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Thread: Franz Schubert

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    Senior Member ChamberNut's Avatar
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    Default Franz Schubert

    What a talent! Dies at age of 31, yet he leaves over 1,000 works.

    The last year of his life showed the growth and maturity of a composer who had no where to go but straight up to the highest stratosphere of excellence.

    Unfortunately didn't leave more orchestral works, but Schubert left alot of masterpieces in the chamber repertoire, his solo piano pieces and of course, his lieder.

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    Senior Member Ephemerid's Avatar
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    "Nacht und Traume" is a beautiful favourite song of mine. I sang it in recital years ago-- though certainly not with the kind of truly s l o w tempo it ought to be (as say, Ian Bostridge's recording of it). I didn't have that kind of lung capacity! LOL

    The "Erlking" is another great art-song, very dramatic and moving, especially when the singer does all the voices distinctively.
    "There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law.” ~ Claude Debussy

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    Senior Member Ephemerid's Avatar
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    Here's a great performance of the Erlking HERE and a translation of Goethe's text is on that page too. Take a listen!

    And a bit of background on the story HERE (here's an excerpt):

    Erlking captures the Romantic "strangeness and wonder" of Goethe's ballad. Erlking is based upon the legend that whoever is touched by the king of the elves must die.

    Schubert used a triplet pattern to set up the eerie atmosphere of the poem. The image of a galloping horse and great urgency is seen through this triplet pattern. The use of the minor key also contributes to the atmosphere.

    . . .

    Although only one singer is used, each of the four characters are portrayed differently. The narrator is in the middle range with less emotion. The father is sung in the low range and becomes a calming line. The son is in the high range with a great deal of dissonance, while the erlking is in the middle range, but using a major mode.

    By changing the melody, harmony, rhythm, and accompaniment, Schubert was able to paint a picture of a child's terror by increasing the high range and clashing dissonance. The father's part has a more rounded vocal line, thus the calming effect. The erlking, or elf is seen as seductive by the use of smooth melodious phrases which at first are coaxing, then become insistent as the terror of the child increases.

    The music follows the action of the narrative with a steady rise in tension and pitch that builds almost to the very end. As they draw closer to home, the constant triplet rhythm slows just as a rider and horse would do upon reaching the safety of home. Yet the last line: "In his arms the child" is drawn out by the use of a pause before the final two words: "was dead."
    What I did not know before though was that Schubert was 18 when he wrote this!
    "There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law.” ~ Claude Debussy

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    Senior Member Ephemerid's Avatar
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    And the gorgeous Nacht und Traume HERE.
    "There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law.” ~ Claude Debussy

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    When I think of Schubert, I immediately think of his string quintet (C major), especially that gorgeous cello line a little while into the first movement. That is one of my favorite quintets ever written, far better than the "Trout" piano quintet in my opinion - though that's excellent, too.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Junior Member marie's Avatar
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    Among his work, "Trout" is my most favorite. It is very fresh and makes me feel really happy whenever I hear it. It's heavenly beautiful. I love the flow and the light touch of the piano in the opening.

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    Senior Member marval's Avatar
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    We used to sing the words to The Trout at school, I have always like it after that.

    To me it is very descriptive, I can just imagine the trout leaping about.

    I like other Schubert too, but Trout was the first piece I got to know.


    Margaret

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    Senior Member David C Coleman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChamberNut View Post
    What a talent! Dies at age of 31, yet he leaves over 1,000 works.

    The last year of his life showed the growth and maturity of a composer who had no where to go but straight up to the highest stratosphere of excellence.

    Unfortunately didn't leave more orchestral works, but Schubert left alot of masterpieces in the chamber repertoire, his solo piano pieces and of course, his lieder.

    Yes indeed a tragedy that he died so early. had he lived another 20 or 30 years. we would indeed have been blessed with such an array of masterpieces..

    I love his chamber music and, one of the greatest symphonies ever written "The Great C Major"..

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    Senior Member BuddhaBandit's Avatar
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    Interesting... I saw this thread while listening to Andsnes' and Bostridge's Winterreise. Bostridge really gives a quite a tortured performance.

    I've always like Schubert because he was the most melodic of the Classical/Romantic transition figures. While you can enjoy Beethoven for his development of motives, Schubert always gets you humming a tune. This is likely why Schubert's lieder are much better than Ludwig Van's (to quote Alex from A Clockwork Orange).

    While I love his chamber music and, to a lesser extent, his symphonies, I particularly enjoy his solo piano works. Both the Impromptus and the Wanderer Fantasie seem to perpetually appear in my CD player.
    Take a look at the Bandit's blog, Americana Avenue.

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    Senior Member Bach's Avatar
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    It strikes me that someone so young would only have such a large output if they were aware that their life will be cut short. I think Schubert and Mozart's premature death was something like the work of fate.
    Si vos agnosco is tunc vos es quoque erudio

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    Member LindenLea's Avatar
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    I love Schubert, that tubby little figure in round glasses with a shock of black hair, a very unromantic figure I'm sure! And yet where did he find those uniquely fluctuating harmonies that enrich the untiring flow of melody in his music? The image has grown of him as being a jolly little man, a simply child of nature, pouring out songs over the dinner table, scribbling them down on the back of a menu card. But what a genius he was!

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

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    Your post made me smile, Lindenlea. I adore his piano works. I think he's one of the most underrated composers. Poor Schcubert. But we love him.

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    Schubert's always been one of my all-time favourite composers. I often find myself listening to his works obsessively, which I will do with very few composers (Mussorgsky and Satie are the only others who come immediately to mind), and it often gets to the point where I lose track of time. He was definitely one of those geniuses the world only sees once in a very long time.
    "Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why. "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeniyama View Post
    Schubert's always been one of my all-time favourite composers. I often find myself listening to his works obsessively, which I will do with very few composers (Mussorgsky and Satie are the only others who come immediately to mind), and it often gets to the point where I lose track of time. He was definitely one of those geniuses the world only sees once in a very long time.
    And yet not mentioned in your list of top 20 composers on another thread?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
    And yet not mentioned in your list of top 20 composers on another thread?
    Yeah, I did seem to miss him somehow... I think it was because, at the time, he just kind of slipped my mind for a moment, which doesn't say much about how much I love his music, but things like that do happen to me quite often.

    I should go alter my list just a bit.
    "Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why. "

    -James Joyce

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