Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Schubert in the Telegraph

Interesting essay about Schubert in the British Telegraph. The headline: "Schubert is needed now more than ever."

The essay points out that Schubert wrote a lot of his music while under threat from death, and death figures in his music as it figures in no one else's except maybe Gustav Mahler.

The part I am thinking of starts at about 1:28. By the time it gets to, oh, 2:25 I am falling to pieces.

That cross-handed passage -- you have the left hand crossing over the right, and this call-and-response pattern -- always makes me think of the dead. It is like voices from another world. Footsteps from another world. It kills me.

Imagine being Franz Schubert, seeing what other people do not see. Hearing what they do not hear.

I actually prefer this recording because it is calmer.

Back to the story. I always love reading the comments and in this case I am getting a kick out of the comments. I do not agree with them all, that is for sure. But these people over the pond in Britain sure take their music seriously. It would be a joy to interact with them. I never have the time so I will not but I would like to.

I would contest the one comment that says that it would not belittle Schubert and Mozart not to put them beside Bach and Beethoven among the truly greats.

I will tell you why it would not belittle them. That is because they would both be laughing at you too hard. Imagine not putting Schubert and Mozart among the greats. Mozart, for God's sake. Oh well.

And so to bed.

It is too late to fight!