Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Franz Schubert's birthday.

Someone with a particularly refined aesthetic sensibility once claimed that "music ended with Schubert." Franz Schubert (1797-1838) is reckoned an early romantic, but to me his music seems to partake more of the classical elegance that characterized Mozart (like him, Schubert died in his 30s) than of the romantic sturm und drang of Beethoven and his successors. I love both Schubert's classicism and Beethoven's romanticism.

The video above is of the fourth movement of one of my favorite Schubert compositions, the "Trout Quintet," performed by Julian Rachlin, Mischa Maisky, Mihaela Ursuleasa, Nobuko Imai, and Stacey Watton 

Now, for something very different, here's Johanna Beisteiner playing his "Serenade" on guitar.

No collection of Schubert's music would be complete without a sample of his lieder (songs). Here's one, Am Fenster, by two late and great musicians, the German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and the Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter.