Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession

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Winterreise (Winter Journey) is a cycle of twenty-four songs, poetic verses Schubert set to music two hundred years ago that has compelled listeners ever since. Author Ian Bostridge has performed this cycle more than a hundred times and brings his intimate experience to this beautiful elucidation in his book. Bostridge walks readers through the overall arc of the song cycle, a story of a man leaving his love and journeying alone through a frozen land and through grief, despair, and alienation. Each song is presented in Bostridge’s translation beside the original German, and the lyrics are parsed for meaning and connection, to each other and to events in Schubert’s life and time. Even those without musical training will appreciate and understand Bostridge’s interpretations of the music as well, which are emotional rather than technical. The connections are far-ranging and complex, and Bostridge touches areas as diverse as political suppression, historic and cultural motifs, Schubert’s personal relationships, and the conflict between art and power in brilliant analysis. The physical book itself is beautifully made, evoking the sparse and bleak, but agonizingly exquisite loveliness in a solitary winter landscape, and echoing, as does the text, the intense passion of the song cycle itself.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 528 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2015-Jan-27
ISBN 9780307961631 Buy this Book
Issue May 2015
Category Music & Movies


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