Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/333

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SCHUBERT.

in which it began. The next is a long vocal piece for voice and PF., called ' Hagars Klage' Hagar's lament over her dying son dated March 30, 1 81 1, also containing 12 movements, with curious un- connected changes of key; and another, of even grimmer character, attributed to the same year, is called ' Leichenfantasie,' or Corpse-fantasia, to the words of Schiller's gruesome juvenile poem of the same name :

Mit erstorbnem Seheinen Steht der Mond auf todtenstillen Hainen, Seufzend streicht der Nachtgeist durch die Luft Nebelvrolken schauern, Sterne tranern Bleich herab, wie Lampen in der Graft.

With a deathlike glimmer Stands the moon above the dying trees, Sighing wails the Spirit through the night ; Mists are creeping, Stars are peeping Pale aloft like torchefl in r earn.

and so forth. This has 1 7 movements, and is quite as erratic in its changes of key and disregard of the compass of the voice as the preceding. 1 The reminiscences of Haydn's ' Creation,' Mo- zart's opera airs, and Beethoven's Andantes, are frequent in both. A fourth is 'Der Vater- morder ' the Parricide for voice and PF., ' 26 December, 1811,' a pleasant Christmas piece! a decided advance on the two previous songs in individuality of style, and connection. 1811 also saw the composition of a quintet-over- ture, a string quartet, a second phantasia for 4 hands, and many songs. 2 For 1812 the list is more instrumental. It contains an overture for orchestra in D ; a quartet overture in Bb ; string quartets in C, Bb, and 3 D ; a sonata for PF., violin, and cello ; variations in Eb, and an andante, both for PF. ; a Salve Regina and a Kyrie. In 1813 an octet 4 for wind; 3 string quartets in C, Bb, Eb and D; minuets and trios for orchestra and for PF. ; a third phan- tasia for the PF. 4 hands ; several songs, terzets, and canons ; a cantata in two movements, for 3 male voices and guitar, for his father's birth- day, Sept. 27 both words and music his own; and his first symphony in 5 D, intended to cele- brate the birthday of Dr. Lang, and finished on Oct. 28. With this very important work his time at the Convict ended. He might have remained longer ; for it is said that the Emperor, who took an interest in the lads of his chapel, had specially watched the progress of this gifted boy with the lovely voice and fine expression, and that a special decision had been registered in his favour on Oct. 21, assuring him a founda- tion scholarship in the school, provided that

i The autograph! of both are In possession of Herr Nicholas Dumb* Of Vienna. 2 Ferd. p. 188.

a Kreissle expressly states this (p. 650) and gives the date-' Nov. 19. 1812.'

This octet, dated Sept. 19, Is said to be mentioned by Ferdinand Schubert as 'Franz Schubert's Leichenbegangnlss ' (funeral cere- mony). It is supposed by Kreissle (p. 31) to have been composed for the funeral of his mother ; but it is difficult to believe that the words which he wrote for his father's birthday ode, eight days later, would have bad no reference to the mother's death which they certainly have not If it had occurred at that date.

'- Adagio and Allegro vivace (D) ; Andante (G) ; Minuet and Trio (D) ; Finale, Allegro vivace (D). The work was played from MS. at the Crystal Palace, Feb. 6, 188L The autograph is In possession of llerr Dumb*. Vienna.

VOL. III. FT. 3

��SCHUBERT.

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��during the vacation he should study sufficiently to pass an examination." This however he de- clined, possibly at the instigation of Korner the poet, who was in Vienna at this time, and is known to have influenced him in deciding to throw himself entirely into music. 7 He accord- ingly left the Convict (between Oct. 26 and Nov. 6), and returned home. His mother died in 1812, but we hear nothing of the event, unless the octet just named refers to it. The father married again in about a year, and the new wife, as we shall see, did her duty to her stepson Franz fully, and apparently with affec . tion.

Franz was now just completing his seven- teenth year, and what has been rightly called the first period of his life. The Convict has much to answer for in regard to Schubert. It was en- trusted with the most poetical genius of modern times, and it appears to have allowed him to take his own course in the matter of composition almost unrestrained. Had but a portion of the pains been spent on the musical education of Schubert that was lavished on that of Mozart or of Mendelssohn, we can hardly doubt that even his transcendent ability would have been en- hanced by it, that he would have gained that con- trol over the prodigious spontaneity of his genius which is his only want, and have risen to the very highest level in all departments of com- position, as he did in song-writing. But though Eybler andSalieri were the conductors of the choir in chapel, it does not appear that they had any duties in the school, and Ruzicka, the thorough- bass master, like Holzer, was so prostrated by Schubert's facility as to content himself with ex- claiming that his pupil already knew all he could teach him, and must have ' learned direct from heaven.' If all masters adopted this attitude to wards their pupils, what would have become of some of the greatest geniuses? The discomforts of the school appear to have been great even for that day of roughness. One of the pupils speaks of the cold of the practice-room as ' dreadful' (schauer- lich); and Schubert's own earliest letter, dated Nov. 24, 1812, to his brother Ferdinand, shows that these young growing lads were allowed to go without food for 8i hours, between ' a poor dinner and a wretched supper.' There was not even sufficient music paper provided for the scholars, and Schubert was, as we have seen, dependent on the bounty of the richer pupils.

On the other hand, the motets and masses in the service, the rehearsals in the school, such teaching as there was, and the daily practisings, must have been both stimulating and improving, and with all its roughness a good deal of know- ledge could not but have been obtainable. One advantage Schubert reaped from the Convict the friends which he made there, many of them for life, Spaun, Senn, Holzapfel, Stadler, and others, all afterwards more or less eminent, who at- tached themselves to him as every one did who

��K.H. 83 (1. 83).

7 On Spaun's authority. There Is DO mention of Schubert ID KOraer's letters from Vienna.

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