It’s Schubert’s anniversary and here’s his birth-house in Vienna. Offering wall-to-wall Franz BBC Radio 3 ditched coyness and repeatedly insisted “he died of syphilis at 31”. Had it been typhoid the Trout might, presumably, have become the Mackerel.
For me Schubert is songs and chamber music. The orchestral stuff doesn’t cut it. My (our!) little nosegay has nothing obscure. Why bother since FS says it all in the song most people know: An die Musik (To music). Here’s a slightly over-charged translation:
Oh lovely Art, in how many grey hours,
When life's fierce orbit ensnared me,
Have you kindled my heart to warm love,
Carried me away into a better world!
How often has a sigh escaping from your harp,
A sweet, sacred chord of yours
Opened up for me the heaven of better times,
Oh lovely Art, for that I thank you!
But you get the idea. A permanent text for Tone Deaf’s sermons even though I also read books, dream about rock climbs I’ll never do and motorbikes I’ll never ride. Putting aside a Janet Baker version (Murray Perahia (!) at the joanna) how about a very early LUCIA POPP.
In the String Quintet in C major the additional instrument is another cello. The music is thus sombre but not solemn. The showboat pianist, Artur Rubinstein, didn’t say he wanted it played at his funeral but while he was dying. Reflect on that and listen (on Mrs LdP’s recommendation) to the ADAGIO by the Cleveland with Yo-Yo Ma.
The Trout seemed obvious but Mrs LdP, getting into her stride, said why not The Wanderer fantasy for piano, Schubert’s muscular equivalent of LvB’s Hammerklavier. Note: It can be wilder than this BRENDEL version (eg, by Pollini) and still work.
But let this be the humblest of springboards. There’s so much more.