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Leonardo Bartholomew, MUS303: Music History 2
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Carolyn Guzski, Music
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) ended his compositional career with the monumental Liederkreis [Song Cycle] Der Winterreise [The Winter Journey], D. 911 (1828). Comprised of twenty-four Lieder for solo voice and piano that take nearly 90 minutes to perform, Winterreise tells the dramatic story of a despondent young man who sets off on a winter journey to forget the bitter memories of a past romance. The drama correlates with Schubert's untimely passing in 1828 after contracting syphilis. Schubert's mature work narrates its story through both poetic text and melodic invention, giving the listener the feeling of almost being present as it was being created. The individual Lieder I focus on are “Rückblick” [Backward Glance], “Letzte Hoffnung” [Last Hope], and “Der Leiermann” [The Hurdy-Gurdy Man]. These three Lieder all show different melodic and rhythmic motives shared equally between singer and pianist. My analysis reveals how Schubert constructed his final song cycle to highlight the dramatic contrasts among the Lieder to serve the poetic narrative. Stylistically, Schubert takes the listener through a musical journey that builds a powerful dramatic arc within each Lied. My project expresses the brilliance of Schubert's mastery of the genre.
Bartholomew, Leonardo, "Schubert and the Art of the German Lied" (2021). Arts. 20.