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An exploration of the world’s most famous and challenging song cycle, Schubert's Winter Journey (Winterreise), by a leading interpreter of the work, who teases out the themes—literary, historical, psychological—that weave through the twenty-four songs that make up this legendary masterpiece. Completed in the last months of the young Schubert’s life, Winterreise has come to be considered the single greatest piece of music in the history of Lieder. Deceptively laconic—these twenty-four short poems set to music for voice and piano are performed uninterrupted in little more than an hour—it nonetheless has an emotional depth and power that no music of its kind has ever equaled. A young man, rejected by his beloved, leaves the house where he has been living and walks out into snow and darkness. As he wanders away from the village and into the empty countryside, he experiences a cascade of emotions—loss, grief, anger, and acute loneliness, shot through with only fleeting moments of hope—until the landscape he inhabits becomes one of alienation and despair. Originally intended to be sung to an intimate gathering, performances of Winterreise now pack the greatest concert halls around the world. Drawing equally on his vast experience performing this work (he has sung it more than one hundred times), on his musical knowledge, and on his training as a scholar, Bostridge teases out the enigmas and subtle meanings of each of the twenty-four lyrics to explore for us the world Schubert inhabited, his biography and psychological makeup, the historical and political pressures within which he became one of the world’s greatest composers, and the continuing resonances and affinities that our ears still detect today, making Schubert’s wanderer our mirror.
Winterreise is perhaps the greatest song cycle ever written. Franz Schubert set to music the evocative poetry of his contemporary, German lyricist Wilhelm Müller. It is a heart-rending portrayal of a winter journey full of misery and woe. This striking and unique multimedia volume brings together the achievements of Schubert and Müller with new interpretations by present-day musicians, scholars, and a photographer. The volume includes: o the complete German text of Wilhelm Müller’s twenty-four poems o a new English translation of the poems by Louise McClelland Urban o a foreword by Pulitzer Prize–winning American composer John Harbison o an introductory essay by renowned Schubert scholar Susan Youens o ninety-two stunning black and white photographs of a winter’s journey by Katrin Talbot o a compact-disc recording of the Winterreise song cycle performed by baritone Paul Rowe and pianist Martha Fischer.
"I like these songs better than all the rest, and someday you will too," Franz Schubert told the friends who were the first to hear his song cycle Winterreise. These lieder have always found admiring audiences, but the poetry he chose to set them to has been widely regarded as weak and trivial. Susan Youens looks not only at Schubert's music but at the poetry, drawn from the works of Wilhelm Müller, who once wrote in his diary, "perhaps there is a kindred spirit somewhere who will hear the tunes behind the words and give them back to me!" Youens maintains that Müller, in depicting the wanderings of the alienated lover, produced poetry that was simple but not simple-minded, poetry that embraced simplicity as part of its meaning. In her view, Müller used the ruder folk forms to give his verse greater immediacy, to convey more powerfully the wanderer's complex inner state. Youens addresses many different aspects of Winterreise: the cultural milieu to which it belonged, the genesis of both the poetry and the music, Schubert's transformation of poetic cycle into music, the philosophical dimension of the work, and its musical structure.
In Rethinking Schubert, today's leading Schubertians offer fresh perspectives on the composer's importance and our perennial fascination with him. Subjecting recurring issues in historical, biographical and analytical research to renewed scrutiny, the twenty-two chapters yield new insights into Schubert, his music, his influence and his legacy, and broaden the interpretative context for the music of his final years. With close attention to matters of style, harmonic and formal analysis, and text setting, the essays gathered here explore a significant portion of the composer's extensive output across a range of genres. The most readily explicable aspect of Schubert's appeal is undoubtedly our continuing engagement with the songs. Schubert will always be the first port of call for scholars interested in the relationship between music and the poetic text, and several essays in Rethinking Schubert offer welcome new inquiries into this subject. Yet perhaps the most striking feature of modern scholarship is the new depth of thought that attaches to the instrumental works. This music's highly protracted dissemination has combined with a habitual critical hostility to produce a reception history that is hardly congenial to musical analysis. Empowered by the new momentum behind theories of nineteenth-century harmony and form and recently-published source materials, the sophisticated approaches to the instrumental music in Rethinking Schubert show decisively that it is no longer acceptable to posit Schubert's instrumental forms as flawed lyric alternatives to Beethoven. What this volume provides, then, is not only a fresh portrait of one of the most loved composers of the nineteenth century but also a conspectus of current Schubertian research. Whether perusing unknown repertoire or refreshing canonical works, Rethinking Schubert reveals the extraordinary methodological variety that is now available to research, painting a portrait of Schubert that is vibrant, plural, trans-national, and complex.
Revista de Estudios Ingleses es un anuario dirigido y gestionado por miembros del Departamento de Filología Inglesa y Alemana de la Universidad de Almería con el propósito de ofrecer un foro de intercambio de producción científica en campos del conocimiento tan diversos como la lengua inglesa, literatura en lengua inglesa, didáctica del inglés, traducción, inglés para fines específicos y otros igualmente vinculados a los estudios ingleses.

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