AdornoÕs view of Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy is of flawed music. He regards the finale as yet another compositionally disastrous failure by Schubert to know how to round off a sonata or symphony. But he is clearly intrigued by the slow movement's acts of negation and alienation. This article investigates these two crises. First, what is actually--if one may dare ask such a thing--wrong with the finale? That it is all empty mock-fugue and sequence and passage-work? And thus it lacks truth-content? That Schubert is not really composing this finale; it is somehow composing him? Here I investigate analytically what Adorno's "temporal series of atemporal cells" means. Second, how does the slow movement move us from lightness into despair? Death for Schubert, Adorno tells us, is not about pain, but mourning, something Schubert takes us right inside--or to use Adorno's image, through a portal to the underworld (29). I believe that this landscape is also nested within the slow movement of the Wanderer Fantasy. If, as always with variations, the task of the analyst is not so clear here, the task of the (rightly) evidence-bound hermeneut probably is.
- Copyright ©© 2005 by The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.