27.6.2011 - Schubert
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
1/5. The challenges Schubert faced as he tried to carve a career for himself.
2/5. Some of Schubert's closest and most influential friends.
3/5. A selection of Schubert's songs, part-songs and chamber music.
4/5. Two works written after a dramatic change in Schubert's health.
5/5. Music from Schubert's final years.
I think I have nearly everything that Schubert wrote, including most of his songs. The one outstanding blank spot is the part songs. I don't know much about them. I have only ever heard one or two on the radio and I liked them, but I never could decide what CD to buy. I imagine them to be the sort of thing which is close to my heart - a soiree in Schubert's drawing room with friends around the piano - not that there are many Schubert evenings in my house, you understand! But, one can dream. If there were a CD which captures that ambience I think that is what I am looking for. Any sympathisers there?
Originally Posted by french frank
This is one CoW I'll be looking forward to.
Patrick: Schubert's works that conventionally get marshalled in the part-song category include at least one great masterpiece, where 'great' means large in size and forces as well as splendid in quality. I refer to the Gesang der Geister uber den Wassern D714, a Goethe setting for 8 male voices, 2 violas, 2 cellos and double bass that for me is one of Schubert's very greatest works. It's a piece that needs something a bit bigger than a domestic acoustic IMHO. I have it on this CD http://www.amazon.co.uk/Choruses-Aus...953359&sr=1-12 as well as in the big Sawallisch EMI box set on LP.
Originally Posted by PatrickOD
There are several other part-songs to die for (Der Gondelfahrer D804, Standchen D920, 23rd psalm D706, Nachthelle D892 come quickly to mind), but I don't often feel the need for many of the others.
A pity that this week we are not informed which works will be broadcast.
(Not only re CotW Schubert, but also for 4 Afternoons on 3 btw).
Roehre, the playlist details for the CotW Schubert are in the Radio Times, and you can see them online on the RT website here for example. I think the details for the Ao3 programmes are also there if you scroll along.
Originally Posted by LeMartinPecheur
Thank you for your considered reply.
On looking through my often carelessly catalogued tape collection, I found D714 and D920 for sure, and some others, lurking among the songs which I recorded as I heard them over a period of years. (Where did I get the time?) I suspect that my tape-scurrying days are over, so I was delighted to note your CD recommendation, and your high opinion of D714 among others. It seems my rose-tinted view of Schubert's drawing room was a bit fanciful.
I see that D714 and Psalm 23 will be featured in Wednesday's programme. (Thanks, aeolium, for the Radio Times tip off).I look forward to that, even if your recommended CD has not arrived by then.
I feel a good week coming on.
Patrick - I have sung a few of the part-songs and would agree with LMP's summary of the highlights (perhaps adding An die Sonne D439, Sehnsucht D656 and Nachtgesang im Walde D913 - the latter featuring four horns), but though the rest aren't "essential" most are pleasant to listen to. CDs I have enjoyed include Monteverdi Choir on Philips (which includes all of these in sprightly, sometimes rather over-driven performances) and BBC Singers on Collins (all except An Die Sonne, more relaxed, slightly better solo singing and with a surprisingly lovely D706). The Arnold Schoenberg Choir have recorded all of the part-songs in a 7 CD box - perhaps too much of a good thing () but the highlights CD features most of the well-known pieces and is well sung. There is also a rather good series (I think 5 CDs) of the male voice songs by Der Singphoniker on CPO.
Like the solo songs, but on a lesser scale of course, the part-songs are a treasure trove with a few masterpieces, many solid gems and few duds - well worth exploring IMV.
Many thanks Rolmill. You have given me another few to look out for - I find that I also have D913. The trouble is I have no German, but the 4 horns rang a bell (!) and Night Song of the Forest appeared in my notes.
Originally Posted by Rolmill
I value your opinion as someone who has sung some of these songs, and your encouraging concluding summary fits in very well with my own expectation about the part songs.