Returning Cycles: Contexts for the Interpretation of Schubert's Impromptus and Last Sonatas

Returning Cycles: Contexts for the Interpretation of Schubert's Impromptus and Last Sonatas

Returning Cycles: Contexts for the Interpretation of Schubert's Impromptus and Last Sonatas

Returning Cycles: Contexts for the Interpretation of Schubert's Impromptus and Last Sonatas

Synopsis

"A stunning work of contextual criticism...This is an exceptionally significant book that both sheds new light on a major repertory and brings to a new level the recent transformation within the discipline of musicology. I anticipate that it will have a stimulating and healing influence on music studies."--Susan McClary, author of "Conventional Wisdom

"Fisk makes compelling use of his talents as both performer and critic-analyst of the music that is closest to him. His book will immediately become one of the most significant publications on Schubert of the past few decades. I can think of no other work that treats this repertory with such insight and sensitivity."--Walter Frisch, editor of "Schubert: Critical and Analytical Studies

Excerpt

The questions addressed in this study of Schubert's piano music originated as a performer's questions. Wanting better to understand and to deepen my sense of identification with this music while playing it, I began to search for words to describe what it held for me. While drawn to all of Schubert's mature piano music, I felt an affinity especially with the last three sonatas. I studied all three of them when I was a student, read what little I could find about them, and returned to them again and again in conversations with my friends. Even as a student I often mentioned that I felt the aura of Winterreise in these sonatas, especially in their slow movements, and that I was struck by the cyclic return of specific melodic and harmonic material within each sonata, from one movement to another. These two observations have come to seem closely related but cannot by any means be collapsed into each other. They not only help to articulate what follows but also become further articulated in the course of my narrative.

Like almost every other pianist, I played several of the impromptus before playing any of the sonatas. I found stories in them, too, especially in the tragic Impromptu in C Minor, op. 90, no. 1, with its A♭-major episode of halcyon but essentially irretrievable memory that is so difficult for most young students to bring to realization, and in the Impromptu in A♭ Major, op. 142, no. 2, which has for me always been a kind of musical refuge, a setting for an enraptured vision. Only after I realized that these pieces were composed in the same year as Winterreise, and almost certainly followed the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.