The image of the Romantic Wanderer has long captured the imaginations of poets, artists, and composers. Epitomised by Caspar David Friedrich's painting, 'Wanderer Above the Mist', this figure embodies the Romantic spirit: on the one hand adventurous, on an exhilarating quest for beauty, revelling in nature; and on the other, isolated, lonely, yearning for something left behind or not yet found.Read more…
- Britten • Winter Words op. 52 (1953) • 2. Midnight on the Great Western (The Journeying Boy)Winter Words op. 52 (1953)
2. Midnight on the Great Western (The Journeying Boy)Philip Langridge (Tenor), Steuart Bedford (Piano)1995 - 1996, London, Blackheath Concert Halls
- Schumann • Manfred op. 115: Overture • Rasch - Langsam - In leidenschaftlichem TempoManfred op. 115: Overture
Rasch - Langsam - In leidenschaftlichem TempoYondani Butt, London Symphony OrchestraNovember 2012, London, Abbey Road Studios
- Duparc • L'invitation au Voyage (Version for Voice and Orchestra) • L'invitation au VoyageL'invitation au Voyage (Version for Voice and Orchestra)
L'invitation au VoyageDame Janet Baker (Mezzo-soprano), André Previn
London Symphony Orchestra2001
- Berlioz • Harold en Italie op. 16 H 68 • 3. Sérénade d'un montagnard des Abruzzes à sa maîtresseHarold en Italie op. 16 H 68
3. Sérénade d'un montagnard des Abruzzes à sa maîtresseGérard Caussé (Viola), Michel Plasson
Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse℗ 1991
- MacCunn • Land of the Mountain and the Flood Overture for Orchestra op. 3 • Land of the Mountain and the Flood OvertureLand of the Mountain and the Flood Overture for Orchestra op. 3
Land of the Mountain and the Flood OvertureGrant Llewellyn, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra℗ 1993
- Butterworth • Bredon Hill and Other Songs (1912) • 2. Oh fair enough are sky and plainBredon Hill and Other Songs (1912)
2. Oh fair enough are sky and plainSimon Keenlyside (Baritone), Malcolm Martineau (Piano)℗ 2011
- Delius • Over the Hills and Far Away, Fantasy Overture RT VI/11 (1895-1897)Over the Hills and Far Away, Fantasy Overture RT VI/11 (1895-1897)David Lloyd-Jones, Orchestra of Opera NorthAugust 1995, Leeds, Leeds Town Hall
- Brahms • Ballads and Romances op. 75 • 3. So lass uns wandern!Ballads and Romances op. 75
3. So lass uns wandern!Juliane Banse (Soprano), Iris Vermillion (Mezzo-soprano), Christoph Prégardien (Tenor), Helmut Deutsch (Piano)May 2003, Berlin, Kleiner Sendesaal (RBB)
- Schubert • Fantasy for Piano in C major op. 15 D 760 'Wanderer Fantasy' • Adagio –Fantasy for Piano in C major op. 15 D 760 'Wanderer Fantasy'
Adagio –Maurizio Pollini (Piano)℗ 1974
- Strauss • Der müde Wanderer TrV 16 • Schon sank die Sonne niederDer müde Wanderer TrV 16
Schon sank die Sonne niederAndreas Schmidt (Baritone), Rudolf Jansen (Piano)℗ 1998
- Burgmüller • Abreise (Departure) (from Fünf Lieder op. 10) • Abreise (Departure)Abreise (Departure) (from Fünf Lieder op. 10)
Abreise (Departure)Andreas Reibenspies (Baritone), Eckart Sellheim (Fortepiano)July 2012, Baden-Baden, Hans Rosbaud Studio Baden-Baden
- Janáček • Potulny silenec (The Wandering Madman) JW IV/43 • Potulny silenec (The Wandering Madman)Potulny silenec (The Wandering Madman) JW IV/43
Potulny silenec (The Wandering Madman)Lubomír Máti, Moravian Teachers Choir1995 - 1996, Uničov, Minorite Church in Unicov
- Bennett • I Wonder as I Wander (2008) • I wonder as I wander out under the skyI Wonder as I Wander (2008)
I wonder as I wander out under the skyPaul Spicer, Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber ChoirJune 2017, Highgate, St. Alban the Martyr
Schubert took the character of the Wanderer and examined it from every angle: his two major song cycles, 'Die schöne Müllerin' and 'Wintereisse', are both from the perspective of travellers. We hear the optimistic "Das Wandern" from 'Die schöne Müllerin', followed by Robert Schumann's similarly "happy wanderer". Then comes the trudging "Vagabond" from the 'Songs of Travel' by Ralph Vaughan Williams, before two wintry songs: the haunting "Midnight on the Great Western (The Journeying Boy)" from Britten's 'Winter Words', and the restless "Rückblick" ("Backwards Glance”) from Schubert's 'Winterreise'. Schumann's 'Manfred' Overture was inspired by Byron, whose words encapsulate the Wanderer's sensibilities:
My joy was in the Wilderness, …
Into the torrent, and to roll along
On the swift whirl of the new breaking wave
Of river-stream, or ocean, in their flow.
An injection of warmth comes with the sunnier atmosphere of Duparc's "L’invitation au Voyage", Berlioz's Byronic symphony, 'Harold en Italie', and Mahler's celebration of spring (echoed in his First Symphony) in the second of the 'Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen' ('Songs of a Wayfarer'), contrasted with the more bracing Scottish landscape of MacCunn's Walter Scott-inspired 'Land of the Mountain and the Flood'.
George Butterworth excelled at setting poetry evoking explorations of the countryside. 'Bredon Hill and Other Songs' includes "Oh fair enough are sky and plain" to a poem from A.E. Housman’s 'A Shropshire Lad', which subtly expresses the Wanderer’s sense of longing.
In Schubert's radiant "Shepherd on the Rock", the soprano duets with the clarinet, supported by the piano, and Brahms combines two voices with piano for "So let us wander", its ebullient attitude echoed in Wolf’s walking song. Yet the sense of alienation returns with Richard Strauss's "Weary Wanderer".
Using words by Tagore, Janáček's "Wandering Madman" takes our theme to its extreme, depicting a wild and lost figure through intoned phrases answered by disjointed choral statements. Richard Rodney Bennett's "I wonder as I wander" returns us to more reassuring terrain, the poet’s journey used as an opportunity to reflect on the Christmas story.