La Scena Musicale

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Next Great Art Song - Adrianne Pieczonka's Favourite Art Song

Renowned Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka shares her favourite art songs below. Send us your choices at!
Adrianne Pieczonka (Photo: Andreas Klingberg)

1. Gretchen am Spinnrade - Franz Schubert

I knew I had to nominate a Schubert Lied as my number one pick but it was very difficult to make the final decision! To me Schubert is peerless as a Lied composer and his many songs and song cycles are some of my favourite vocal repertoire of all time.

I chose "Gretchen" as it is such a perfectly crafted Lied. The piano accompaniment immediately sets the scene of the young girl seated at her sewing wheel. Her soliloquy is like a stream of consciousness with the piano underlying all her desire, conflict and sadness. When the spinning wheel finally stops at the musical climax with the word "Kuss", time stands still for a few moments and the effect is breathtaking. The spinning theme then resumes and we feel Gretchen's loss more acutely.

It is a song which packs a powerful punch - a short scena of intense passion and longing.

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