The String Quintet in C, D.956 is surely one of the finest of Schubert’s works. The drama and lyricism of the first movement; the mystic, sublime calm surrounding a perfect emotional storm that is the slow movement; the celebration of the scherzo with the mystery of the trio; and, finally, a dance that reminds us […]
or, to move it into a more easily readable range: This is what happens near the opening of the Schubert B-flat Sonata D. 960; firstly, the opening melody – beautiful, serene – comes to rest on a chord of F when suddenly, from the bottom left hand of the keyboard, comes a long grumbling growl (see […]
Apart from it being a rather useful (trite but it works?) internal rhyme, Cole Porter wasn’t exactly wrong about the deep emotional effect of the juxtaposition of majors and minors; it’s just that it’s a bit more complicated than that. Have a listen… recognise them? The simple act of flattening one note in a chord, like […]
Schubert’s Octet dates from 1824, it was commissioned by the clarinettist Ferdinand Troyer as – so the story goes – a companion work to Beethoven’s (then) extremely popular Septet (still is!). Apart from adding a second violin to make the numbers up to eight, Schubert seems to have used the Beethoven piece as the template for his […]
The last five years of Schubert’s life. Just five years? Doesn’t seem that long, does it? But, in a life span of a mere thirty-one — once you take away ten or so years for childhood — those five years come to represent a quarter of the composer’s mature life and, in terms of composition, the […]
w Our logo/featured image for this term – based on an early Augener edition of Mendelssohn’s 42 Songs Without Words for piano – comes to us courtesy of the artistic skills of Bill Bytheway. Thanks Bill!
By all accounts Mendelssohn found the writing of concertos difficult. His main problem, it seems, was finding a balance between the – almost inevitable – virtuoso, show off/exhibitionist element of the concerto and the serious/profound music that he felt he should write. Despite –or maybe because of – the difficulty in reconciling these opposites(?), the composer […]