Bruce Tammen and Kit Bridges | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Bruce Tammen and Kit Bridges

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Whenever the winter weather gets to be unbearable, I put on a recording of Schubert's song cycle Winterreise. Curiously, these songs describing the lost leg of life's journey can lift the gloom; their poetry and humanity have a way of nudging the listener to ponder and savor the small mysteries of life. When sung by a master baritone--Hans Hotter, Hermann Prey, or Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau--the 24 songs, all using texts by the minor German romantic poet Wilhelm Moller, become existential declarations that gradually and subtly gather emotional force. By the time the lost song--"The Organ Grinder"--is over, the listener is left awed and drained, yet totally enlightened. At this free recital, the entire cycle of Winterreise will be traversed by local baritone Bruce Tammen. Director of the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel Choir, the erudite Tammen is one of the busiest conductor-singers in town. His accompanist--playing one of the most effectively dramatic and coloristic Schubert scores--will be Kit Bridges, another first-rate local musician. Friday, 8 PM, Goodspeed Recital Hall, University of Chicago, 1010 E. 59th; 702-8484.

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