Italian bass Andrea Mastroni has just released a music video of one of the most beloved lieders in the repertoire.
Directed by Nicola Garzetti and featuring Mattia Ometto at the piano and actor Salvatore Aversano, the video for Schubert’s “Erlkönig” is simple in its approach, but rather engaging. Mainly consisting of four or five scenes and shot in chiaroscuro lighting, the video places tremendous emphasis on Mastroni’s abilities as an actor. The lighting and Mastroni’s calculated movements of his arms give the video a haunting quality.
“The idea was to make a video like those for pop songs; that is the concept we are using for this Schubert piece. An experiment which we are really happy with,” said Mastroni in a press release before explaining the choice of Schubert for the video. “I chose to be a singer because of Schubert’s music. Performing his masterpieces means courting a conflict, which follows and chases you after each musical phrase. It is fascinating.”
The lieder follows the troubling journey of a father and son through the woods. The two are pursued by the mythical Erlkönig, though the father is completely unaware of the situation and repeatedly ignores his child’s pleas for help. The end result is tragic.
Schubert composed the piece in 1815 and revised it three times. It was first performed in a private concert in 1820 before getting its first public showcase in March 1821 in Vienna.
Check out the video below.