Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Haiku Wednesday: Schubert Online

2 Comments

Franz_Schubert_by_Wilhelm_August_Rieder

Schubert Online has
Manuscripts, letters, and more
Now all in one place.

Schubert Online is a website that has collected digitized scans of Schubert documents from a number of European libraries.  The website describes itself as “the world’s largest collection of Schubert music manuscripts, first and early editions.”  And let’s not forget the letters and other documents.  I find it fascinating to see the composer’s own handwriting, both in scores and in letters, and to see some of the topics that concerned him.  This is from Schubert’s diary:

Schubert diary entry about first composition for pay

Schubert diary entry courtesy of schubert-online.at and the Vienna City and State Library Music Collection.

17 June 1816

Today I composed for money for the first time, namely a cantata for the name day celebration of Professor Wattrot von Dräxler.  The honorarium is 100 florins, Vienna currency.

I thought it was interesting that Schubert’s handwriting was somewhat neater when he penned a letter to the king.

Excerpt of handwritten Schubert letter to emperor

Schubert letter excerpt courtesy of schubert-online.at and the Vienna City and State Library Music Collection.

7 April 1826

Your Majesty!
Most gracious Emperor!

In deepest reverence the undersigned makes the humble request to be most graciously granted the vacant position of Vice-Kapellmeister, and supports this request with the following grounds…

I would be remiss if I didn’t include some music.  Here is one of my favorite sections from Schubert’s Mass in E-flat major D 950, Et incarnatus est and a performance so you can hear it.  Schubert combines gentle beauty, the weaving of three voices together, with something akin to terror in the middle before returning to the beauty of the initial passage.  So Schubert. Pleasant sunshower, thunderstorm, rainbow.  Major-minor-major. Light and shadow.  I like this recording, but please note that they have decided to use “German Latin,” that is, Latin pronounced as if it were German.  So “sancto” becomes “zancto”.  The tenor solo is the second staff from the bottom.

Manuscript of Et incarnatus est from Schubert's Mass in E-flat Major D950

Image courtesy of schubert-online.at and the Berlin State Library Prussian Cultural Heritage [collection]

Manuscript of Et incarnatus est from Schubert's Mass in E-flat Major, D950

Image courtesy of schubert-online.at and the Berlin State Library Prussian Cultural Heritage [collection]

 

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Image attribution: Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AFranz_Schubert_by_Wilhelm_August_Rieder.jpeg

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2 thoughts on “Haiku Wednesday: Schubert Online

  1. What a nifty website, Chris. The music would be hard to use, but in a pinch, with an iPad, this could be a revelation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice! Some of Schubert’s letters are truly heartbreaking. And what great works those two late masses are! (the Ab and Eb)- glad you found that wonderful movement.

    Thanks!

    Tom

    Liked by 1 person

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