Resonant Thoughts: Ian Bostridge’s “Schubert’s Winter Journey ” (2015)


“For all of us, unless we’re making a special and determined effort of analysis, our encounter with music is more episodic and even cavalier, less relentlessly theoretical—even when we’re listening to a piece from the great tradition that presents itself as musical argument, a Beethoven symphony for example, or a Bach fugue. Within as diffuse a structure as [Schubert’s] Winter Journey—a set of twenty-four songs, the first and greatest of concept albums—there may be recurring patterns or harmonic devices that deserve pointing out; but I tend to do so in what one might call a phenomenological mode, tracing the subjective and culturally loaded trajectories of listener and performer rather than cataloguing modulations, cadences, and root positions.”

– Ian Bostridge, Schubert’s Winter Journey (2015), pp. 4-5.

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