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Franz Schubert

Saturday, September 24, 2016


My Classical Notes

September 11

September 23: Exciting concert in Vienna

My Classical NotesI sure wish that I could transport myself to listen to this concert: Venue: Large Hall of the Friends of Music, Vienna, Austria Date: Friday, 23. September 2016 19:30 ARTISTS: Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) Zubin Mehta, conductor PROGRAM: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Overture to the opera “Don Giovanni“, KV 527 Claude Debussy Three scenes for orchestra, “La Mer” ——– Break ———- Franz Schubert Symphonie Nr. 8 C-Dur, D 944 Here is the overture to Don Giovanni:

Classical iconoclast

Today

Manic Depressive Schubert ? Der Musensohn

Manic depressive Schubert ?  Der Musensohn D764 op 92/1, a case in point.  Listen to the pounding piano, Schubert's own instrument, through which he "spoke" without words.  Note the frantic, driven pace, the repetitive figures, tearing along as if driven by some unnatural, manic force.  Such rhythms occur frequently in Schubert. Babbling brooks, for example,  and merry strophic verses. But as any thoughtful reading of Die schöne Müllerin would suggest that the babbling is anything but cheerful.  Whether that brook is a malevolent force or simply a mirror through which the poet works out his  turbulent  emotions, the brook symbolizes something more complex than bucolic landscape. "Durch Feld und Wald zu schweifen, Mein Liedchen wegzupfeifen,", through fields and woods, I canter, piping my little song". Cantering, one foot lifted up the other on the ground, like a prancing horse. Though the muses's son doesn't stand still, his movements are controlled and purposeful, like the rhythm of dance. That's why "Und nach dem Takte reget, Und nach dem Maß beweget Sich alles an mir fort."  The idea of dance is, I think, critical, since the Muses were often depicted dancing together. ll the arts, united in communal expression.  Thus the pace of this song : fast, and sprightly, but not undisciplined or the dance will collapse into chaos. Although the tempo is fast, it evokes a steady pulse, the very pulse of life that reinvigorates Man and revives Nature after a hard winter. Lovers are lolling under Linden trees (symbols of sleep and enchantment) but when the Nuse's son passes by, presumably invisible, "Der stumpfe Bursche bläht sich, Das steife Mädchen dreht sich Nach meiner Melodie". Note "stumpfe Bursche", a kind of bucolic oaf who acts by instinct.  The Muses's sdon is driven, his feet have wings. The piano evokes delightful diversions, but always returns to the basic, forceful mission. But is the Muses's son happy ? The punchline "Den Liebling weit von Haus". He is the favourite son, but driven far from home.   Goethe knew Greek mythology well enough that the sons of the Muses didn't have happy fates.  It may or may not be relevant that this song was written in December 1822, when Schubert may well have become  aware that his health could not be taken for granted. "Ihr lieben, holden Musen,Wann ruh ich ihr am Busen Auch endlich wieder aus?"  You dear, sweet Muses, when can I at last find rest in your embrace?  The dilemma of parental love : kids have got to grow up and find their way.  Some performances of Der Musensohn are  so swift that that the piano seems in frenzy, driving the singer almost breathless  Manic, perhaps, but better that than anything too stolid, which misses the element of whirlwind dance.  Today a friend sent me an old favourite, where the bright, fleet footed energy is balanced by Classical elegance. but does not disguise the existential sadness of the Musensohn's predicament.






Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

September 10

BBC Proms audience dips again

The BBC have just released audience figures for this summer’s Proms, which end tonight. Average attendance for the main evening Proms in the Royal Albert Hall this year was 88% with 45 of 75 concerts in the Royal Albert Hall selling out. That’s not bad, but not good, either. Between 2009 and 2013, uptake was consistently above 90 percent, peaking at a record 95%. In 2014, a penny-pinch year after Wagner-Verdi-Britten extravagances, it fell back to 88% . The Proms director Roger Wright left shortly before the season began. Last year, under interim management, audiences rose marginally to 89%. Now, with David Pickard installed as boss, the uptake has settled again at 88%. In another setback, fewer first-timers bought tickets than in 2015. The heavily spun BBC press release follows its presenter-driven promo picture. Tonight the BBC Proms concludes with the world famous Last Night of the Proms led by conductor Sakari Oramo and starring Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez. Once again more than 300,000 people attended the Proms demonstrating that classical music is in rude health. The fantastically rich display of world class music making this summer has included some standout moments from Daniel Barenboim and Martha Argerich performing Schubert’s Rondo in A major together as an encore; Quincy Jones conducting the finale of a Prom celebrating his life and work, and the Ten Pieces II Proms which brought the innovative BBC project bringing classical music to school children to life. From Bernard Haitink marking his 50th anniversary conducting at the Proms by leading Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the London Symphony Orchestra, Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla making her Proms debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim and Christian Thielemann bringing a trio of world class German orchestras in the final week, the orchestral offering has been truly outstanding. For the first time in 2016 an innovative new series Proms At… went to four new corners of London: the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe in Southwark, The Chapel, Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, the Roundhouse in Camden and the Bold Tendencies Multi-Storey Car Park in Peckham – the first Prom to take place in a car park! Average attendance for the main evening Proms in the Royal Albert Hall this year was 88% with 45 of 75 concerts in the Royal Albert Hall selling out. More than 35,500 people bought tickets for the first time. Over 10,000 under 18s attended concerts across the season. A record 57,000 tickets sold in the first hour of booking. David Pickard, Director, BBC Proms 2016, says: “It has been a thrill to be part of this extraordinary festival for the first time and I’m delighted that the 2016 BBC Proms has once again seen audiences embracing the huge breadth of music on offer throughout the eight weeks of the festival, from the Royal Albert Hall to a car park in Peckham. I am delighted that thanks to the ongoing commitment of the BBC, the Proms remains true to Sir Henry Wood’s founding vision to bring the best music to the largest possible audiences”

Franz Schubert
(1797 – 1828)

Franz Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. Appreciation of his music during his lifetime was limited, but interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death at the age of 31. Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn, among others, discovered and championed his works in the 19th Century. Today, Schubert is admired as one of the leading exponents of the early Romantic era in music and he remains one of the most frequently performed composers.



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