The tenor Julian Prégardien joins ALPHA for several recording projects that will showcase every facet of his talent, notably lieder and oratorio. His first album on the label is devoted to one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of music, Winterreise, but in a version with orchestra composed by Hans Zender in 1993.
He scored the work for orchestral forces very different from the ensembles used in the nineteenth century (including, for example, a soprano saxophone, an accordion, a harmonica, a wind machine, a guitar and a very large percussion section). Hans Zender describes his work as a ‘creative transformation’: ‘My own reading of Winterreise does not seek a new expressive interpretation, but systematically takes advantage of the freedoms that performers normally allow themselves in an intuitive way: slowing down or accelerating the tempo, transposition into different keys, emphasising and nuancing colours.’ Following a staged production of this version of the work, Christian Merlin wrote in Le Figaro in 2018: ‘A spellbinding Winterreise . . . The tenor Julian Prégardien, at once an exceptional singer and a committed actor, gives an incendiary performance combining vocal expressiveness, loving attention to the words and theatrical presence with sensitivity and intelligence in equal measure.’