Watch: A Piano Duo's Scary Encounter with Schubert

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 12:00 AM

Schubert’s spookily famous song, “Der Erlkönig," about the death of a child assailed by a supernatural being known as the Erlking, is a perennial favorite at Halloween concerts. The Goethe tale contains enough melodrama and dark imagery to scare any little kid off the art song literature for a lifetime.

A new video of the song arranged and performed by the Juilliard-trained piano duo of Elizabeth Joy Roe and Greg Anderson takes the supernatural premise further. Much further. Filmed in a dark Steinway factory in Astoria, Queens, it features the hulking skeletons of partially assembled pianos, sweaty close-ups of the performers' faces and some creepy piano strings bent on upsetting the performance (some less-than-subtle placements for Steinway also turn up).

Think of it as Schubert for the "Twilight" or "Vampire Diaries" generation – a Gothic story turned hormonal pressure-cooker courtesy of the theatrical duo that previously gave us a sassy romp through Astor Piazzolla and a nostalgic black-and-white take on Samuel Barber.


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Comments [1]

Tricia from Rewood City, CA

Why didn't you mention the director? You know, the creative mind behind the entire vision of the video? The life of the project? His name is Matthew Brown and he is a very talented filmmaker. The link to his work, and the updated, higher definition version of the project is here.

Nov. 01 2011 03:59 AM

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