1777 SIMPLY SCHUBERT
Dr Barry Smith, musicologist and organist
The short life of Franz Schubert (1797–1828) left a legacy of music which has ensured his immortality. Within the range and variety of his works it is probably his ability to reflect deep sorrow, overwhelming joy and light-hearted serenity that so powerfully moves his listeners.
The two works featured in this lecture-performance perfectly exemplify this gift. ‘The Shepherd on the Rock’ (Der Hirt auf dem Felsen), possibly Schubert’s last song, ranges from mild sadness through melancholy to exuberance. It is not a typical lied, being multi-sectional like a cantata and with interwoven clarinet and piano accompaniment. Schubert wrote it for the operatic soprano Anna Milder-Hauptmann, to illustrate her power to convey different emotions.
The second work to be performed will be the Octet in F major for strings and wind instruments, the six movements of which lead us through experiences that touch the heart, This most unusual of Schubert’s chamber works, composed in 1824, was commissioned by Ferdinand Troyer, the most famous clarinettist of his day, who wanted a piece similar to Beethoven’s popular Septet, and epitomises Schubert’s mastery of melody and counterpoint.
The well-known instrumentalists in this evening’s tribute to Schubert will include Peter and Suzanne Martens, Daniel Prozesky, and distinguished South African soprano Elsabe Richter.