Winter Journeys

The flight back from New York and a quiet day at home meant that I was able to read Ian Bostridge’s new book on Schubert’s Winterreise, Winter Journeys:  Anatomy of an Obsession.   I very much admire the way he writes about music, deeply informed by the experience of performance, but also by his knowledge of the history and culture and intellectual milieu of early nineteenth-century Vienna and of Schubert’s life and attitude to his art.   The book consists of a sequence of meditations on each of the songs in the cycle, some quite brief and some much longer, occasionally technical and including passages on the relationship between Schubert and Thomas Mann, Schubert and Caspar David Friedrich, and the nature of Schubert’s religious faith.

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