About the album
You have to Let Yourself become Part of the Momanet…..
Isabelle and Lars Vogt in conversation with Friederike Westerhaus
What gave you the idea to record these works together?
Isabelle: It was originally Papa’s idea. Ever since the age of four, I have been involved in acting and reciting. Until now we had only worked on recitation combined with music – but then he stumbled upon the musical melodramas of Robert Schumann. I didn’t even know what a melodrama was!
What is a musical melodrama?
Lars: In Schumann’s case, the subtitle on the frontispiece says “Declamation with pianoforte accompaniment”: we thus have a theatrical element. And whenever the piano joins in, we not only have the spoken word but also a musical background, at times directly placed under the text – and the music has an influence on the declamation.
The choice of musical melodramas is rather large: what were your reasons for selecting these?
Lars: By chance, I knew of these two Schumann melodramas: the Ballad of the Heathland Lad and The Refugees, and I was also aware that they had a menacing, spooky atmosphere. That was around the time when Isabelle was 15-16 years old. She loved the Harry Potter saga, for instance, and I said to myself: these are stories and moods in which Isabelle can really get cracking: the content is slightly gory and scary. I was certain she would have fun with them.
Isabelle, did you find that this was the kind of setting where you could feel that you were “in your element”?
Isabelle: Absolutely! For instance, I always found Schubert and Goethe’s Erlkönig fascinating, and these ballads are quite similar in terms of mood. I remember getting goosebumps the first time I heard Schumann’s Heideknaben. At first, I found it strange to get used to such an interplay between music and the spoken word. I had never heard anything like it before.
(Excerpt from interview in the Booklet)