Schubert and a fishy tale

The one that didn’t get away. Continue reading Schubert and a fishy tale

Schubert’s black-winged demon of sorrow

In 1827 Franz Schubert held a candle during Beethoven’s funeral. Distressed by the death of the composer he revered above all others, Schubert’s thoughts turned to his own poor health and growing sense of mortality. He died the following year in a cold, dark Vienna garret, but not before completing one last masterpiece. Continue reading Schubert’s black-winged demon of sorrow

Desert Island Discs (2) – Beethoven and Schubert

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 29 in B flat major, Op. 106, known as the “Hammerklavier”, is widely considered to be one of the most important works of the piano repertoire. Continue reading Desert Island Discs (2) – Beethoven and Schubert

“Music, when soft voices die…”

When Franz Schubert died in 1828, his brother Ferdinand consigned his manuscripts to a cupboard, where they gathered dust. On a visit in 1839 the composer Robert Schumann unearthed the “Great” C major symphony, subsequently given its first performance by Mendelssohn. Little did they know there was much more to be discovered. Continue reading “Music, when soft voices die…”

Musical cost benefit analysis

Jokes (?) about conductors are two-a-penny and usually scurrilous, closely followed by jokes about singers (sopranos and tenors top the list) and orchestral musicians (viola players are wantonly insulted). Continue reading Musical cost benefit analysis