Ensemble Warbles Songs of Schubert

Article excerpt

One of America's leading interpreters of Schubert songs brought his traveling ensemble of vocalists to perform a recital before a capacity audience Monday night in Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville's Lovejoy Library Auditorium.

John Wustman, professor of music at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, came to SIUE to present an installment in a national series of recitals that will eventually encompass the entire cycle of songs, or "lieder," by German composer Franz Schubert. Schubert, who lived from 1797-1828, composed 630 songs, many of them using lyrics by famous European romantic poets, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich von Schiller. The composer is widely held to have been the leading exponent of the lieder form.

Wustman, who directs the series and performs as piano accompanist, has provided keyboard accompaniment for opera superstars including Luciano Pavarotti and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf.

The singers in Monday's 19-song recital included soprano Jane Jennings, who came to the event fresh from having taken first place at the New York Metropolitan Opera's district auditions, held Nov. 12, at the St. Louis Art Museum.

Jennings sang one of the better known Schubert songs - "The Shepherd of the Rock," with accompaniment from Wustman and from clarinetist James Hinson, of the SIUE faculty. That performance captured the charming rustic quality in the bittersweet lament of a shepherd, tending his flock and pining for his beloved, far away. …