Latest Issue

Performance notes

Schubert's greatest song cycle has been revamped with theatre, dance and action. But nothing beats one man and a piano

By Martin Kettle   June 2009

Keenlyside’s fully choreographed Winterreise. Why?

Once encountered, Franz Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise haunts many listeners for the rest of their lives. This is certainly true in my case. Perhaps that’s because the first time I heard it I started at the top. My father took me to a performance by the great German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. I was hooked. I’ve heard it two or three dozen times since—and I suspect that Winterreise audiences are full of similar obsessives, permanently lured back by the cycle’s unique musical and poetic atmosphere.

Written near the end of Schubert’s brief life, Winterreise (Winter’s…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect