Although highly productive and respected in his lifetime as a composer of Lieder, Robert Franz (181592) has since become a peripheral figure in music history. One reason may be that he avoids dramatic contrasts and instead aims at an emotional ambiguity: 'My representation of joy is always tinged with melancholy, whilst that of suffering is always accompanied by an exquisite sensation of losing oneself', he once wrote to Liszt. As they began to explore the songs of Franz, Starobinski and the baritone Christian Immler were moved by their findings to devise a programme which includes 23 of the composer's songs. Using the poet Heinrich Heine as their guiding star, they present these in the form of two 'imagined' song cycles. These are framed by further settings of Heine poems by Schumann and Liszt, who were both staunch supporters of Robert Franz providing not only contrast, but also the opportunity to discover how these three very different artistic temperaments treated the same material: some poems appear in more than one setting, notably Morgens steh' ich auf und frage and Im Rhein.