Schubert – Die Winterreise (Fischer-Dieskau – Moore) D 911 

Wikipedia: Winterreise (Winter Journey) is a song cycle for voice and piano by Franz Schubert (D. 911, published as Op. 89 in 1828), a setting of 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller. It is the second of Schubert’s two great song cycles on Müller’s poems, the earlier being Die schöne Müllerin (D. 795, Op. 25, 1823). Both were originally written for tenor voice but are frequently transposed to suit other vocal ranges – the precedent being established by Schubert himself. These two works have posed interpretative demands on listeners and performers due to their scale and structural coherence. Although Ludwig van Beethoven’s cycle An die ferne Geliebte (To the Distant Beloved) had been published earlier, in 1816, Schubert’s two cycles hold the foremost place in the history of the genre. In his introduction to the Peters Edition (with the critical revisions of Max Friedländer), Professor Max Müller, son of the poet Wilhelm Müller, remarks that Schubert’s two song-cycles have a dramatic effect not unlike that of a full-scale tragic opera, particularly when performed by great singers such as Jenny Lind (Die schöne Müllerin) or Julius Stockhausen (Die Winterreise). Like Die schöne Müllerin, Schubert’s Winterreise is not merely a collection of songs upon a single theme (lost or unrequited love) but is in effect one single dramatic monologue, lasting over an hour in performance. Although some individual songs are sometimes included separately in recitals (e.g. “Gute Nacht”, “Der Lindenbaum” and “Der Leiermann”), it is a work which is usually presented in its entirety. The intensity and the emotional inflexions of the poetry are carefully built up to express the sorrows of the lover, and are developed to an almost pathological degree from the first to the last note.
The songs represent the voice of the poet as the lover, and form a distinct narrative and dramatic sequence, though not in so pronounced a way as in Die schöne Müllerin. In the course of the cycle the poet, whose beloved now fancies someone else, leaves his beloved’s house secretly at night, quits the town and follows the river and the steep ways to a village. Having longed for death, he is at last reconciled to his loneliness. The cold, darkness, and barren winter landscape mirror the feelings in his heart, and he encounters various people and things along the way which form the subject of the successive songs during his lonely journey. It is in fact an allegorical journey of the heart. The two Schubert cycles (primarily for male voice), of which Winterreise is the more mature, are absolute fundamentals of the German Lied, and have strongly influenced not only the style but also the vocal method and technique in German classical music as a whole. The resources of intellect and interpretative power required to deliver them, in the chamber or concert hall, challenges the greatest singers.

 

EMI 1962

  • Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau: baritone
  • Gerald Moore: piano

 

Schubert – Die Winterreise Tracklist

  1. Gute Nacht
  2. Die Wetterfanne
  3. Gefrorene Tränen
  4. Erstarrung
  5. Der Lindenbaum
  6. Wasserflut
  7. Auf dem Flusse
  8. Rückblick
  9. Irrlicht
  10. Rast
  11. Frühlingstraum
  12. Einsamkeit
  13. Die Post
  14. Der greise Kopf
  15. Die Krähe
  16. Letzte Hoffnung
  17. Im Dorfe
  18. Der stürmische Morgen
  19. Täuschung
  20. Der Wegweiser
  21. Das Wirtshaus
  22. Mut
  23. Die Nebensonnen
  24. Der Leiermann

Schubert - Die WinterreiseWinterreise

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