The finale of the Aldeburgh Festival... Roderick Williams sings his arrangement for baritone and string quartet of Die schöne Müllerin with the award-winning Carducci Quartet.

As well as a singer and composer, Roderick Williams is also an acclaimed arranger. This world premiere presents a fresh look at one of the great Romantic song cycles, marking 200 years since it was first performed. Williams is joined by the versatile Carducci Quartet for what promises to be an unforgettable ending to the 74th Aldeburgh Festival.

Die schöne Müllerin, D.795 (arr. Roderick Williams for baritone and string quartet, first performance) (60’)

Roderick Williams baritone
Carducci Quartet

The Carducci String Quartet were stunning... they are clearly musicians of high intelligence

The Times

Die schöne Müllerin, “The Fair Maid of the Mill”, is a song cycle by Franz Schubert from 1823 based on poems by Wilhelm Müller. It is the first of Schubert’s two seminal cycles (preceding Winterreise).

There are twenty songs in the cycle, and they move from cheerful optimism to despair and tragedy. At the beginning of the cycle, a young journeyman miller wanders happily through the countryside. He comes upon a brook, which he follows to a mill. He falls in love with the miller’s beautiful daughter (the “Müllerin” of the title). She is out of his reach as he is only a journeyman. He tries to impress her, but her response seems tentative. The young man is soon supplanted in her affections by a hunter clad in green, the colour of a ribbon he gave the girl. In his anguish, he experiences an obsession with the colour green, then an extravagant death fantasy in which flowers sprout from his grave to express his undying love. In the end, the young man despairs and seems to drown himself in the brook. The last number is a lullaby sung by the brook.