Monday, March 21, 2005

Bluffer's Guide to Classical Music

an interesting little series from out New Zealand way. Worth a gander.


Schubert had an advantage over Beethoven in that he could actually hear the music he wrote. However, this was balanced by the raging syphilis that killed him at the age of 31. He sure managed to pack an awful lot of music into those few years though, with his output including over 600 songs, eight existing symphonies (don’t be fooled that there’s a 9th Symphony – number 7 is missing) and loads of small-scale works for chamber ensembles and solo piano.

Unlike Beethoven, Schubert sure could write a good tune (Beethoven is the greater composer but no one could claim it’s because he wrote pretty melodies). Many of his best appear in the myriad songs he composed. For a great sample of these, try a CD released by Hyperion called “A Voyage of Discovery”. This is a highlights collection taken from the company’s 37-volume complete Schubert songs edition, and it’s a fantastic bargain as well as great music performed superbly. Addicts will need all 37 CDs.

Check it out here

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