Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A view of the Schubertiade

A nice anonymous person leaving a comment hipped me to a story in the Guardian about the Schubertiade. Remember, the Schubertiade, who got in touch under byzantine circumstances.

The story is by Alan Rusbridger. My favorite part (I will cut and paste):

I get to meet the figure who has run the Schubertiade since its earliest days, Gerd Nachbauer. A neat, shy, reserved man of few words, he speaks in German, translated by his press officer – called Schubert, of course. (Editor's note: Hahahahahahaaaaaa!)

It's evident that he feels he has a settled, successful formula and has no plans to change very much at all. The audiences – mainly German-speaking, but with a significant British contingent – keep coming back. He can attract more or less any musical luminary in the world. He has no subsidy, the sums add up. Schubert sells.

Contemporary music? It's not really to the audience's taste, he explains patiently: that's not why they come. Is there anyone he hasn't been able to draw to Schwarzenberg, or its twin centre in Hohenems? He silently searches his mental Rolodex for any large musical fish he's failed to land. Eventually one word: "Pollini."

Who needs Pollini. Also, good on the Schubertiade for sticking with Schubert and with tradition. I did read elsewhere in the story that "anything goes" as far as the music, other than contemporary, I like to think. They have Britten and Ives. Nothing against them but I say stick with Schubert. It is the Schubertiade. Everyone is always trying to get you to change things, you know?

You are not going to do better than a song like this tiny exquisite gem.

Rusbridger should not have brought his wife to the Schubertiade. All she wants to do is make him go on hikes. It is interesting though what he writes, that the Schubertiade has a lot of British fans. It is mostly German and British.

I also like the observation:

"Schubert sells!"

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