Monday, July 21, 2014

A letter from the Schubertiade

Some time ago at work, I began getting emails from a group called the Schubertiade. The messages were all in German. Even the subject line. I never had much time to figure it out or look at them closely but I enjoyed it, that I was getting these emails from the Schubertiade. That is a Schubertiade pictured above! It is a party in honor of Franz Schubert.

Maybe it was because I wished I could say I were the director of the Schubert Club. Maybe it was because I have written so often how much I love Schubert song.

Whatever, it would make me smile that I was on the receiving end of the Schubertiade emails, whatever they were saying.

And then the other day something happened. To my astonishment, the Schubertiade contacted me via traditional snail mail!

It was not just some robot on the Internet that had hooked me up with them. There was a human being behind this. Because here was this letter, and it had a picture of Schubert ...

... and it had my name with an extra "n" so it was "Goldmann." That was funny!

That meant that in Schubert Land someone was apparently dictating and said, "Mary Kunz Goldman." They got the Kunz right but they added an "n" to the Goldmann.

Plus it said in German something about if it were not deliverable to return it. The Schubertiade did not want this letter to go to just anybody. If I were not there to receive it, it would be winging its way back to Schwarzenberg where it is from.

I learned that because I have learned what the Schubertiade is. It is this magical sounding festival. Somewhere I read that it is the only festival in Germany, or Austria, or wherever it is, to operate without any government subsidies.

Inside the envelope was a brochure. I kept seeing the name Peter Schreier. That is a tenor I love! And funny, just last week that had occurred to me. I found myself at the gym listening to him singing Schubert and thinking how great he was, how I had always underrated him. I mean look. Well, maybe don't look. He is just so square looking. But listen.

Now I get this mailing all about him.

What's it all about, Alfie?

Furthermore I had assumed Peter Schreier was dead because, I mean, everyone's dead.

So there I have it, this festival I had never heard of, featuring this singer I thought was dead. All focusing on Schubert. Unlike the Schubert Club these people actually perform Schubert.

I might just have to go!


  1. Here's the editor of The Guardian on The Schubertiade:

  2. Oh interesting! Thanks, Anonymous! It's too bad Alan Rusbridger's wife kept dragging him off on those hikes. If I were he would have gone to the Schubertiade by myself!