A young composer always on the edge

Fractures. © Charles Thibo

Impatience. That’s most likely one of my most characteristic traits. Impatience is one of the traits of Franz Schubert’s String Quartet in B flat major (D.112, Op. posth. 168). Perhaps that is why like it so much. Interestingly I become rather relaxed when I listen to it, just as if Schubert’s impatience is neutralizing my own impatience.

Continue reading!

Beautiful world, where are you?

Reflections. © Charles Thibo

This quartet feels like a good-bye, and I would like to dedicate the post to a certain priest that played a substantial part in the posts of my fellow blogger readonmydear. He has left Ireland and moved on to Italy to do his duty and we, readonmydear’s readers, will miss him. String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, D.804, was written by Franz Schubert in early 1824 for two violins, viola and cello. It is the only quartet performed in public during Schubert’s lifetime; the premiere, executed by the quartet led by the violinist and conductor Ignaz Schuppanzigh, took place in March 1824. I heard it yesterday performed by the Julia Fischer Quartett at the Philharmonie de Luxembourg. A recording by the Taneyev Quartet is available at your music store.

Continue reading!

Passion or folly?

No way out. © Charles Thibo

Franz Schubert’s personal tragedy becomes palpable from the first bars on. The Romantic melancholy does not creep slowly under you skin, no, it hits you like a hammer. Schubert’s inner tension, his disarray – in his letters he is quite straightforward about it – and his String Quartet No. 15 in G minor (D.887) is no less straightforward. It is a brutal piece, just like its predecessor, the quartet “Death and the Maiden.” It is a marvelous piece, just like its predecessor, the quartet “Death and the Maiden.” It is one of my favourites.

Continue reading!

Schubert’s natural devotion to God

A musician’s credo. © Charles Thibo

Did Franz Schubert believe in God? Most likely. Did he believe in the supremacy of the Catholic church? Most likely not. He wrote six masses and each time he would jump certain parts of the traditional liturgy and omit the Latin words “et unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam ecclesiam”, a central part of the creed stating that the prayer believes “in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church”. It underlines the Catholic claim that it represents the true church as opposed to the followers of Martin Luther. Schubert would not take any sides, but neither would he rally to the Vatican’s pretension.

Continue reading!