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Devised by Guildhall professor Iain Burnside

Swansong is the latest music theatre piece devised by renowned pianist and Guildhall professor Iain Burnside, with Guildhall singers, pianists and actors.

Schwanengesang ('Swan-Song') is revered as Schubert’s farewell to song. Written at the end of his short life, the 14 songs complete the composer’s peerless trio of song cycles.

Yet there is no evidence that Schubert intended them to be performed together at all. Instead the idea was the brainwave of his Viennese publisher Tobias Haslinger. 

Swansong presents these 14 songs, for voice and piano, in their traditional order, interspersed with monologues from six different characters. Three are Schubert’s contemporaries: his friend Franz von Schober, his laundry girl, Liesl and the canny publisher himself, Tobias Haslinger. Three are from later generations: the composers, Johannes Brahms and Ivor Gurney, and Emily, an American graduate student visiting Vienna. Each casts fresh light, from different angles, on this collection of masterly songs, and on the genius who created them, months before his death.

Promoted by the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.


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