Claire Seymour, Opera Today
Die schöne Müllerin: Davies and Drake provoke fresh thoughts at Middle Temple Hall
Schubert wrote Die schöne Müllerin (1824) for a tenor (or soprano) range – that of his own voice. Wilhelm Müller’s poems depict the youthful unsophistication of a country lad who, wandering with carefree unworldliness besides a burbling stream, comes upon a watermill, espies the miller’s fetching daughter and promptly falls in love – only to be disillusioned when she spurns him for a virile hunter. So, perhaps the tenor voice possesses the requisite combination of lightness and yearning to convey this trajectory from guileless innocence to disenchantment and dejection.