SCHUBERT’S WINTERREISE AND THE PIANO TRIO IN Eb; TWO REMARKABLE WORKS FROM ONE REMARKABLE YEAR – 1827: A RECORDING PROJECT

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2010

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Abstract

During Franz Schubert’s penultimate year of 1827, he produced two profoundly important and mature works that are the focus of this recording project. The works are, in chronological order: • Winterreise (cycle of 24 songs on the poetry of Wilhelm Müller, 1794-1827)

• Piano Trio in Eb Major, Op. 100, D. 929

A unique feature of the project is to present Winterreise in two poetic orders: as traditionally performed and published by Schubert, and in the final ordering published by the poet. The program notes accompanying the dissertation’s three compact discs have extensive information as well as comparative tables of Müller’s and Schubert’s final ordering of the cycle. There are significant differences in ordering, and ultimately the listener will determine which is more dramatically satisfying.

Dark melancholy is the central emotion in Winterreise, which Schubert composed at various times throughout 1827 in a mood of corresponding gloom and distress. By contrast, the summer and fall of that year produced, in quick succession, the two glowing and remarkable Piano Trios in Bb and Eb, the second of which is included on these compact discs. The contrast between the trios and Winterreise follows the outward circumstances of Schubert’s life and health, a pattern of sorrow and later consolation and elation. The sound recordings for this dissertation recording project are available on three compact discs that can be found in the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM). Winterreise was recorded in August 2009, at the University of Baltimore recital hall in Baltimore, Maryland with University of Maryland Professor François Loup. The trio, recorded in live performance in Baltimore in the spring of 2010, features two members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: Qing Li, B.S.O. principal second violin, and Bo Li, B.S.O. section cellist.

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NOTICE: Recordings accompanying this record are available only to University of Maryland College Park faculty, staff, and students and cannot be reproduced, copied, distributed or performed publicly by any means without prior permission of the copyright holder.