One-Hundred Ninety years after its completion, Franz Schubert’s Winterreise still ranks as the greatest song cycle yet composed.
The work is a dramatic monologue comprising 24 songs that take the listener on a dark metaphoric journey of the soul where no happy ending is guaranteed. Upon completing the cycle, Schubert told his friend Spaun, “Come to Schober's today and I will play you a cycle of terrifying songs; they have affected me more than has ever been the case with any other songs…. These songs please me more than all the rest, and in time they will please you as well." As the saying goes, truer words were never spoken.