Winterreise cancelled 1280x680 © Andreas Weiss

performance cancelled!

According to the new COVID-19 Emergency Measures Ordinance, all events are prohibited until further notice.

The performances of Winterreise, which was scheduled for the 29 January 2021, can therefore unfortunately do not take place. We ask for your patience and our ticket office will contact you as soon as possible with further information about your tickets.

You can reach our ticket and subscription office from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the telephone number: +43 1 588 30-2903 as well as by email at

Florian Boesch – Artist in residence

Franz Schubert - "Winterreise"

Liederzyklus nach Gedichten von Wilhelm Müller (1827)

Friday, 29. January 2021, 5.30 pm (no intermission)

Content / Background

One year before his death, Schubert completed the song cycle The Winter Journey to texts by the poet Wilhelm Müller. Travel is a theme that pervades Romanticism. Almost every German-speaker knows that “Wandering is the miller’s joy”, it being the first line of a popular folk song with lyrics from a poem by Müller who, as a writer, is still overshadowed by Heinrich Heine. Die schöne Müllerin (The Fair Maid of the Mill), Schubert’s first song cycle, is also based on poems by Müller and still has a chronological narrative. The Winter Journey, written five years later, is a string of associations encountered en route by a traveller. When Schubert began setting Müller’s poems in February 1827 he was already incurably ill with syphilis. His friend and patron Joseph von Spaun found the composer deeply melancholic at this time, and he also seemed physically unwell. When Schubert sang The Winter Journey for a small circle of friends “in a voice full of feeling”, Spaun was “dumbfounded by the sombre mood of these songs”. Schubert himself, who had announced The Winter Journey as “a cycle of terrifying songs” remarked that “These songs please me more than all the rest, and in time they will please you as well”. In the extensive repertoire of baritone Florian Boesch the lied occupies a very special position and is his own particular passion. As this season’s artist in residence, Boesch will also be performing as a lied singer at the Theater an der Wien and will present his own subtly individual approach to Schubert’s Winter Journey in which he seeks a personal evocation of a work based on real life: As a volunteer in the Prussian army the young Wilhelm Müller was rapidly promoted to lieutenant, then just as quickly cashiered when he fell in love with a Jewish tradesman’s wife in Brussels. Robbed of all hope, Müller marched back to Berlin from Brussels alone, on foot and in the depths of winter. Schubert, his death now inevitable, transposed Müller’s prevailing mood into music: the wanderer’s heart is in the grip of everlasting winter, only at night does he recall happier days, and he wavers between torpor and a hopless yearning for a better life.


Szenische Einrichtung

Ingo Kerkhof

Light design

Franz Tscheck / Frank Storm


Florian Boesch


Malcolm Martineau