Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Episodes

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Broadcast
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Composing For Money2018010920181211 (R3)

"

This week of programmes about Franz Schubert focuses on five years through his short life, and features one of his string quartets every day.

In 1816, a year in which he made his first money from composing, 19-year-old Schubert was locked in a room and forced to compose by his 'friends', friends who went on to encourage him to leave his teaching work and devote himself to music.

We hear one of the songs he gifted to his first love (sadly not resulting in the marriage he longed for), part of an early setting of the Mass, settings of poems by Goethe, and his eleventh String Quartet.

Six Écossaises for piano, D 421
Michael Endres, piano

String Quartet No. 11 in E major, D 353
Melos Quartet

Litanei, D 343
Dorothee Jansen, soprano, Francis Grier, piano

Mass No 4 C major, D452 Op 48 (mvt 1. Kyrie. Andante con moto & mvt 2. Gloria. Allegro vivace)
Thomas Puchegger, soprano
Belà Fischer, alto
Jörg Hering, tenor
Harry van der Kamp, bass
Wiener Sangerknaben
Chorus Viennesis
Arno Hartmann, organ
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Bruno Weil, conductor

Jägers Abendlied, D 368
Christoph Prégardien, tenor
Andreas Staier, piano

Der König in Thule, D 367
Christoph Prégardien, tenor,
Andreas Staier, harpsichord

An Schwager Kronos, D 369
Christoph Prégardien, tenor, Andreas Staier, piano

Producer: Amy Wheel for BBC Wales

Donald Macleod explores the year 1816, when Schubert was 19.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music."

Friends And Unfinished Business2018011020181212 (R3)

"

This week of programmes about Franz Schubert focuses on five years through his short life, and features one of his string quartets every day.

Today the focus is on the year 1820, when Schubert was aged 23. Donald Macleod looks into Schubert's friendships, people who rallied round helping him out, including paying his rent whilst he worked on establishing himself as a freelance composer. However, some of his friends cheerfully began calling him "The Tyrant" due to Schubert's tendency to occasionally respond to these kindnesses harshly; they began to see a different side to his nature.

Music featured includes an extract from two unfinished works, his oratorio Lazarus and the Quartet Movement in C minor. Plus we hear one of the best loved of all Schubert's Goethe settings, Erlkönig,which was first performed in this year, and the glorious Song of the Spirits Over the Waters.

Erlkönig, D 328
Jessye Norman, soprano, Phillip Moll, piano

Lazarus (Act II - end at chorus)
Martin Egel, baritone (Simon)
Martyn Hill, tenor (Nathanael)
Choeurs de Radio France
Jacques Jouineau, chorus master
Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Theodor Guschlbauer, conductor

String Quartet No. 12 in C minor, D 703 (Quartettsatz)
Doric Quartet

Psalm 23, D 706
Det Norske Solistkor
Grete Pedersen, conductor
Ingrid Andsnes, piano

Gesang der Geister über den Wassern, D 714
Det Norske Solistkor
Grete Pedersen, conductor
Catherine Bullock and Madelene Berg, viola,
Øystein Birkeland and Ole Eirik Ree, cello
Dan Styffe, double bass

Producer: Amy Wheel for BBC Wales

Donald Macleod looks into Schubert's friendships and focuses on the year 1820.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music."

Joyless And Friendless2018011120181213 (R3)

"

This week of programmes about Franz Schubert focuses on five years through his short life, and features one of his string quartets every day.

In this programme, Donald Macleod takes a look at Schubert's life in the year 1824. Aged 27, Schubert was suffering from symptoms of syphilis, as well as episodes of despair and depression. We hear how his father encouraged him to persevere through his suffering, and Schubert was able to take the sorrow and melancholy he was feeling through into his music.

That music in this programme includes Schubert's Rosamunde String Quartet, some of his "Grand Duo" Sonata for piano four hands, and - proof of his composition speed - his setting of Gebet for vocal quartet, commissioned in the morning and performed in the evening of the very same day.

Sonata for Piano Four Hands, D812 (Grand Duo) (mvt 3. Scherzo and Trio, Allegro vivace)
Peter Noke, piano
Helen Krizos, piano

String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, D 804, (Rosamunde)
Takacs Quartett

Gebet, D 815
Marlis Petersen, soprano
Anke Vondung, mezzo-soprano
Werner Güra, tenor
Konrad Jarnot, bass
Christoph Berner, fortepiano

Der Sieg, D 805
Matthias Goerne, baritone
Eric Schneider, piano

Producer: Amy Wheel for BBC Wales

Donald Macleod takes a look at Schubert's life in the year 1824.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music."

Penniless And Ill2018011220181214 (R3)

"

This week of programmes about Franz Schubert focuses on five years through his short life, and feature one of his string quartets every day.

In 1826, Schubert was only two years away from his untimely death at the age of 31. Three of his close friends married in this year, whilst he remained single. In this year Schubert was short of money, suffering manic-depression and syphilis, and smoking and drinking heavily. But we hear, in a passionate outburst, his declaration: "I am Schubert....who has written great things and beautiful things... and who is going to write still more beautiful things..."

This programme, presented by Donald Macleod, features Schubert's monumental final string quartet, plus his setting of Goethe's poignant "Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt" - "None but the Lonely Heart".

Kupelwieser Waltz
Bertrand Chamayou, piano

String Quartet No. 15 in G major, D 887
Cuarteto Casals

Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt, D877/3
Dorothea Roschmann, soprano
Malcolm Martineau, piano

Producer: Amy Wheel for BBC Wales

Donald Macleod focuses on Schubert's life in 1826 and we hear his monumental final quartet

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music."

01Schubert's circle20190902

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Franz Schubert. Today, it’s a case of wine, men (Schubert’s circle was predominantly male) and song, as we spend some quality time with the composer’s friends.

It’s hard to think of a composer more gregarious than Schubert, and further removed from the image of the reclusive genius, closeted away in his artistic ivory tower, creating peerless masterpieces in splendid isolation. From his days at Vienna’s Stadtkonvikt, the Imperial Catholic boarding school that offered the best general and musical education in the Austrian capital, Schubert developed a wide and supportive network of highly cultured friends, with whom he explored art, politics, religion, literature, and, of course, music; frequented the odd tavern or three; and attended convivial social gatherings in the homes of well-heeled admirers, from which developed the tradition of the ‘Schubertiad’ – informal get-togethers devoted to the performance of Schubert’s music, and above all, his songs. Among Schubert’s bosom buddies were the brilliant, handsome, monied, silver-tongued yet ultimately feckless Franz von Schober, whom the more serious-minded of Schubert’s friends saw as a distinctly malign influence on the impressionable young composer; Anselm Hüttenbrenner, who was gifted the manuscript of the ‘Unfinished’ Symphony and, inexplicably, kept it in a drawer for more than four decades before allowing a public performance, in return for the performance of one of his own overtures; and the artist Moritz von Schwind, whose sepia drawing of a Schubertiad, made from memory more than 40 years after the event, captures an idealised and intensely nostalgic recollection of an intimate evening of Schubert’s music with the composer himself at the piano, “rather in the nature of an old gentleman chattering about events at which he was present in his youth and to which he still remains attached in his heart”.

‘An die Musik’, D547
Christa Ludwig, mezzo soprano
Geoffrey Parsons, piano

‘Suleika I’ D720
Carolyn Sampson, soprano
Joseph Middleton, piano

‘Geheimes’, D719
Ian Partridge, tenor
Jennifer Partridge, piano

Symphony No 8 in B minor (‘Unfinished’), D759 (1st mvt, Allegro moderato)
Vienna Philharmonic
Carlos Kleiber, conductor

‘Über Wildemann’, D884
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone
Gerald Moore, piano

‘Sehnsucht’, D879
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone
Gerald Moore, piano

‘Das Zügenglöcklein’, D871
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone
Gerald Moore, piano

Gesang (‘An Sylvia’), D891
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone
Gerald Moore, piano

String Quartet in D minor, D 810 (‘Death and the Maiden’) (4th mvt, Presto—Prestissimo)
Hungarian Quartet

Produced by Chris Barstow

Schubert's life and music. Today, we spend some quality time with the composer's friends.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

02Schubert's public20190903

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Franz Schubert. Today, we take a trip round Vienna, from the ‘Roman Emperor’ to the ‘Red Hedgehog’, in search of Schubert’s audience.

During his lifetime, Schubert was well-known, in his home-town of Vienna at least, as a composer of Lieder, but it’s often implied in the Schubert literature that outside of the ‘Schubertiads’ – the select salon-style gatherings at which his songs were the main attraction – Viennese music-lovers had little or no chance of hearing his work. In support of this contention, it’s regularly pointed out that in all his years as a composer, there was only one event entirely devoted to Schubert’s music: the grand ‘benefit’ concert held in the rooms of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde on the first anniversary of Beethoven’s death, 26 March 1828. But while it’s true that much of Schubert’s output remained unknown and unperformed for decades after his passing, there were plenty of opportunities while he was still alive for the Viennese public to hear his music. The first six of Schubert’s eight symphonies, for instance, were all given at least one public airing in his lifetime, albeit in salons rather than the concert-hall, and by the time of his death at the age of 31, performances of his chamber music were starting to become more frequent. He even managed to get one of his singspiels staged, and it’s interesting to speculate that had he lived longer, he might well have been a major contributor to the field of 19th-century opera.

Mass in F, D105 (Sanctus)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor

Overture in D, D590 (‘In the Italian style’)
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor

Der Zwillingsbrüder, D647 (No 3, Aria, ‘Der Vater mag wohl immer Kind mich nennen’)
Helen Donath, soprano (Lieschen)
Orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera
Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor

String Quartet in A minor, D804 (‘Rosamunde’) (1st mvt, Allegro ma non troppo)
Lindsay Quartet

Psalm 92, D953
Annemei Blessing-Leyhause, soprano
Esther Vis, alto
Patrick Siegrist, tenor
Michael Albert, Ekkehard Abele, bass
Deutscher Kammerchor
Michael Alber

Piano Trio in E flat, D929 (Op 100) (2nd mvt, Andante con moto)
Andreas Staier, fortepiano
Daniel Sepec, violin
Roel Dieltiens, cello

Produced by Chris Barstow.

Schubert\u2019s life and music. Today, a trip around Vienna in search of Schubert's audience.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

03Miracle year20190904

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Franz Schubert. Today, a whistle-stop tour of the jaw-droppingly productive year that’s been called Schubert’s annus mirabilis, 1815.

There were times in Schubert’s brief life when music just seemed to pour out of him. One such was his final year, 1828, during which he wrote, among other things, his E flat major Mass, his F minor Fantaisie for piano duet, the thirteen songs that make up the Schwanengesang collection, the last three piano sonatas and the C major String Quintet, not to mention the completion of his ‘Great’ C major Symphony. But the white-hot heat of his creativity during the year 1815 is perhaps even more remarkable – particularly in view of the fact that he was holding down a day-job at the time, as a teaching assistant in his father’s school. Nonetheless, in his spare time he managed to produce a cantata, a string quartet, one symphony from scratch and the completion of another, pairs of masses and offertories, three movements apiece of two unfinished piano sonatas, four stage works, a couple of dozen part-songs, and something in the region of a hundred and forty solo songs – and that’s not a complete listing. Most of the manuscripts are dated, so we can follow Schubert’s compositional progress through this incredible year pretty much from day to day.

‘Erlkönig’, D328
Bryn Terfel, baritone
Malcolm Martineau, piano

Piano Sonata in E, D157 (1st mvt, Allegro ma non troppo)
Wilhelm Kempff, piano

Mass in G, D167 (Agnus Dei)
Barbara Bonney, soprano
Andreas Schmidt, bass
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
Katrine Bryndorf, organ
Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Claudio Abbado, conductor

String Quartet in G minor, D173 (2nd mvt, Andantino)
Amadeus Quartet

Der vierjährige Posten, D190 (No 5, ‘Gott! Gott! Höre meine Stimme’)
Helen Donath, soprano (Käthchen)
Munich Radio Orchestra
Heinz Wallberg, conductor

Symphony No 3 in D, D200 (4th mvt, Presto. Vivace)
Orchestra of the 18th Century
Frans Brüggen, conductor

‘Heidenröslein’, D257
Barbara Bonney, soprano
Geoffrey Parsons, piano

‘Gebet während der Schlacht’, D171
Florian Boesch, baritone
Burkhard Kehring, piano

‘An die Nachtigall’, D196
Christian Gerhaher, baritone
Gerold Huber, piano

‘Die Mondnacht’, D238
Sarah Walker, mezzo soprano
Graham Johnson, piano

‘Das Rosenband’, D280
Hans Peter Blochwitz, tenor
Rudolf Jansen, piano

Produced by Chris Barstow

Schubert\u2019s life and music. Today, a whistle-stop tour of his annus mirabilis, 1815.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

04After Beethoven20190905

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Franz Schubert. Today, how Schubert faced the challenge of following in the footsteps of Beethoven.

Schubert and Beethoven died within 20 months of each other, but Schubert was a whole generation younger. By the year of Schubert’s birth, 1797, Beethoven had already taken Vienna by storm as the most exciting pianist around, and had begun to make his mark as a composer. By the time Schubert hit his stride as a composer, Beethoven was already a living legend. “Who can do anything after Beethoven?”, the teenage Schubert is said to have said. He spent the rest of his short life demonstrating that he was the answer to that question.

Beethoven
‘Der Zufriedene’, Op 75 No 6
Nicolai Gedda, tenor
Jan Eyron, piano

Schubert
‘Der Zufriedene’, D320
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone
Gerald Moore, piano

Symphony No 4 in C minor (‘Tragic’), D417 (1st mvt, Adagio molto—Allegro vivace)
Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Roger Norrington conductor

String Quartet in A minor, D804 (‘Rosamunde’) (2nd mvt, Andante)
Juilliard Quartet

‘Abschied’, D957 No 7
Werner Güra, tenor
Christoph Berner, piano

‘Der Atlas’, D 957 No 8
Werner Güra, tenor
Christoph Berner, piano

Octet in F for clarinet, horn, bassoon, string quartet and double bass, D803 (2nd mvt, Adagio)
Vienna Octet

‘Auf dem Strom’, D943
Michael Schade, tenor
David Pyatt, horn
Graham Johnson, piano

Produced by Chris Barstow

Schubert\u2019s life and music. Today, it\u2019s not easy following in the footsteps of Beethoven.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

05Posterity20190906

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Franz Schubert. Today, the posthumous discovery of much of Schubert’s music, including many of his greatest works.

Otto Deutsch’s comprehensive catalogue of Schubert’s music records nearly 1,000 works, of which only around 200 (two-thirds of them songs) were published during the composer’s lifetime. So on Schubert’s death in November 1828, most of his output existed only in manuscript – the upshot being that for the moment, most of it remained unknown. Franz Liszt was an early promoter of Schubert’s music, creating a huge library of song-transcriptions and performing them in his concert tours around Europe and beyond. Schumann played an important role too, rediscovering the score of Schubert’s ‘Great’ C major Symphony in 1837 and prevailing on Mendelssohn to perform it with his Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Schubert’s C major String Quintet, widely regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces in the entire repertory of chamber music, languished in obscurity for another decade and more, when it was rescued for posterity by the violinist Joseph Hellmesberger, who led the first performance in 1850. The ‘Unfinished’ Symphony had to wait a further 15 years for its première, and even then, Schubert’s first biographer, Heinrich Kreissle von Hellborn, was still able to write of “vocal works of all kinds: cantatas; overtures; orchestral, opera and church music – of which until now, not a single note has ever been heard”. It was only with the publication of the final volume in Breitkopf and Härtel’s complete critical edition of Schubert’s works in 1897 – just in time for the centenary of the composer’s birth – that the full scope of his achievement was finally recognized.

Liszt, after Schubert
Die Rose – Lied von Franz Schubert, S556/1
Leslie Howard, piano

Symphony in C, D 944 (1st mvt, Andante – Allegro ma non troppo)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Charles Mackerras, conductor

Piano Sonata in A, D959 (2nd mvt, Andantino)
Krystian Zimerman, piano

String Quintet in C, D 956 (2nd mvt, Adagio)
Belcea Quartet
Valentin Erben, 2nd cello

Ständchen, D920
Sarah Walker, mezzo soprano
Alan Armstrong, Jason Balla, Mark Hammond, Philip Lawford, Arthur Linley, Richard Edgar-Wilson, tenor
David Barnard, David Beezer, Duncan Perkins, James Pitman, Christopher Vigar, bass
Graham Johnson, piano

Produced by Chris Barstow

Schubert\u2019s life and music. Today, the posthumous discovery of much of Schubert\u2019s music.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201801Schooldays2018010820181210 (R3)

"

This week of programmes about Franz Schubert focuses on five years through his short life, and features one of his string quartets every day.

At the age of only 16 the shy, bespectacled Schubert was at school. Yet he was not concentrating on his main studies, being far too distracted by music, much to the disappointment of his father. Today's programme focuses on the year 1813 in Schubert's life, and we hear his String Quartet No.10, D87. Other music includes settings of songs by Schiller and Körner, an opera aria, and movements from his first symphony. Plus we learn about Schubert's sudden rage over his singing rather loudly in a tavern. Presented by Donald Macleod.

Des Teufels Lustschloss, D 84 (Act 1 No. 2 Was kümmert mich ein sumpfig Land)
Oliver Widmer, baritone (Robert)
Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
Jan Schultsz, conductor

String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat major, D 87
Cuarteto Casals

Zur Namensfeier meines Vaters, D 80
Leonardo de Lisi, tenor
Alberto Mazzocco, tenor
Marco Perrella, bass
Adriano Sebastiani, guitar

Symphony No 1 (mvt 3 Menuetto, Allegretto & mvt 4 Allegro vivace)
Berliner Philharmoniker
Karl Bohm, conductor

Gebet während der Schlacht, D 171
Florian Boesch, baritone,
Burkhard Kehring, piano

Sehnsucht, D 52
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone
Gerald Moore, piano

Producer: Amy Wheel for BBC Wales

Donald Macleod focuses on the year 1813 when Schubert was just 16.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music."

201802Composing For Money20180109
201803Friends And Unfinished Business2018011020181212 (R3)

This week of programmes about Franz Schubert focuses on five years through his short life, and features one of his string quartets every day.

Today the focus is on the year 1820, when Schubert was aged 23. Donald Macleod looks into Schubert's friendships, people who rallied round helping him out, including paying his rent whilst he worked on establishing himself as a freelance composer. However, some of his friends cheerfully began calling him "The Tyrant" due to Schubert's tendency to occasionally respond to these kindnesses harshly; they began to see a different side to his nature.

Music featured includes an extract from two unfinished works, his oratorio Lazarus and the Quartet Movement in C minor. Plus we hear one of the best loved of all Schubert's Goethe settings, Erlkönig,which was first performed in this year, and the glorious Song of the Spirits Over the Waters.

Erlkönig, D 328
Jessye Norman, soprano, Phillip Moll, piano

Lazarus (Act II - end at chorus)
Martin Egel, baritone (Simon)
Martyn Hill, tenor (Nathanael)
Choeurs de Radio France
Jacques Jouineau, chorus master
Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Theodor Guschlbauer, conductor

String Quartet No. 12 in C minor, D 703 (Quartettsatz)
Doric Quartet

Psalm 23, D 706
Det Norske Solistkor
Grete Pedersen, conductor
Ingrid Andsnes, piano

Gesang der Geister über den Wassern, D 714
Det Norske Solistkor
Grete Pedersen, conductor
Catherine Bullock and Madelene Berg, viola,
Øystein Birkeland and Ole Eirik Ree, cello
Dan Styffe, double bass

Producer: Amy Wheel for BBC Wales

Donald Macleod looks into Schubert's friendships and focuses on the year 1820.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201804Joyless And Friendless20180111
201805 LASTPenniless And Ill20180112