➩ Schubert's Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession Ebook ➯ Author Ian Bostridge – Writerscompany.co.uk

Schubert's Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession Franz Schubert S Winterreise Is At The Same Time One Of The Most Powerful And One Of The Most Enigmatic Masterpieces In Western Culture In His New Book, Schubert S Winter Journey Anatomy Of An Obsession, Ian Bostridge One Of The Work S Finest Interpreters Focusses On The Context, Resonance And Personal Significance Of A Work Which Is Possibly The Greatest Landmark In The History Of Lieder Drawing Equally On His Vast Experience Of Performing This Work He Has Performed It Than A Hundred Times , On His Musical Knowledge And On His Training As A Scholar, Bostridge Unpicks The Enigmas And Subtle Meaning Of Each Of The Twenty Four Songs To Explore For Us The World Schubert Inhabited, Bringing The Work And Its World Alive For Connoisseurs And New Listeners Alike Originally Intended To Be Sung To An Intimate Gathering, Performances OfWinterreise Now Pack The Greatest Concert Halls Around The WorldThough Not Strictly A Biography Of Schubert, Schubert S Winter Journey Succeeds In Offering An Unparalleled Insight Into The Mind And Work Of The Great Composer 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 this Bostridge succeeds but the journey there was pretty difficult dare I say icy If you plan on reading this book, take a look at the many youtube videos or listen to Bostridge or others singing this as you read along essentially this is extra long program notes, and it will make the experience far pleasant. From BBC radio 4 Book of the Week Award 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 four poems by Wilhem Muller and is considered one of classical music s most powerful compositions.Drawing upon his experience as a performer he has performed Winterreise than a hundred times , on his musical knowledge and on his training as a scholar, Bostridge unpicks the enigmas and subtle meanings behind the songs to explore the world Schubert inhabited. 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 Austria.Bostridge 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 frequent 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 quite 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. 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 up a few difficulties That was not the case however, as Ian Bostridge has written a really accessible appreciation of the songs Each song is given a chapter, and, depending on the lyrics, subjects covered range from the musicology of the pieces not a lot , to social and political history, Schubert s life, or maybe even a performance memory from the singer author It became fascinating as I read on, and makes a wonderful accompaniment to the music. 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. 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 his,and I think that the fact that they re baritones is at least a part of the reason Bostridge does tend now and then to wander rather far astray from the subject at hand The silliest example is surely in the chapter on Rast where he includes a chart illustrating the sources of energy in megajoules coal, water wind, etc in England from 1561 to 1859, as commentary on the waning importance of charcoal burners in European economies.I also found myself wishing that he had included musical examples, since, although he says that he s no musicologist and has no theoretical training, he does often spend some time talking about both the vocal and piano lines, and it would have been helpful if these comments had been accompanied by many illustrations A minor complaint certainly for anyone who has a score at hand I did find a bit annoying the casualness with which Bostridge dismisses serious consideration of the evidence that Schubert may well have been homosexual Gay isn t a suitable designation for the time period, I agree Although he comments several times on the oppressive political situation in which Schubert and his circle found themselves and how it caused them to be circumspect in so many ways, he seems oblivious to the fact that the entire culture of Schubert s time would have been at least as oppressive to anyone with homosexual feelings, and, indeed, far so in as much as the anti homosexual attitudes, unlike the political, would inevitably have been internalized to at least some extent Barring the, at this date unlikely, discovery of some now unknown contemporaneous documents, we ll never know for sure either way, but the question doesn t deserve to be dismissed as lightly as Bostridge does here. 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 are in languages I do not speak and so I cannot understand them Winterreise is often considered the pinnacle of Lieder, so I bought this book as a way in.Ian Bostridge takes us through the 24 songs in the cycle I appreciated that each chapter begins with the text and his translation, but that in the following text he would often give slightly different words in English, reminding the reader that words have nuances that a single translation cannot always convey Bostridge uses the content of the songs to go into history, science, art and anywhere his thinking takes him These diversions are what make this book so special He finds allusions than Schubert would have been aware of, but then today s listeners bring their knowledge of the world and their experience to the text and the music.Of course Bostridge also covers much of the technique that Schubert uses in setting and accompanying the words He tries not to get too musicollogically technical though some is needed Occasionally, the Dr Bostridge with his PH.D in history makes an appearance in the vocabulary used, but not too often I read a chapter a day, listening to Bostridge s own recording His singing is very direct and beautifully annunciated, without that full operatic vibrato I suspect this is one of the best ways or reading the book, allowing it to lead you back to the music.My only complaint about the book is the shortness of the epilogue Having taken the piece apart, song by song, I would have liked a little to put it back together and allowing the reader to view it as a whole Bostridge highlights different ways the cycle and individual songs can be understood and interpreted I would have liked to hear how he views and approaches the cycle as a whole.Very informative and stimulating read. 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 times.The 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 1996.Bostridge 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 question 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 book I 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 there The 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 music.The 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 index.I accompanied my reading by listening to a recording of Winterreise From several versions that I own, I chose a famous 1942 recording by baritone bass 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 Hotter Raucheisen 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 Bostridge Drake dramatization of Winterreise which is readily accessible on media.I 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 cycle.Robin Friedman


About the Author: Ian Bostridge

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Schubert's Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession book, this is one of the most wanted Ian Bostridge author readers around the world.


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