New release by Orchester im Treppenhaus

Orchester im Treppenhaus releases their latest album 'Winterreise' with a concert at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

On 10 November 2023, the Orchester im Treppenhaus released their new album 'Winterreise'. Schubert's well-known composition was specially arranged by the orchestra for string quintet, electric guitar, accordion, percussion, bass clarinet, flute and musical saw and performed for the first time in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg on 14 November 2023. Director Thomas Posth describes the recording and concert as follows:

'Schubert's Winterreise is a lifelong theme for me. Over the years, I have been intensively involved with this core work of Romantic literature in many ways, and the desire to create my own arrangement grew ever greater.

In 2021, together with the composer and arranger Fynn Großmann, I arranged part of Winterreise for the production Dark Room - A Search for Traces in the Dark for string quintet, electric guitar, accordion, percussion, flute, bass clarinet and musical saw.
In this Dark Room, the audience, wearing sleeping goggles and sitting in the dark, searches for the trail of Takako Konishi in a live orchestral radio play. The Japanese woman was found dead in the woods in North America in November 2001, and her last hours are the story of a winter journey fuelled by false hopes, despair and speechlessness. And the story of a fatal misunderstanding. We hear Takako's voice in the concert from afar, in the lyrics of Winterreise.

The vocal part was therefore cast with a female voice, and the new version of the text also detaches itself from the grief of a - male - unhappy lover and raises the horizon to an existential, but broader experience of loss and foreignness, without losing its urgency. The parts of the text that refer specifically to the love of the "fair maiden" are partly instrumentalised, partly sung in Japanese or Arabic, which heightens the effect of foreignness.

The arrangement and the emotions of the concerts were so dense and strong for us that two years later we decided to adapt the rest of Winterreise as well. The new version of the entire Winterreise with the wonderful mezzo-soprano Esther Valentin has become a project close to our hearts over the years.'

Purchase album on Bandcamp or stream on Spotify.