Thursday, December 5, 2013

Franz Schubert- Serenade

Franz Schubert

Schubert's immortal "Serenade" was written in 1826. it is so familiar that it needs no analysis, nor is one necessary from any point of view. It is simply a lovely melody from first note to last, written upon the inspiration of the moment, and yet characterized by absolute perfection of finish and a grace and beauty of which one never tires. It was originally composed as an alto solo and male chorus and was subsequently rearranged for female voices only. The circumstances of its composition as told by Schubert's biographer, Von Hellborn, are of more than ordinary interest. Von Hellborn says:

"One Sunday, during the summer of 1826, Schubert with several friends was returning from Potzleinsdorf to the city, and on strolling along through Wahring, he saw his friend Tieze sitting at a table in the garden of the 'Zum Biersack.' The whole party determined on a halt in their journey. Tieze had a book lying open before him, and Schubert soon began to turn over the leaves. Suddenly he stopped, and pointing to a poem, exclaimed, 'such a delicious melody has just come into my head, if I but had a sheet of music paper with me.' Herr Doppler drew a few music lines on the back of a bill of fare, and in the midst of a genuine Sunday hubbub, with fiddlers, skittle players, and waiters running about in different directions with orders, Schubert wrote that lovely song."

Franz Schubert


Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert (1797–1828) was an Austrian romantic composer and although he died at the age of 31, he was a prolific composer, having written some 600 lieder and nine symphonies. 
Life and Music
  • Aged 10, the young Schubert won a place in the Vienna Imperial Court chapel choir and quickly gained a reputation as a budding composer with a set of facile string quartets.
  • After leaving chapel school and having completed the year's mandatory training, Schubert followed his father into the teaching profession. This was at once a calamitous move and a blessing, for it was Schubert's deep loathing of the school environment that finally lit the touchpaper of his creative genius. The same year he began teaching - 1814 - he produced his first indisputable masterpiece, 'Gretchen am Spinnrade' ('Gretchen at her spinning wheel').
  • While Schubert was still struggling to hold down his full-time teaching post, he not only composed 145 lieder (songs), the Second and Third Symphonies, two sonatas and a series of miniatures for solo piano, two mass settings and other shorter choral works, four stage works, and a string quartet, in addition to various other projects. This period of intense creative activity remains one of the most inexplicable feats of productivity in musical history.
  • Musical soirees known as Schubertiads became all the rage, during which Schubert might sing some of his own songs while accompanying himself at the piano. 
  • With little money and nothing much more than his 'groupies' to support him, Schubert began to produce a seemingly endless stream of masterpieces that for the most part were left to prosperity to discover, including the two great song cycles, Die Schone Mullerin and Winterreise, the Eighth ('Unfinished') and Ninth ('Great') Symphonies, the Octet for Wind, the last three string quartets, the two piano trios, the String Quintet, the 'Wanderer' Fantasy and the last six sonatas for solo piano.
Did you know?
During 1815 alone, Schubert composed over 140 masterly song settings - including the unforgettable 'Erlkonig' - although he was still only 18 at the time.

Franz Schubert Music


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