Die schöne Müllerin
Participants of Thomas Hampson's masterclass
'When she once teasingly reproached Schubert for not having dedicated a piece of music to her, Schubert replied: "What for? Everything is dedicated to you anyway."' This is how Schubert's friend, the singer Carl von Schönstein, recounts Schubert's indirect confession of love to his piano pupil, the Comtesse Caroline Esterházy. The difference in class made a union impossible but fuelled the art: for example the 'Grand duo' four-hand piano sonata D 812, composed in 1824 on the estate in Zselíz (Želiezovce) for the two Comtesses Esterházy, contains a quotation from 'Die schöne Müllerin', as if it were a coded message. This great song cycle, written a year earlier to the words of the poet Wilhelm Müller, concerns the tragic doomed love of a simple miller's boy for the daughter of a rich mill owner. Schubert rendered the unstable emotional world of the protagonist into a direct, raw, unvarnished reality while transporting it to a higher, poetic level in his music. The cycle is the first great test for those who want to prove themselves in the Lieder genre. In the Empiresaal, highly gifted young interpreters demonstrate what they have learned in Thomas Hampson's master class, when the stars of tomorrow sing Schubert.