Performance Wednesday, March 5, 2014 | 8 PM

Matthias Goerne
Christoph Eschenbach

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
"If you are very, very lucky, you get to hear a performance every now and then that is so sublime in execution, so profound in expressive realization that it will have a place with you for the rest of your life. I felt I had one of those experiences … when baritone Matthias Goerne sang [Schubert], partnered by Christoph Eschenbach at the piano. I felt privileged to witness it" (The Baltimore Sun). Hear for yourself when the duo comes to Carnegie Hall to unleash the heartbreaking, unrelenting sadness in this Schubert song cycle.


  • Matthias Goerne, Baritone
  • Christoph Eschenbach, Piano


  • SCHUBERT Die schöne Müllerin

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 75 minutes with no intermission. Please note that there will be no late seating.


  • Matthias Goerne

    Matthias Goerne is one of the world's most sought-after vocalists and a frequent guest at renowned festivals and concert halls. He has collaborated with leading orchestras all over the world, and conductors of the first rank as well as eminent pianists are among his musical partners.

    Since his opera debut at the Salzburg Festival in 1997, Mr. Goerne has appeared on the world's principal opera stages, including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Teatro Real in Madrid; Opéra national de Paris; Vienna State Opera; and the Metropolitan Opera. His roles range from Wolfram (Tannhäuser), Amfortas (Parsifal), Kurwenal (Tristan und Isolde), and Orest (Elektra), to the title roles in Berg's Wozzeck, Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle, Hindemith's Mathis der Maler, and Aribert Reimann's Lear.

    Mr. Goerne's artistry has been documented on numerous recordings, many of which have received prestigious awards. He currently is recording a series of selected Schubert songs for Harmonia Mundi.

    During the 2013-2014 season, Mr. Goerne returns to the major opera houses and concert halls in Europe, the United States, and Asia. He opened the season with a concert at Musikfest Berlin, where he sang Lutosławski's Les espaces du sommeil with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, followed by a tour with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and several performances of Britten's War Requiem with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He also appears as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC; Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Orchestre de Paris; Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; NHK Symphony Orchestra; Hong Kong Philharmonic; and National Philharmonic of Russia.

    At the Vienna State Opera, Mr. Goerne has leading roles in three different opera productions: Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, Amfortas in Parsifal, and the title role in Berg's Wozzeck.

    In addition, Mr. Goerne appears in nearly 40 recitals worldwide with six different programs that range from Schubert to Berg, Shostakovich, and Eisler, with pianists Piotr Anderszewski, Leif Ove Andsnes, Christoph Eschenbach, Andreas Haefliger, and Alexander Schmalcz, including appearances at Chicago Symphony Center, Théatre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, and the Zurich Opera House. At both the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg and the Kioi Hall in Tokyo, Mr. Goerne performs Schubert's song cycles in three evenings. In the summer of 2014, he sings Schubert's Winterreise at the Vienna and Aix-en-Provence festivals with a film installation by South African artist William Kentridge.

    A native of Weimar, Mr. Goerne studied with Hans-Joachim Beyer in Leipzig, and later with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

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  • Christoph Eschenbach

    In demand as a distinguished guest conductor with the finest orchestras and opera houses throughout the world, Christoph Eschenbach began his tenure in September 2010 as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

    Highlights of Mr. Eschenbach's recent seasons have included engagements with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and Orchestre de Paris.

    In 2013-2014, Mr. Eschenbach takes part, as every season, in the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. He also conducts Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Vienna State Opera and continues the Salzburg Festival's Mozart-Da Ponte cycle with Don Giovanni.

    As a pianist, Mr. Eschenbach continues his collaboration with baritone Matthias Goerne, with whom he has recorded Schubert's three song cycles for Harmonia Mundi.

    A prolific recording artist for more than five decades, Mr. Eschenbach has recorded as both a conductor and a pianist on labels that include Deutsche Grammophon, Sony/BMG, Decca, Ondine, Warner, and Koch. His Ondine recording of the music of Kaija Saariaho with the Orchestre de Paris and soprano Karita Mattila won a 2009 MIDEM Classical Award, and his recent Hindemith recording with violinist Midori and the NDR Sinfonieorchester won a 2014 Grammy Award.

    Mentored by George Szell and Herbert von Karajan, Mr. Eschenbach's past posts include chief conductor and artistic director of the Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich from 1982 to 1986, as well as music director of the Houston Symphony from 1988 to 1999, the Ravinia Festival from 1994 to 2003, and The Philadelphia Orchestra from 2003 to 2008. His many honors include France's Légion d'honneur and Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Officer's Cross with Star and Ribbon of the German Order of Merit, and the Commander's Cross of the German Order of Merit. He also received the Leonard Bernstein Award from the Pacific Music Festival, where he was co-artistic director from 1992 to 1998.

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Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin ("Die böse Farbe")
Matthias Goerne, Baritone | Christoph Eschenbach, Piano
Harmonia Mundi

At a Glance

This evening's program consists of a single work, one of the most important compositions in all of Western music. Franz Schubert was newly diagnosed with syphilis when he discovered a poetic cycle by Wilhelm Müller—the tale of a young lad done to death by his first erotic experience—and set it to music in 1823. That the composer was drawn to a story about the coupling of Eros and Death at this turning point in his own life is a coincidence to make anyone ponder the mysteries of time and fate. The characters in this narrative cycle in 20 stages are familiar in literature and folklore from the Middle Ages onward: a young, innocent lad who works as an apprentice at a mill; the miller's daughter with whom the lad falls in love; and the bold huntsman, irresistible to young women. Many in the audience will know these characters in comic guise from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, but here they are mythic archetypes for something fundamental in human existence. Few of us make the journey from cradle to grave without at some point being clawed by love's very sharp talons, and Schubert's cycle traverses a tragic arc from songs of innocence to songs of experience.
Program Notes


Carnegie Hall's Director of Artistic Planning, Jeremy Geffen, discusses Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin

Lead funding for Vienna: City of Dreams is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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