[Winter Morning Walks]

Annelies Van Gramberen © Dorien Wenderickx

Annelies Van Gramberen soprano

Benjamin Haemhouts conductor


Winter Morning Walks – Maria Schneider

On mornings like this, as hours before dawn

I walk the dark hall of the road

with my life creaking under my feet, I sometimes

take hold of the cold porcelain knob

of the moon, and turn it, and step into a room

There is a real sense of purity in the hundred poems that Pulitzer prize winner Ted Kooser wrote on his morning walks while he was undergoing treatment for head and neck cancer And there is also a crystalline beauty in the songs by composer Maria Schneider who set Kooser’s poems for string orchestra, jazz trio, and soprano. The phenomenal interweaving of poetry and music makes Winter Morning Walks an exceptional song cycle which has very rightly won three Grammy awards, and it also lends itself to a slightly unusual concert format.

It was the multifaceted soprano Annelies van Gramberen who had the idea: the audience would experience the performance not only by listening to the music but also by going on their own winter sunrise walk. A calming walk through chilly nature will thus culminate in a performance of this award-winning song cycle, here performed in its Belgian premiere.

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