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Die schöne Müllerin

Concert & bookpresentation: November 25th Amsterdam

The unbearable silence of Schubert & Die schöne Müllerin

You can order the book at Amazon.com /de/nl/it etc. and at some Dutch book shops

Die schöne Müllerin is a very well-known song cycle by Schubert. Despite this fame, there are many misunderstandings about the work that stand in the way of a much-deserved greater appreciation. This book aims to change that. A second reason for existence is closely linked to this: due to misunderstandings, the work is rarely or never performed properly. The book also wants to change that. But it also wants to explain why this beautiful love story, which illuminates unrequited love in a unique way, occupies an important place in cultural history.

The book begins with the history of the text. It immediately makes clear that it is not an ironic story that arose from a game, but a literary testimony of a tragic unrequited love. This history also provides a unique insight into the adventures of a group of artists who partly helped shape Romanticism.

Secondly, the book describes each song of Die schöne Müllerin in great detail. Much more detailed than the only other book about the Müllerin – but still in a way that is also accessible to laymen. The details of the text as well as of singing and piano accompaniment are discussed. The explanation is not based on anecdotes, projections or Freudian nonsense. Grateful use has been made of the insights of musicologists such as Georgiades, Dürr, Feil and Gál. However, the first priority was to logically connect (certainly also some of their) insights. This gives the reader a very good idea of conclusive interpretation options that are in accordance with the text, the score, and Schubert’s ideas about the performance of the work.

Thirdly, it also contains many chapters with background information about the music, performance practice and related questions. Also included is a description and assessment of its most important sound recordings, from the very first shellac recording. The book is not only published in Dutch, but also in English and German.

This book, unique in several respects, is a must for anyone who wants to know more about this brilliant work and certainly for anyone who wants to perform one or more songs from the cycle. But it is also an exciting story about what unrequited love can do to the protagonist of Die schöne Müllerin, to its author, and to others.

In summary: after two hundred years, this book aims to finally give Die schöne Müllerin the place that the beautiful and compelling work deserves.

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