SchubertBook - 1985
Of all the great composers, Franz Schubert, who lived a mere thirty-one years, from 1797 to 1828, was perhaps the most fondly regarded by his contemporaries. And now, more than a hundred years after his death, he still charms us as his music, especially his songs, transports us from deep and death-regarding despair to the sunniest of moods. Drawing on considerable new material from Viennese sources, George Marek describes in detail how Schubert lived and died, explains how his genius flourished even in so short a lifetime, and discusses what his music means to today's audiences. Nobody knows better than Marek how inseparable were Schubert and his native Vienna, and he evokes that most musical of cities from court to coffeehouse. Marek delineates the composer's gift for warm friendship, explores the mystery that all fifteen operas (by the man who wrote more than six hundred of the world's greatest songs) were stillborn, and depicts the famous evening "Schubertiads" that so enchanted Schubert's contemporaries. Along with affection, Schubert has induced a good deal of almost condescending legend: the lovable, roly-poly, penniless, myopic, absentminded little fellow scribbling inspired but largely unappreciated notes on the backs of envelopes in taprooms and coffeehouses and at the musicales of friends. How simplistic and how often wrong these myths are, and how much more complex and fascinating a man Schubert was, is poignantly set forth here. And Marek magically makes us feel Schubert's immortal music--from song to symphony, from quartet and sonata to mass--the love for which is inevitably proportionate to our love for all music [Publisher description]
Publisher: New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking, 1985.
Branch Call Number: 780.92 SCHUBERT
Characteristics: xix, 254 pages,  pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm