Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 5 November 2018
Schubertíada is an annual festival run by Associació Franz Schubert that celebrates the works of the 19th-century Austrian Romantic composer Franz Schubert. This takes place in the Spanish municipality of Vilabertran in July. The festival includes a programme of chamber concerts, lied recitals, instrumental solos and lectures.
Schubert is known, not just for his compositions, but for his contribution to Lieder; German poetry set to classical music, and for his reconfiguration of the classical concert, developing it into a more intimate experience with a smaller audience. This format is known as Schubertiades, and is where the festival derives its name.
With this historical context in mind; 19th Century romanticism, the smaller more intimate gatherings and pioneering view of Franz Schubert, design studio Mucho developed a visual identity for the festival that focuses on vision, enduring legacy, a continued relevance and the personable in the confluence of iconography, illustration, colour and print finish.
The work of Mucho brings a convivial, contemporary and invitational warmth to the communications of the festival where, previously, it had a conventionally classical and esoteric quality. The confluence of the unique pioneering view of Schubert; by way of the form language of a glasses motif (distinct in shape, emboss and die cut), a contemporary re-imaging of Romantic and Impressionist artwork of Schubert’s time by Ricard Jorge, and the use of solid blocks of colour via a range of dyed papers provide a metaphorical space of the mind in which to step into, just as the performers of the festival bring to the present the music of the past through their own unique lenses. It is inviting and unexpected. The potential gimmickry of the glasses is tempered by the quality of the illustration and the concept (pioneering spirit and period reference).
Landscapes created by Spanish illustrator Ricard Jorge intend to represent the chamber concerts, lied recitals and instrumental solos of the festival’s programme and draws on the common period practice of pairing of Romantic and Impressionist art with classical music. The strokes and angular shapes of the illustrations, absent music, serve to set a mood, to capture something of a period. There is an appealing symmetry between the undulating lines and strokes, sound waves and the unspoilt landscapes that informed the impressionists and romanticists of the 19th century yet viewed through a contemporary lens. The glasses of Schubert is a simple and perhaps obvious motif, yet elevated by the allegorical; resolves the themes of vision and view, past and present, the musical and visual arts, the pioneering and the personal. More work by Mucho on BP&O.