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Schubert: The Music and the Man

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Schubert: The Music and the Man.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Brian Newbould(Author)

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Of all the great composers, none, not even Mozart, has been so dogged by myth and misunderstanding as Schubert. Since the 1920s, when the musical Blossom Time hit the stage, the notion of Schubert as a pudgy, love-lorn Bohemian schwammerl (mushroom) scribbling gemülich tunes on the back of menus in idle moments has never been quite eradicated. But in this major new biography (the first comprehensive work on Schubert in over fifty years) Brian Newbould lays to rest the stereotype of the composer plucking melodies out of the air, relying on instinct more than well-honed craft. Instead he paints a vivid and compelling portrait of a man who was compulsively dedicated to his art, a composer so prolific that he produced roughly one thousand works in an eighteen year period.

Gifted with an intuitive know-how, coupled with a Mozartian facility for composition, Schubert combined the relish and wonder of an amateur with the discipline and technical rigor of a professional. He moved quickly and comfortably among genres, and sometimes composed directly into score; but many pieces required painstaking revision before they satisfied his growing self-criticism. Examining afresh the enigmas surrounding Schubert's religious outlook, his loves, his sexuality, his illness and death, Newbould offers above all a celebration of a unique genius, an idiosyncratic composer of an astonishing body of powerful, enduring music.

Brian Newbould brings together the biographical data of Schubert's life with the music that he composed. The book is both readable and informative, the work of a professor of music at the University of Hull in Britain whose biographical data describes him as a composer, conductor, pianist, and lecturer. Newbould has been so bold as to finish the Unfinished Symphony and other of Schubert's uncompleted works, and he has a deep understanding of the man and his music. Among what will certainly be a flood of monographs on the life and works of Franz Schubert during this bicentennial year of his birth, this contribution is a significant event. Newbould (music, Univ. of Hull) has long been at the forefront of Schubert scholarship, having published a previous work on the composer in England and completed several of the composer's unfinished works. The subtitle of this volume tells it all: Newbould's interest is primarily in the music itself. The text is peppered throughout with musical examples, yet the analysis is in a readable, jargon-free prose that will engage scholars and nonscholars equally. Biography is not ignored, however. Newbould presents a thorough, cautious accounting of Schubert's life, dealing sensitively and soberly with such controversial issues as the composer's self-destructive behavior and his ambivalent sexuality. Highly recommended for all libraries.?Larry A. Lipkis, Moravian Coll., Bethlehem, Pa.Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book details

  • PDF | 465 pages
  • Brian Newbould(Author)
  • University of California Press; 1st edition (May 1, 1997)
  • English
  • 9
  • Biographies & Memoirs

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Review Text

  • By Mary Ann Bergman on June 22, 2013

    Schubert was one of the greatest composers of the 19th Century, and one who had a profound impact on the music of several other composers that followed him, including Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, and especially Dvorak, who adored Schubert's music. As a lyricist, he was second to none; he practically invented the German lieder as an art form. And he excelled as a composer of instrumental music as well, with symphonies, chamber music, piano sonatas, and shorter piano pieces. He wrote masses and other religious works and attempted, with mixed success, to write operas. He composed over 600 songs and over 400 other works in his all too short life of 31 years. He became well-known as a writer of songs in his own lifetime, but his orchestral, chamber music, and operatic works didn't get published until years or even decades after his death. Some of his compositions have only recently been published.This excellent book by Schubert scholar Brian Newbould, emeritus professor at the Univerity of Hull, UK, includes a biography of Schubert, with emphasis on the relationship of his life to his music, and a comprehensive discussion of his entire musical oeuvre. The music discussions are given in chapters by type: songs, church music, piano music, chamber music, symphonies, and music for the theater, and are divided into "early" and "late," with 1820 as the approximate dividing line. Schubert was 23 in this year, and he was in the process of leaving behind his earlier instrumental style modeled on Haydn and Mozart and transitioning to a style influenced more by the music of Beethoven.Newbould's approach to his subject is scholarly, and he assumes that the reader has a strong interest in Schubert and his music beyond a casual one. A musical background and an ability to read musical notation is assumed; there are many illustrative musical examples quoted in the book. At times Newbould can be pedantic and belabor a point, but he presents a great wealth of information along with thoughtful analysis. Dedicated Schubert lovers will find that this book is a treasure.There is a listing of all of Schubert's compositions, including the unfinished ones (of which there are many) in an appendix. The book also contains a glossary of musical terms and a select bibliography divided into topical areas. References for each chapter's footnotes are listed in the back. Near the center are several illustrations of Schubert, his associates, and his physical surroundings.This is not a book for the casual reader with only a passing interest in Schubert and his music, but for serious music lovers who have a special place in their heart for Schubert, this book is a must. It's highly recommended for that purpose.

  • By Kirk McElhearn on January 20, 2009

    While this is an interesting book about Schubert, it discusses the music much more than the man. You get little feeling for Schubert as a person, and little understanding of his everyday life from this book. On the other hand, Newbould spends a lot of time talking about the music. But his discussions are little more than what you get in liner notes of a CD, and require that you be familiar with the music in question (or have the time to take out all your Schubert CDs and listen to everything he discusses).I'm a big fan of Schubert's works, and hoped, in this book, to get a better understanding of who he was, why he wrote his music, what he wanted to "say" through his music, but all of that is lacking. The biographical chapters - about half the book - are short, say little more than what music Schubert composed and when, and are fully of "maybes" and "possiblys". It's almost as though this were a bio of Shakespeare (about whom little is known). I don't know if there's a dearth of information about Schubert - Newbould doesn't say so - but reading this book one can get that feeling.Since there are no other books about Schubert that say much more, this is probably worthwhile, if you can read scores (to grasp the musical examples). But I'd say there's a need for a _real_ bio of Schubert.

  • By Buzz on March 26, 2017

    Slow read, but wonderful content.


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