20 Jun 2006
Heine and Schumann — Wigmore Hall, London
Tim Ashley [The Guardian, 20 June 2006]
"I am both the harvester and grave-digger of Romanticism," Heinrich Heine once announced, a statement typical of one of Germany's greatest, if most conflicted, writers. Heine's life, work, and influence on music, were the subjects of this two-concert event, the brainchild of pianist Graham Johnson. Serving as both narrator and accompanist, Johnson interwove a biographical study of Heine with extracts from his writings, read by Gabriel Woolf, and settings of his poetry performed by young singers from the UK and Germany. The result was a complex portrait of a poet who provoked some of the greatest songs ever written, yet whose range was never fully captured by the musicians he inspired.