Franz Schubert Winterreise, IV. Erstarrung

>> Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Winterreise (Winter Journey) is a cycle of 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller, best known as the song cycle set for male voice and piano by Franz Schubert (D. 911, published as Op. 89 in 1827). 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, in their scale, their dramatic coherence and power, their musical and literary unity, and their interpretative demands, stand in a league of their own within the song-cycle genre. Indeed, 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.

4. Erstarrung (Numbness)

He looks in vain for her footprints in the snow, where they formerly walked together arm in arm among the flowers and green grass. He wants to kiss the ground and weep on it, until he can dissolve the ice and see where they trod. But the flowers are all dead, and he can take no remembrance of her away from there. His heart is lifeless with her image frozen within; but if it thaws, her beautiful image fades.

Information source, Wikipedia


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