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Schubert: Winterreise

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: cold emotions...

Some have argued whether or not the poetry of Winterreise (or “A Winter Journey,”) actually is, strictly speaking, a poetic cycle. While they don’t have a story that advances from song to song, as was the case in Schubert’s earlier Müller cycle “The Beautiful Girl of the Mill,” most of the songs in Winterreise share the common trait of using the coldest season to depict various aspects of emotional isolation, loneliness, and self-estrangement. An amateur musician himself, Wilhelm Müller often wrote poetry with music in mind, once stating that his poems only “lived a half-life” until they were set. Müller published several of the poems earlier, unconnected to any larger structure, but in 1824 he published them as a single volume, dedicated to his friend, composer Carl Maria von Weber.

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