Schubert and the Construction of Memory: The Quartet in A minor, D. 804 (‘Rosamunde’)

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Abstract / Description of output

As well over a century of reception history attests, qualities of memory, reminiscence and nostalgia seem to constitute some of the most characteristic attributes of Schubert's music. Yet despite the undoubted allure of this subject and its popularity in recent years, the means by which music may suggest the actions of memory and temporal consciousness are often unclear or under-theorized in scholarship. This article examines how such nostalgic subjectivities are constructed in Schubert's music and the language used to describe it. Rather than overturning the now habitual associations between Schubert and memory, the article seeks to question more deeply how they are, and indeed might better be, supported. It looks principally at the String Quartet in A minor, D.804 (‘Rosamunde’), and draws further on such staples of the Schubertian memory discourse as the Quartet in G, D.887, and the Piano Sonata in B♭, D.960.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-88
JournalJournal of the Royal Musical Association
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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