Do we still need Schubert today?
Filippo Faes explains why

Between Heaven and Earth are two CDs and a booklet. In this last, the reader will learn nothing about the works that are performed – but the attempt made is to describe what is special about this experiment and what the extra CD offers: namely, it is an audio booklet, a journey through sound in which Filippo Faes approaches his listeners far more directly than would be the case with printed liner notes.

The sound of his voice, sound samples, quotations and reflections create the impression of a live concert with a pre-concert talk: connections between the composer’s time and ours give us the chance to better understand the present history and the music we are listening to.

After this publication, Faes developed the idea of ​​proposing it live in the form of concert conversations. This great project is called Only Connect.

” A special project that might form a precedent “

hr2 radio

” He illuminates the hidden connections between music and life “


Interview by Tilmann Böttcher

Are you hoping for a closer bond with the listener?

“What my booklet is about is precisely this bond between the listener, the music and me as the performer. Of course, Schubert’s sonatas are such powerful music that those who listen to the CD will hopefully feel a spontaneous emotional affinity to these works so that they enjoy the listening experience. But I think it would be a shame if that were all: awareness of the many relationships that exist between Schubert and, for example, Beethoven, between their own era and our times, can make the experience of listening infinitely richer.”

Is that than your starting point for your audio booklet: to delve into the era when the composer lied?

“That kind of journey through time is one starting point. Regardless of whether I try to draw parallels between Beethoven and Schubert or compare the time of the French Revolution and the Restoration under Metternich with the era of student uprisings or the Reagan presidency: all these notes open up areas for human, musical and historical reflection and contemplation. You can pursue one or the other, each one opens a small window onto the works. One listener might peer through one small window, another listener through a second window or even through several.”

What happens when people are confronted with these small windows, with these connections?

” I hope that this format will allow people to experience the music with more immediacy. In any case, there is no easy listening where people themselves would not be involved at all. But the more you combine what you hear with your own knowledge, feelings and experiences, the more you are in touch with yourself within this whole process. And that awareness of oneself is a hugely important factor in listening to music. What, then, is culture? To me, it is the ability to recognize yourself in a work of art.

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Filippo Faes