Lieder im Entgleiten— Orchestral Songs —

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The Work

Lieder im Entgleiten (Songs While Slipping Away)—an extensive and opulent song cycle for baritone and orchestra.

In three parts, the work tells a story—a story of the celebration of life, of slipping away, of amazement and transfiguration.

In its central section the work addresses the audience directly in an intense way.

The Text

4500-year-old texts from ancient Egypt, works by the great philosophers of the Orient and Occident, passages from the Old Testament and historical and contemporary poetry combine to form a complex libretto.

Poetic statements, sentences and aphorisms by Friedrich Schiller, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Alexander Pope, Friedrich Hölderlin, Rainer Maria Rilke, Justinus Kerner, Paul Celan, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jean de la Croix, Manfred Osten and Hartmut Oliver Horst, among others, are used.

“The music of the Lieder im Entgleiten ignites a counterpoint of the soul of dissonant and harmonic contrasts of the opposing entities of life and death. Its melos carries the motifs of the soul in a triumphal song of a transfiguration.”
— Hartmut Oliver Horst —

The Music

Scored for large orchestra and elaborately and colorfully orchestrated, the music follows the text, depicting the range of human feeling and experience.

Following in the tradition of the great symphonic works, the music transports the listener into a world of sound that is captivating in its individuality and disturbing in its emotional impact.


The work is dedicated to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, the ‘singer of the century’, who, with his vocal artistry “bordering on a miracle” (Le Monde), gifted the world with spiritual and musical experiences of the highest order.

The artist, who received countless honors—including the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, honorary doctorates from the universities of Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Sorbonne and Heidelberg, as well as the honorary citizenship of the city of Berlin—would have been 100 years old in 2025.

The Soloist

Photo © David Ruano

Baritone Benjamin Appl, last master student of Kammersänger Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, is celebrated by audiences and critics alike for a voice that “belongs to the last of the old great masters of song” with “an almost infinite range of colours” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), and artistry that’s described as “unbearably moving” (The Times).

Former Gramophone Award Young Artist of the Year, Appl was a BBC New Generation Artist 2014–16, a Wigmore Hall Emerging Artist and ECHO Rising Star in 2015–16. He signed exclusively to Sony Classical 2016–21 and began a multi-album deal with Alpha Classics from Autumn 2021.

The Composer

Photo ©

Markus Schönewolf writes ‘music of a poetic quality, as if it had been written for fictional landscapes’ (Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger). Interpreted by outstanding soloists and ensembles, performed internationally and documented on CD, Schönewolf’s music captivates with its ‘spiritual and emotional depth and virtuoso joy of playing’.

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