The Wanderer's Tracks

Joseph Kerman

in Returning Cycles

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780520225640
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925786 | DOI:
The Wanderer's Tracks

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The “Wanderer” Fantasy sets itself apart from most of Schubert's instrumental music not only because of its unusual form and virtuosic character, but also because of the place it occupies in his compositional career. At the time of its composition, late in 1822, Schubert had not completed a large-scale instrumental piece in three years. He turned to it, as already mentioned, from his work on the “Unfinished” Symphony, which he had brought closer to completion than any other instrumental work in several movements since the “Trout” Quintet and the Piano Sonata in A Major, D. 664, of 1819. In the intervening three years, Schubert had occupied himself primarily with dramatic music, but without much public success. This chapter suggests that the “Wanderer” Fantasy, in the way it dramatizes the emergence of its C♯-minor song yet also integrates it into its C-major surroundings, provides a model for cyclic tonal organization. It also offers, through the song, a key to its interpretation.

Keywords: Wander Fantasy; Schubert; instrumental music; tonal organization

Chapter.  6182 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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