Tag Archives: Schubert

How Schubert listened to the brook’s lullaby

Franz Schubert’s lieder do not sound like poems set to music.  They sound like actualizations of musical settings.  It is as if the composer cast in notation the inner musicality of these pieces which, to his mind, were already written … Continue reading

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Τurning points in the career of classical composers

Three recent releases made me think of turning points in the career of classical composers.   Mozart Momentum 1785 (2021) includes the Piano Concertos Nos. 20-22, the Piano Quartet No. 1, the piano Fantasia in C minor, and the Masonic … Continue reading

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The Wandering Musician

Perhaps no other genre in classical music is as intensely Romantic as the Wanderlieder cycle, the song cycle depicting the adventurous peregrinations of a young wayfarer.*    Such cycles represent the epitome of 19th century male subject position as poet, composer, … Continue reading

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Heine & Schubert’s “Der Doppelgänger”

Franz Schubert’s seminal song “Der Doppelgänger” (1828) is suspended in a unique historical and stylistic moment of classical music, with its ostinato piano part looking back to Bach’s passacaglia and its declamatory vocal part looking forward to Wagner’s Sprechgesang.  It … Continue reading

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Η Φωτεινή Τσαλίκογλου κι εγώ ακούμε τη λύπη στον Σούμπερτ

Είμαι ευγνώμων στη σοφή φίλη Φωτεινή Τσαλίκογλου που μου αφιέρωσε το παρακάτω αφήγημα για τη μουσική λύπη στην έξοχη συλλογή της  Οι παράξενες ιστορίες της Κυρίας Φι (2019) που μόλις κυκλοφόρησε.  Το αφήγημα συλλογίζεται γιατί είναι λυπημένοι, πρώτα οι ακροατές, … Continue reading

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The total moment of the perfect melody

When all else fails, there’s still a Schubert melody. Melodies sound like total moments which float freely, unchained, outside the regular course of time.  Adorno explains:  “The concept of melody first gained ascendancy in the nineteenth century in connection with … Continue reading

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Schubert as a Byronic hero

Every time I start listening to Schubert’s Quartet No. 14, “Death and the Maiden” (1824), its opening fortissimo octaves stop me on my tracks: Did I really just hear that? And that is only the start! The tremendous, relentless contrasts … Continue reading

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Contemplating and Listening

Because of its incandescent fascination with the moon, its spectral companion, German Romanticism has been called a “lunar period” (Rewald: Caspar David Friedrich: Moonwatchers, 2001, p. 10) of art, music, philosophy, fiction, and poetry (for example, in chronological order, Klopstock, … Continue reading

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