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Huilunsoittaja

Glazunov's Writings, Blog 7: For the Centenary of Schubert's Death - PART II

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We continue the article from 1928:

The undoubted imprint of the wide element of Schubert’s work is also reflected in Russian music, originating from Glinka, one who lived in the first half of the 19th century and whose name Anton Rubinstein, in his famous book included among the five world geniuses.
It is quite possible, however, that this community of some highlights in Schubert and in Glinka’s operas is purely random, because Glinka hardly had the opportunity to hear the most outstanding works of Schubert.
At the beginning of the second half of the XIX century, among Russian musicians, there was a great passion for Schubert’s work. Of the composers, representatives of the then young Russian school, Borodin inherited a lot from Schubert. His healthy, cheerful, expressive and rich melodicism in relation to music, both in symphonies and in the tragic scenes of the opera Prince Igor, bears the imprint of the great forerunner - Franz Schubert.
As an author of predominantly instrumental works, I especially defend the importance of Schubert as a symphonist, while at the same time giving him credit as a lyric singer. In this regard, I am completely welcome the principle proclaimed by the organizers of the International Schubert competition - “a return to melody”.
Despite the amazing productiveness of the work of the ingenious composer of purely orchestral works, mainly symphonies, he has relatively not so much. But among the piano pieces in four hands (marches, Grand Duo in C major, Hungarian divertissement, Fantasy, etc., finally, many two-handed piano sonatas), as well as partly and [among] chamber works (string quartet in G major, the posthumous d minor and the quintet in C major) there are a lot of those that go far in their scope from the framework of the chamber warehouse and certainly beg to be transferred to an orchestra. In a new form, they thus, would generously enrich the symphonic literature.
The Great Comprehensive Artist Franz Liszt realized this by arranging four four-handed Schubert marches and making a brilliant concert arrangement for piano and orchestra of his brilliant piano fantasy C major. He did not stop before making an Arrangement for Orchestra of the Song Der Erlkonig [Forest king] and even so intimate lieder [songs], like Die junge Nonne [Young Nun], Gretchenam Spinnrad [Gretchen behind the spinning wheel], Mignon [Minion] and etc.
It should be pointed out to composers - masters of our time - that it is desirable to follow the example of Franz Liszt and to orchestrate, in accordance with the composition of the Schubert orchestra and certainly in the style of Schubert, which Liszt strictly adhered to, these marvelous treasures that often surpass many of his little-known symphonies and other youth orchestral works.
It is very possible that the author with his short life and under the constant pressure of his inspiration did not have time to bring his masterpieces to the final edition.
Touching on one of the nearest subjects of the upcoming contest - the brilliant unfinished symphony, I would say that the published sketch of Scherzo contains vivid features of Schubert’s work, but at the same time requires careful, detailed development.
It is characteristic that Schubert’s entire Scherzo, like the minuets, which gradually changed into waltzes (Landler), seems to be always written in three parts.
The two existing parts of Unfinished B minor symphony are composed in the same size, and therefore, if a symphony finale would appear as a result of the competition, it would be desirable to see it not in a three-part, but in two or four-part sizes.
A hundred years have passed since the death of the great Schubert, and to this day his works shine with novelty and lingering freshness. May the glory of the forever young genius, who did not fall upon his lot during his life, continue to shine.
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