“Schubert’s Winterreise is at the same time one of the most powerful and one of the most enigmatic masterpieces in Western culture. In his new book, Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession, Ian Bostridge – one of the work’s finest interpreters – focusses on the context, resonance and personal significance of a work which is possibly the greatest landmark in the history of Lieder. Drawing equally on his vast experience of performing this work (he has performed it more than a hundred times), on his musical knowledge and on his training as a scholar, Bostridge unpicks the enigmas and subtle meaning of each of the 24 songs to explore for us the world Schubert inhabited, bringing the work and its world alive for connoisseurs and new listeners alike. Originally intended to be sung to an intimate gathering, performances of Winterreise now pack the greatest concert halls around the world.”
I very much like the way Bostridge sings Schubert’s lieder, but I’ve never read any of his writing, such as his first book, Witchcraft and Its Transformations, C. 1650 – C. 1750, (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) or his later A Singer’s Notebook (Amazon.com, Amazon UK).
I’ve ordered this book, to accompany Graham Johnson’s Franz Schubert, The Complete Songs, and a few wonderful interpretations of Winterreise released in the past year, which will be the object of a future article.
Note also that Bostridge’s three Schubert song cycles, recorded with pianists Mitsuko Ichida and Leif Ove Andsnes, will be released in a bargain set in January. This set also includes a filmed version of Winterreise that Bostridge made some years ago; this is not a recital, but a somewhat theatricalized film of the songs. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK)