Finding sweetness through sadness

Osvaldo Golijov
New arrangements of Schubert songs by Osvaldo Golijov are premiered by soprano Dawn Upshaw and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra this week.
Photo by Sara Evans

"A haunted landscape" is how Osvaldo Golijov describes the Schubert songs he arranged for soprano Dawn Upshaw and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

The acclaimed composer made the orchestrations during a time of personal loss and sadness. Yet there is release, repose, and sweetness in his approach to the four songs by Franz Schubert.

Golijov also finds Schubert's music prophetic, suggesting and anticipating 20th century Viennese composers like Alban Berg and minimalist masters like Philip Glass.

Golijov titled his new arrangement of Schubert songs "She Was Here." Upshaw and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra gave the work its world premiere this week at the Ordway Center. They'll also perform it on May 11th at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall.

Osvaldo Golijov and Dawn Upshaw stopped by Minnesota Public Radio and listened to the original versions of Schubert's songs and told host John Birge how they made them their own.

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