The history of art song, Theodor W. Adorno declared, would be unthinkable without Heinrich Heine. His poems have inspired more than 10,000 settings—not only in German-speaking countries, but around the world. Among the first to musically explore his works were Fanny Hensel in Berlin and Franz Schubert in Vienna, who set six poems from Heine’s Reisebilder the year after their first publication (in what would become the second half of the collection known as Schwanengesang). Soprano Julia Kleiter and Julius Drake, curator of the Lied und Lyrik series, trace Heine’s musical influence further to Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Franz Liszt, and Charles Ives. Felix Kammerer, ensemble member at Vienna’s Burgtheater and recently seen on screen in All Quiet on the Western Front, reads Heine’s texts.
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