Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/363

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SCHUBERT.

Vienna. The parts were copied, and some re- hearsals held ; but both length and difficulty were against it, and it was soon withdrawn, on Schu- bert's own advice, in favour of his earlier Sym- phony, No. 6, also in C. Neither the one nor the other was performed till after his death.

March also saw the birth of the interesting Ora- torio ' Miriam's Song of Victory,' to Grillparzer's words. 1 It is written, as so many of Schubert's choral pieces are, for a simple pianoforte accom- paniment ; but this was merely to suit the means at his disposal, and is an instance of his practical sagacity. It is unfortunate, however, since the oratorio has become a favourite, that we have no other orchestral accompaniment than that after- wards adapted by Lachner, which is greatly wanting in character, and in the picturesque ele- ments so native to Schubert. 9 A song to Rell- stab's words, ' Auf dem Strom' (op. 119), for soprano, with obbligato horn and PF. accompani- ment, written for Lewy, a Dresden horn-player, belongs to this month, and was indeed first heard at Schubert's own concert, on the 1 6th, and afterwards repeated at a concert of Lewy's, on April 20, Schubert himself playing the accom- paniment each time.

To April no compositions can be ascribed, un- less it be the Quintet in C for strings (op. 163), which bears only the date '1828.' This is now universally accepted not only as Schubert's finest piece of chamber music, but as one of the very finest of its class. The two cellos alone give it distinction ; it has all the poetry and ro- mance of the G major Quartet, without the ex- travagant length which will always stand in the way of that noble production ; while the Adagio is so solemn and yet so beautiful in its tone, so entrancing in its melodies, and so incessant in its interest, and the Trio of the Scherzo, both from itself and its place in the movement, is so eminently dramatic, that it is difficult to speak of either too highly.

In May we have a grand battle-piece, the Hymn to the Holy Ghost,' for 8 male voices, written for the Concert Spirituel of Vienna, at first with PF., in October scored by the com- poser for a wind band, and in 1847 published as op. 154. Also a Characteristic Allegro' for the PF. 4 hands, virtually the first movement of a Sonata issued some years later with the title ' Lebensstiirme' (op. 144) ; an Allegro vivace and Allegretto, in Eb minor and major, for PF. solo, published in 1868 as ist and 2nd of '3 Clavier- stiicke'; and a song ' Widerschein* (Lf. 15, i).

In June, probably at the request of the pub- lisher, he wrote a 4-hand Rondo for PF. in A, since issued as 'Grand Rondeau, op. 107'; and began his sixth Mass, that in Eb. In this month he paid a visit to Baden Beethoven's Baden ; since a fugue for 4 hands in E minor is marked as written there in ' June 1828.' In the midst of

1 Kreissle. 609 (H. 285), says that it was produced In the Schubert Concert. March 1828. But this is contradicted by the Programme which Is printed above. It was first performed Jan. SO, 1829, at a concert for erecting Schubert's headstone.

2 It has been performed (with Lachner-s orchestration) at the Crystal I'alace several times, at the Leeds Festival 1880. and elsewhere In England.

��SCHUBERT.

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��all this work a letter 3 from Mosewius of Breslau, a prominent Prussian musician, full of sympathy and admiration, must have been doubly grati- fying as coming from North Germany.

In July he wrote the 92nd Psalm in Hebrew for the synagogue at Vienna, of which Sulzer was precentor. In August, notwithstanding his de- claration on completing his last Symphony, we find him (under circumstances already described) composing 7 songs of Rellstab's, and o of Heine's, afterwards issued as ' Schwanengesang.'

He opened September with a trifle in the shape of a short chorus,* with accompaniment of wind band, for the consecration of a bell in the church of the Alservorstadt. A few days after, the memory of Hummel's visit in the spring of 1827 seems to have come upon him like a lion, and he wrote off 3 fine PF. solo sonatas, with the view of dedicating them to that master. These pieces, though very unequal and in parts extraordinarily diffuse, are yet highly characteristic of Schu- bert. They contain some of his finest and most original music, and also his most affecting (e.g. Andantino, Scherzo and Trio of the A minor Sonata) ; and if full of disappointment and wrath, and the gathering gloom of these last few weeks of his life, they are also saturated with that nameless personal charm that is at once so strong and so indescribable. The third of the three, that in Bb, dated Sept. 26, has perhaps more of grace and finish than the other two, and has now, from the playing of Mme. Schumann, Mr. Charles Halle, and others, become a great favourite. The sonatas were not published till a year after Hummel's death, and were then dedicated by Diabelli-Spina to Robert Schumann, who acknowledges the dedication by a genial though hardly adequate article in his ' Ges. Schriften,' ii. 239. The second part of the \Vinterreise was put into Haslinger's hands for engraving before the end of this month. 5

In October, prompted by some occasion which has eluded record, he wrote a new ' Benedictus ' to his early Mass in C, a chorus of great beauty and originality in A minor, of which a com- petent 6 critic *has said that ' its only fault con- sists in its immeasurable superiority to the rest of the Mass.' For some other occasion, which has also vanished, he wrote accompaniments for 13 wind instruments to his grand 'Hymn to the Holy Ghost'; a long scena or song for soprano probably his old admirer, Anna Milder with pianoforte and obligate clarinet (op. 129); and a song called 'DieTaubenpost'C The carrier pigeon') to Seidl's words. The succession of these pieces is not known. It is always assumed that the Taubenpost, which now closes the Schwanen- gesang, was the last. Whichever of them was the last, was the last piece he ever wrote.

The negotiations with Probst and Schott, and also with Briiggemann of Halberstadt, a pub-

K. H. 428 (ii. 114).

4 K. H. 443 (11. 131). This piece. ' Glaube. Hoffnung, und Liebe, 1 is not to be confounded with one of similar title tor a solo voice, pub- lished, Oct. 6, 1828, as op. 97.

s Schubert's letter to Jenger. Sept. 25. K. H. 487 (ii. 124).

I Mr. B. From In the Monthly Musical Record for 1871. p. 56.

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