© Markus Hinterhäuser

When Daniel Barenboim first picked up the conductor’s baton as a young teenager he had already established a reputation as a child prodigy at the piano. Wilhelm Furtwängler, for whom he auditioned in Salzburg in 1954, called the eleven-year-old a ‘phenomenon’. Alongside his appearances as soloist and conductor, the inspired and passionate communicator Barenboim has always been driven by the urge to participate in the most intimate form of musical cooperation — in the dialogue, reciprocal listening, the give-and-take of chamber music. Among his earliest partners in the Lied repertoire was Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, with whom he recorded Schubert’s Winterreise. Cecilia Bartoli has now invited Daniel Barenboim to once again devote himself with her and Martha Argerich (whom he has known since childhood in Buenos Aires) to a composer who has accompanied him his whole life long. For Barenboim, Schubert’s music has a fascinating emotional complexity:

‘It allows us to experience completely contradictory feelings and thoughts simultaneously’. The way he penetrates the inner world of this music was perfectly described by Gerhard Rohde in his review of Barenboim’s cycle of Schubert’s piano works at the Salzburg Festival in 2012: ‘In his artistic re-creation of Schubert’s works, Barenboim seemingly transformed himself into the composer, becoming one with him.’

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