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Rethinking Schubert$
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Lorraine Byrne Bodley and Julian Horton

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190200107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190200107.001.0001

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Schubert, Social Music and Melancholy

Schubert, Social Music and Melancholy

(p.237) 12 Schubert, Social Music and Melancholy
Rethinking Schubert

Leon Plantinga

Oxford University Press

If we have inherited unlike competing visions of post-Congress Vienna, the same seems to be true of her native son Schubert. There is the guileless composer of lilting songs and ingenuous instrumental music whose rhythms and textures echoed the sounds of Old Vienna and, more recently, a man who suffered from a venereal disease. The actual Schubert clearly embodied something of each of these visions. His music constantly echoes the sounds heard in Vienna’s taverns and ballrooms, and his later works plumbed new depths of tragedy and despair. In some of Schubert’s most impressive late music these two themes are mingled, such that dances take on the aura of tragedy. Examples from Schubert’s last year are the first movement of the Fantasy in F minor and the slow movements of the final two Piano Sonatas, D 959 and 960, both of the deutsche/Ländler type.

Keywords:   Schubert’s Heine songs, E ♭ Piano Trio, String Quintet in C, Männerchor, deutsche, Ländler, ecossaises

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