One only becomes aware of the kinds of musical recurrences I write about in this study, and of their potential expressive import, after becoming obsessed with the music in which they occur. In one way, the source of my obsession has been a common one: the combination of love and fear involved in preparing music for performance. But beyond these feelings lies something that has drawn me, from my student days onward, to Schubert more than to any other composer: an identification with his music strong enough to implicate it—even before I decided to become a professional musician— in my own self-definition.
The sources of such identifications are perhaps always destined to remain mysterious, but in 1988 it felt almost overwhelmingly significant to me that, in the same AMS meeting at which I offered my first explorations of a divided Schubertian persona, Maynard Solomon first presented in a musicological setting his soon-to-become-famous speculations about Schubert's homosexuality. Years earlier, when I was listening to the last quartets and the C-Major Quintet almost every day, and weaving the slow movements of the last sonatas into my heart by playing them to myself almost every night, I was also waging war against my own homosexuality and feeling like a Fremdling on account of it. I do not explore Schubert's possible homosexuality in these pages, but I do believe, and do say, that if he was homosexual, that aspect of his life could only have intensified the sense of himself as an outsider about which I write at length.