amidst the beauty of nature cloaked in winter.

"'Die Winterreise' is one of the great song cycles," Smith said. "It is very descriptive of winter scenes, while the protagonist looks back over episodes of his life. There are happy moments but many more contemplative moments."

"There is a hopefulness of getting to a better place, of longing and searching, but not being able to find it," said Wyse. "Hope is a major tenant of romantic poetry, and it carries through the 24 verses."

Smith and Wyse will take three short breaks in the song cycle, during which Wyse will provide descriptions of the meaning behind the upcoming song section.

This event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

About the performers:

Malcolm Smith, bass, has been a University of Southern Maine voice artist faculty member since 2003. He and his wife, mezzo-contralto Margaret Yauger, USM voice artist faculty since 1999, spent many years living and singing in Germany, where they each performed with various leading opera and concert organizations. Smith has appeared with the world's major operatic and symphonic organizations. He has performed with such renowned companies as the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera Company, La Scala, Deutsche Oper, Staatsoper Berlin, Hamburg Opera, Munich Opera, Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera and Düsseldorf Oper, where he received the honorary title of Kammersänger. Smith has been heard in concert repertoire with such leading orchestras as the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic, as well as the Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Montreal and National symphony orchestras.

Paul Wyse is renowned for both his piano performances, as well as his portrait paintings of musicians. He has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Central America, Europe and New Zealand. Highlights include premiere performances for the Royal Family of Monaco, concertos with the New World Symphony, and performances with the Gettysburg Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of Northern New York, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and the Peabody Chamber Orchestra. Wyse's portraits hang in North America's finest collections, including the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, the Steinway Hall historical portrait collection and the House of Commons of Canada. Wyse is a faculty member SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music.

This concert will be broadcast live on the SUNY Potsdam website at the performance time. To view the program and see other upcoming streaming performances, visit www.potsdam.edu/academics/Crane/streaming.

For more information about SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, please visit www.potsdam.edu/crane.

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York's only All-Steinway institution.

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