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Thread: Franz Schubert

  1. #196
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muddy View Post
    I love Schubert, and I believe that he is very much appreciated! He is not Bach. He is not Mozart. He is not Beethoven. But who is, save those three? Sometimes I get the feeling that hardcore Schubert fans will always believe that their hero is unappreciated until he somehow rises to the top. But he won't and never will.
    Well, Schubert is right up at the top as far as I'm concerned. His genius was astonishing when you consider he died just after he really reached maturity as a composer. His late sonatas, quartets and songs are astonishing. Imagine what we might have if he had only lived as long as Mozart.

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  3. #197
    Senior Member violadude's Avatar
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    Lately, I've been working on a new listening project of mine and that is to go back and listen to all the standards of the repertoire that I have previously neglected due to my interest in more obscure composers and contemporary repertoire. So as part of that project I recently finished listening to all of Schubert's symphonies. Here are my quick thoughts:

    First of all, I didn't listen to the 7th symphony because I heard there is almost nothing of it that is actually by Schubert, which sort of bothers me. Second of all, on a whole, I feel as though the symphony wasn't really Schubert's strength until the 5th symphony. All the symphonies before that are good, but not really above average for that time period I feel other than for the qualities that Schubert was already good at across the board (lyricism and quick natural sounding key changes for example). I could very possibly be missing something, but that is my analysis for now. Now onto the individual symphonies.

    Symphony 1: This one was probably my least favorite. I enjoyed it well enough. I thought there were some balance issues in the first movement especially. I didn't really like that the intro came back as part of the recap. I think there is probably a way to do that successfully but this wasn't it, it ended up sort of breaking the flow of the music in my opinion. I also liked the 3rd movement quite a bit. It was fun. I actually don't really remember a whole lot else about this one to be honest but I remember thinking it was alright.

    Symphony 2: Improvement from #1. This one I felt has a lot of life in it. Especially in the first movement. That movement is very fun and has a lot of great effortless changes, in instrumentation, mood, key. The Minuet was really good in this one too. I either really like minuets or Schubert was really good at them, or both. I also love the way the finale starts with a V7 chord that quickly resolves to the home key. That's a fun stroke of creativity. Even though it's just a V7 chord, the way it is played so suddenly right at the beginning of a fast movement makes it sound more dissonant than it actually is at first.

    Symphony #3: Another enjoyable symphony. Some of the first movement sounds a bit banal though, especially rhythmically, but the theme I'm thinking of becomes more graceful later so maybe that was the point. There's no slow movement in this one. There is a fun allegretto as the second movement. The third movement is labeled minuet again, but the way it is so awkwardly accented (awkwardly in a good way) it is more like a landler than anything. That movement is interesting. The finale to this symphony is the funnest one yet and the highlight of this symphony to me.

    Symphony #4: By this time, I'm starting to hear Schubert get more mature as a symphonist. This one sounds more full to me than the previous three, but not quite as mature as the 5th yet. I'm guessing this piece got the nickname "tragic" from the introduction. Other than the intro there is nothing particularly tragic sounding about this symphony, no more than your average minor key classical symphony at least. Besides the ramped up maturity level in the writing, the thing that stuck out most in this one was the 3rd movement. Man was that a chromatic opening! I couldn't even tell what key I was in at first. It took me totally by surprise and I give Schubert mad props for that. This was also the first symphony in the cycle where I enjoyed the second movement a lot more than average. It was really beautiful. I really love that reaching closing theme of the exposition in the first movement too.

    Symphony #5- Well, most of what I had heard about this symphony previously was correct. Schubert has reached full maturity of symphonic writing at this point and this is, in my opinion, the first absolutely perfect classical symphony he wrote. The first movement just sounds like a breath of fresh air, especially if you're listening to the symphonies in order like I was and had just heard the murky-ish 4th symphony. I love how the symphony doesn't begin with strings. Everything is perfectly balanced, the themes are great. The orchestration is more subtle and delicate sounding than it had been in the previous symphonies, I'm not sure if the absence of the clarinet has anything to do with the delicate sound or not. The slow movement of this one might be my favorite of the whole cycle. Actually, I take that back, the slow movement of the 9th is my favorite of the whole cycle (we'll get there) but this one is a close second. The middle section with the amazing scoring for woodwinds vs. 1 violin over the backdrop of the other strings is just great. The third movement of this one actually stuck out the least to me this time compared to the other movements but it was still really good. I liked the trio of this one more than the main minuet. And then the 4th movement is of course good and has all of the previously stated qualities of the rest of the symphony.

    Symphony #6: I enjoyed this one quite a bit as well. I LOVED the main theme of the first movement. It was so fun/funny with the raised 4th in the first phrase and the grace notes in the second phrase. I'm glad he scores this theme for woodwinds first, it is perfect for them. There are some parts of this first movement that actually reminds me of Tchaikovsky, I don't know if it is the orchestration, or harmony or what. The second movement is really good. I love the frantic activity of the middle section the most. As expected a fun third movement. I liked the fourth movement because it is not the frenzied and fast finale that I had come to expect from Schubert but a more calm and laid back melody which was a really nice change and really accentuated Schubert's great melodic skills.

    Symphony #8: Unfortunately, this was the only symphony that I had actually heard before. If I had been listening to it for the very first time though, I would have been completely floored by how different it was from anything that had come before it. It's almost like a totally different composer. It's certainly the first Romantic symphony in the cycle. Anyway, the first movement is amazing. To me, it sounds like the gloomiest and mysterious thing that had ever been penned up to that point in time. I love the way he integrates that cello/bass introduction into the rest of the symphony. It works brilliantly and the climaxes in this movement are devastating. The other movement is really great too. I like how "momentous" it is compared to all the previous slow movements, if that makes sense. I also like how it builds to a lot of activity and then calms down. It actually has an arch to it rather than being more sectional like the previous slow movements.

    Symphony #9: This was probably my favorite symphony. I didn't mind the length at all. This piece sounds very Beethovian to my ears. The slow introduction is the best and most beautiful slow intro in the cycle in my opinion. So amazingly scored, the instruments are intertwined perfectly. In fact, I think in general Schubert had come such a long way in terms of effective, above average scoring by the time this symphony had been written. Before, the scoring was just good but standard classical scoring that didn't really stick out much. Now it's infinitely more subtle, thought out and effective than it was compared to the first few symphonies. Anyway, the themes in the first movement are great, I especially like the minor key second theme. And these themes are also fleshed out in a much more complete way than they had previously been. The development is awesomely paced. The second movement is my favorite second movement of the cycle. I love the mood of it. All the things I said about the first movement probably apply to this one as well. I think I love this movement so much because it's one of those ones that has such a great blend of major/minor key touches, like it is bending the line between the two. It's pretty consistently on the verge of either one or the other, which is something Schubert does really well. The third movement is very above average in terms of quality in my opinion. Again, all the general things that apply to the other movements apply to this one as well. I especially like the part in the main Scherzo section, after the initial grumblings are introduced, and the violin theme is introduced with the grumblings as counterpoint in the woodwinds. This third movement is a lot meatier than the average third movement for sure, as a lot of times third movement are used as "breaks from the heavy duty stuff" but not this time. I suppose this is in trend with what Romantic symphonies came to be though. And then the finale is a great rollicking one which ends up sounding very victorious. Like battle horses victoriously marching in or something like that. And it manages to sound victorious without sounding cheesy or contrived, which I appreciate. I love the pure cacophony of this movement too Not much else I can say about this movement other than what's already been said about the other movements.

    So all in all, this is my ranking of the symphonies from favorite to least favorite:

    9
    8
    5
    6
    4
    2
    3
    1
    Last edited by violadude; Jun-12-2013 at 09:56.

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  5. #198
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    SCHUBERT had a few incomplete symphonies that sound great namely the number 10 & 7 D.729 sounds great someone tried to complete the symphony 8 but it did not work.

  6. #199
    Senior Member MagneticGhost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Well, Schubert is right up at the top as far as I'm concerned. His genius was astonishing when you consider he died just after he really reached maturity as a composer. His late sonatas, quartets and songs are astonishing. Imagine what we might have if he had only lived as long as Mozart.
    And imagine what we'd have if both of them had lived as long as Beethoven.
    Fate dealt humanity a cruel hand to kill these musical geniuses off at such a young age.
    But I sometimes wonder if somehow they both knew and compensated by composing a lifetimes work in less that half a lifetime.

    Pointless conjecture I suppose. Could have been 100's of Schuberts who died before the age of 5.
    Just thankful that we have such a body of fine work to appreciate.
    “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

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  8. #200
    Senior Member NightHawk's Avatar
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    41QMNwDRQcL._SX300_.jpg Domingo, Scotto, Milnes, Levine.
    Listened to Acts III and IV this morning. If there is a better cast, and overall performance out there, please let me know - this one always seems beyond perfect to me in every way.

  9. #201
    Senior Member Selby's Avatar
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    Have been listening to D. 804, "Rosamunde" this morning. Such a lovely piece.

    I have a few versions - today it was Emerson - anyone have a favorite recording?

  10. #202
    Senior Member Muddy's Avatar
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    I recently purchased a nice set of Radu Lupu playing several of Schuberts sonatas and several other works. Love it! Anyone else love Lupu's Schubert?

  11. #203
    Senior Member Muddy's Avatar
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    Thank you Franz Schubert for making me cry tonight. Your music sings. Why does music do this to me? It consumes me. Somewhere in music is the truth to everything, like when God picked up a box of crayons for the first time. The secrets of the universe may finally be discovered by science, but that day music will ask, "this is news?"

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    Senior Member shangoyal's Avatar
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    His music is like a piece of cloth that the composer weaved very slowly and diligently for a lifetime, never veering much from the initial plan because he insisted, "this is good, and I know it", and nobody else could see, but Schubert weaved away, and when it was complete everybody was like - "this is beautiful. when did it become beautiful?"

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  15. #205
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    I've enjoyed reading through these comments. I'm very excited to be amongst like minded individuals and I'm more excited to see so much love for Schubert. I've listened to "The Trout" every day for the last few weeks. It just gets better and better. Does anyone have a favorite version of his symphonies and piano quintets? I'm certainly in the market to own multiple versions and interpretations.
    Last edited by scratchgolf; Nov-16-2013 at 02:40.

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  17. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by scratchgolf View Post
    I've enjoyed reading through these comments. I'm very excited to be amongst like minded individuals and I more excited to see so much love for Schubert. I've listened to "The Trout" every days for the last few weeks. It just gets better and better. Does anyone have a favorite version of his symphonies and piano quintets? I'm certainly in the market to own multiple versions and interpretations.
    VPO/Muti, Schiff/Posch/Hagen Qt.

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  19. #207
    Senior Member Blake's Avatar
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    Karl Bohm with the Berlin Philharmonic does a beautiful symphony cycle.

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  21. #208
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    Ty both. I'll check those out. My current versions are from Stockholm and The Colorado Quartet, respectively.

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    Senior Member SiegendesLicht's Avatar
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    Gentlemen, allow me to join your club of Schubert lovers. In my, for now small, collection I have more of him than of any other composer, except Wagner. The last additions were Schubert piano sonatas and after that a collection of Schubert lieder, performed by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau und Gerald Moore - over 24 hours of pure bliss.

    Here are some of my favorite Schubert works:
    1. The symphonies #8 and 9.
    2. The string quartets: "Death and the Maiden", "Rosamunde" and "Quartettsatz".
    3. Piano sonatas: D459 "Fünf Klavierstücke", D958, D959 and D960.
    4. Piano trios: both of them.
    5. D872 "Deutsche Messe". *makes a mental note to check out his other sacred music too*.
    6. And finally, innumerable lieder: "An die Musik", "Nacht und Träume", "Ganymed", "Im Frühling", "Der gute Hirt", "Du bist die Ruh", "Sehnsucht" (with words written by Schiller), "Litanei auf das Fest aller Seelen", "Der Wanderer", "Gute Nacht" from Winterreise, "Des Baches Wiegenlied".

    Schubert is incomparable when it comes to the more intimate, contemplative side of Romanticism. The slow movements of his piano sonatas have brought me to tears more than once. Such heavenly beauty... Vielen Dank, lieber Herr Schubert!
    ... yet for us will still remain the holy German art... (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)
    ***
    God gave all men all earth to love,
    But since our hearts are small,
    Ordained for each one spot should prove
    Beloved over all.
    R. Kipling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
    Have been listening to D. 804, "Rosamunde" this morning. Such a lovely piece.

    I have a few versions - today it was Emerson - anyone have a favorite recording?
    Hi,
    Sorry to jump in the middle of your conversation.

    Did you hear Elly Ameling sing this lieder? I absolutely love her.

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