Schubert's Winter Journey Anatomy of an Obsession (Pdf) BY Ian Bostridge

Ian Bostridge à 2 Review

Schubert's Winter Journey Anatomy of an Obsession

An exploration of the world's most famous and challenging song cycle by one of the world's most renowned singers a leading interpreter of the work who teases out the themes literary historical psychological that weave through the twenty four songs comprising this legendary masterpiece Written in 1828 in the last months of the young Schubert's life 'Winterreise' Winter's Journey has come to be c Exploring Schubert s Winterreise With A Singer ScholarSchubert s song cycle Winterreise is one of the essential works of classical music and a work I have loved for many years I respond to this cycle of lost love whenever I return to it Written in the last year of Schubert s life Winterreise is a setting for solo voice and piano of 24 poems by Wilhelm Muller Schubert first set a group of twelve poems and shortly thereafter returned to set the entire cycle of 24 songs The cycle has been recorded and performed innumerable timesThe British tenor Ian Bostridge has performed Winterreise over 100 times in a thirty year career He has recorded the work with pianist Leif Ove Adnes and prepared a dramatization of the cycle with pianist Julius Drake Bostridge does not have an academic degree in music He received a doctoral degree from Oxford in 1990 for a dissertation on witchcraft in English life from 1650 1750 and taught political theory and British history at the university level before devoting himself to a career as a singer in 1996Bostridge s love for Schubert s Winterreise and his passion for music and for learning all are on full display in his book Schubert s Winter s Journey Anatomy of an Obsession The obsession in uestion is shared by Muller and Schubert s nameless wanderer in the cycle by Bostridge himself and by the reader of the book and listener to the music In a brief introduction Bostridge writes It is surely remarkable that the piece lives and makes an impact in concert halls all over the world in cultures remote from its origins in 1820s Vienna He says of his goal in the bookI want to use each song as a platform for exploring these origins setting the piece in its historical context but also finding new and unexpected connections both contemporary and long dead literary visual psychological scientific and political Musical analysis will inevitably play its part but this is nothing as systematic as a guide to Winter Journey or which there are plenty already out thereThe book consists of 24 chapters of varying lengths each of which explores one of the songs in Winterreise Each chapter begins with the German text of the song with Bostridge s own translation on a facing page From that point the chapters move in wildly varying directions Often Bostridge begins with a short musical or textual discussion But he uses each song as a springboard for a wide ranging discussion about Schubert s and Muller s lives politics in Vienna in the years following the Napoleonic wars the Enlightenment art religion literature science and much The book displays a prodigious learning and presents it well Often the book moves from subject to subject in a chain of free association The discussion moves freely from sources and references predating Schubert to politics science and such during his lifetime through the latter 19th Century and to the present It is dazzling I also found it highly useful in gaining understanding of Winterreise even when I thought some of the themes such as the cycle s covert political message were overstated At times the associations go far afield and become tangential to Winterreise as Bostridge notes But the book is absorbing and infused with love and learning about its subject The purely musical discussions tend to be brief But Bostridge draws excellent parallels between particular songs in Winterreise and other parts of Schubert s output For example his discussion of Einsamkeit loneliness no 12 in the cycle discusses many other songs of Schubert with loneliness as a theme The discussion of Mut courage no 22 in Winterreise discusses the state of religious belief in Schubert s Vienna and the treatment of religious themes in the composer s songs masses and other musicThe book uses art extensively and includes many full color illustrations of works bearing upon the songs and themes of Winterreise Bostridge s discussions are invariably illuminating The book has an extensive bibliography but no indexI accompanied my reading by listening to a recording of Winterreise From several versions that I own I chose a famous 1942 recording by baritonebass Hans Hotter and pianist Michael Raucheisen I began by listening to each song after reading the chapter Bostridge devoted to it in his book Somewhat beyond the middle of the cycle this approach became too cumbersome and distracting and I listened to the songs in groups of two or three Bostridge in fact discusses the HotterRaucheisen recording when he explores the Nazi s use of Winterreise during WW II During the middle of the War Raucheisen whom Bostridge describes as Goebbel s client and Hitler s favorite had projected a complete account on record of German songs as part of the war effort Bostridge tries to understand the appeal German romanticism and Winterreise held for the Nazis I was disconcerted to learn the background of the recording I selected much as I love its way with the music I am also listening to the BostridgeDrake dramatization of Winterreise which is readily accessible on mediaI learned much about Schubert and Winterreise from Bostridge This book will appeal to readers who already love or who want to get to know Schubert s great song cycleRobin Friedman

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Ld Drawing on his firsthand experience with this work he has performed it than one hundred times on his musical knowledge and on his training as a scholar Ian Bostridge teases out the enigmas and subtle meanings of each song exploring the world and the states of heart and mind in which Schubert created them and the exuisite resonance and affinities that continue even today to move us so profoundl I m working up a performance of Schubert s Winterreise for this semester and decided to finish this book I started a few years ago While I don t look to Ian Bostridge s vocalism as a model he earned a Doctor of Philosophy from Cambridge studying history and literature so he knows literature better than just about any musician you can think of And he proves it in this book Winterreise is full of symbols and themes and political undercurrents lay one foundation for interpreting the poetry all of which demand explanation and clarification To me an analysis and exploration of these aspects is almost relevant to the performer of this music than picky musicological debates

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Onsidered the single greatest piece of music ever written for the male solo voice Deceptively brief the twenty four short poems are performed uninterrupted in 70 minutes it nonetheless has an emotional depth and power that no music of its kind has ever eualled Originally intended to be sung to an intimate gathering performances of 'Winterreise' now pack the greatest concert halls around the wor A highly informative book on Schubert s famous song cycle the greatest piece of classical music ever as far as I m concerned by the eminent British singer Ian Bostridge I admit I d have preferred if he d delved a bit deeper into the musicological side of things but he makes up for that by putting his historical education to excellent use and presenting the reader with a wealth of information on not only Schubert s life and times but also on the broader context of early 19th century AustriaBostridge proceeds song by song and has something interesting to say about each of them on a very wide range of subjects whether he interprets Wilhelm M ller s poetry takes a look at a song s structure places it in a biographical context considers possible political implications or elucidates it from his extensive experience of performing the cycle This is no deep analysis and is not meant to be rather it is someone who loves Schubert s songs and knows them intimately chatting about them in an almost conversational tone I assume that there probably is not very much new here for the Schubert expert but for the layman it is a treasure trove of both information and insight The author is not afraid to go off on a tangent either and his freuent digressions are just as rewarding as when he is staying on subject The book contains many illustrations too although that part did not come across too well in my Kindle edition As judging by other reviews the book is uite beautifully designed too I m regretting a bit that I did not invest in a hardcover version but the book was well worth it for the written content alone and is recommended to everyone who wants to explore the background of Schubert s Winterreise in depth than the liner notes of a CD generally provide


10 thoughts on “Schubert's Winter Journey Anatomy of an Obsession

  1. says:

    view spoiler Bettie's Books hide spoiler

  2. says:

    Exploring Schubert's Winterreise With A Singer ScholarSchubert's song cycle Winterreise is one of the essential works of classical music and a work I have loved for many years I respond to this cycle of lost lov

  3. says:

    My first compliment goes to Knopf the publisher of this deliberately white hefty little tome Its glossy stock made it too heavy to carry around which was fine because I took my time with it anyway listening to Schubert’s lieder with each chapter following the German poetry as best I could Up to now I’ve regarded Winterreise as

  4. says:

    From BBC radio 4 Book of the WeekAward winning tenor Ian Bostridge explores Franz Schubert's enigmatic masterpiece Winterreise or Winter's Journey Composed in 1827 this powerful song cycle for voice and piano uses twenty fo

  5. says:

    A highly informative book on Schubert's famous song cycle the greatest piece of classical music ever as far as I'm concerned by the eminent British singer Ian Bostridge I admit I'd have preferred if he'd delved a bit deeper into the musicological side of things but he makes up for that by putting his historical education

  6. says:

    I got this originally because it is such a lovely looking book and although I wasn't familiar with the song cycle I figured I could become so In the end I have only listened to it once all the way through so reading the book could have thrown u

  7. says:

    A disorderly book and not in any sort of good way Uneven; some chapters are little gems but most are at best trivial throw aways I definitely came away with a cultural appreciation of Schubert and his works so in

  8. says:

    I’m working up a performance of Schubert’s Winterreise for this semester and decided to finish this book I started a few years ago While I don’t look to Ian Bostridge’s vocalism as a model he earned a Doctor of Philosophy from Cambridge studying history and literature so he knows literature better than just about any musician you can think of And he proves it in this book Winterreise is full of symbols and the

  9. says:

    This is never less than interesting and often I admire Bostridge's Schubert recordings and he's obviously an intelligent artist and a decent writer But I must say that I disagree with his assertion that the tenor voice is as well suited to this work as the voices of the great baritones who have recorded it I find both Fischer Dieskau's and Goerne's convincing than hisand I think that the fact that they're bari

  10. says:

    Of all the different sub genres of Classical Music Lieder is one that I know the least about This is partly due to some classical voices being difficult to listen to with wide vibrato but mainly due to the fact that most art songs ar

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