Built at the 2,300m summit of the Julier Pass in south-east Switzerland is a red wooden tower, an extraordinary 30-metre high theatre which was unveiled four years ago. Out of time and place, it stands in splendid and magisterial isolation, but will soon be dismantled – a tribute to the fleeting nature of dramatic performance. This film uses its many evocative spaces to stage the ultimate musical portrait of isolation: Schubert’s song-cycle Winterreise (or Winter Journey), telling of a lovelorn young man’s rejection as he wanders in the open, wracked with emotional turmoil. Shot both inside the tower and outside in the snow, this is a personal journey for baritone Benjamin Appl and pianist James Baillieu, as they re-imagine Schubert’s timeless music in an Alpine landscape.
Winter Journey: Schubert’s Winterreise is a Crux production for BBC Four and BBC Arts. The producer and director is John Bridcut.