• Katie Cattell (Speaker)

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Does Schubert's Wandererfantasie, D. 760 go anywhere?: Wandering in Martin Heidegger and Franz Schubert

Does Schubert's Wandererfantasie, D. 760 go anywhere?: Wandering in Martin Heidegger and Franz Schubert

Wandering is widely used in Schubert scholarship to describe both Schubert’s instrumental and vocal music (Adorno, Dunsby, Fisk, Kinderman, and Perry amongst others), and is seen as a consequence of the repetitive nature of Schubert’s large-scale forms. The problems of using the existing musicological lexicon to discuss forms based on such repetition have been well-documented, attributed in no small part to that lexicon being constructed around a music-analytical concern with organic unity. This has led to discussion in terms that attempt to move beyond that concern in various contexts. Beyond the considerable critical engagement with Theodor W. Adorno’s work on Schubert, Schubert’s wandering has not, however, been discussed much in a broader philosophical context.

This paper is going to take Martin Heidegger’s writings on poetry as another way to approach the notion of wandering, specifically in Schubert’s Wandererfantasie. Discussion from this perspective will therefore be centred on a Heideggerian interpretation of the unusual form of the work; its four-movement structure, generated from a couple of very short motives, is often seen as both cyclic and an open-ended sonata form. By using Heidegger’s philosophy in this context, Schubert’s music will be approached from an angle that will fruitfully engage with the existing literature, but allow the music to be understood from a perspective that draws on a different philosophical and literary tradition. Moreover, this will mean that Schubert’s music will challenge Heidegger’s positioning of wandering in a purely semantic art-form. Bringing Heidegger’s and Schubert’s wandering into dialogue will therefore mean that they can be used to question each other, enabling them both to be understood from new viewpoints.
Period12 Jun 201514 Jun 2015
Event typeConference
LocationCork, IrelandShow on map