The first song in the song cycle "Winterreise
" by Franz Schubert
. What follows is part of a paper that I am writing for my music history class. I will be updating this information.
There is immediately a walking pattern evident in the piano. It is steady and yet in the upper voice there is a staggering motion, like someone limping after being beaten.
It is the Wintertime, obviously, but the first season we hear of is May.
"The month of May blessed me with many a bouquet of flowers."
But now "the world is bleak" We're greeting with a stark contrast right away.
It is night "I must find my own way in this darkness, a shadow thrown by the moon." The wanderer is also alone. As he will be under the end. But he yearns for companionship, "I watch for tracks of Deer"
He must go on, he feels, perhaps as part of a broken hearted paranoia, or he will "be driven out." Here is a paradox, "Love delights in wandering!" But how does one find love when one is constantly moving? Perhaps he creates his own heartbreak by moving too much. But he blames this on God in the next line, taking no responsibility for his heartbreak. But right away he displays what seems to be magnanimity in not wanting to "spoil" his beloved's rest when he leaves. Could his feeling of betrayal by his love be completely self-manufactured? Does he leave in the night so he doesn't have to hear his love tell him that she is faithful? That she truly does love him after all?
Earlier, he sings "The girl spoke of love, her mother even of marriage." So what caused the end of this relationship? What could have come between them? It becomes possible that the Wanderer is afraid of his commitment, and escapes it under the Romantic guise of heartbreak.
Key wise, we begin in D minor, the key that Schubert has designated for heartbreak or pain. But we move to D major when he talks of his magnanimous acts, not mention dreams. "I'll not disturb your dreams." He says. I think it will become clear throughout the piece that dreaming holds a special place in the Wanderer's heart. He will refer to it often, and often in a major key.
Forward to Die Wetterfahne