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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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Is There a Late Style in Schubert’s Oeuvre?

Is There a Late Style in Schubert’s Oeuvre?

(p.17) 1 Is There a Late Style in Schubert’s Oeuvre?
Rethinking Schubert

Hans-Joachim Hinrichsen

Oxford University Press

Franz Schubert died young, and therefore for him the witticism that all of his are ‘early works’ is an appropriate one. Still, can one really subject Schubert’s last works to the aesthetic discussion of late style? The last works of mature composers such as Bach, Haydn, Beethoven or Schoenberg evince a definable late style solely on chronological grounds, and whether that can be transferred to Schubert is uncertain. Nonetheless there is in Schubert’s work around 1824 a leap in quality, which has led to those features in style which, in the course of music history, have had a growing influence on composers, interpreters and recipients. They will be pursued in depth in the proposed essay, because more important than the question of the adequate naming of this formative style is the recognition that the instrumental and vocal works composed from 1824 onwards represent a turning point which, alongside Beethoven’s late style, belongs to the most historically powerful, compositionally paradigmatic changes of the nineteenth century.

Keywords:   aesthetic discussion of late style, Beethoven’s late style, Schubert’s music, 1824–8, Instrumental and vocal works, Influence of Schubert’s style

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