Musical contribution - October 2019

Litanei                                                                        Fr. Schubert     (1797-1828)

While composers such as Beethoven (1.62m) and Mozart (1.63m) weren’t all that imposing in stature, the composer we’re featuring this month is, at 1.56m, the most diminutive of them all. He more than made up for that with the scope of his creativity, and although he lived to just 31 years of age, left behind an impressive body of work.

He was the master of the “lied”, which is not just a song, but a particular type of composition, and one which particularly flourished under Schubert’s skilled pen. He wrote around 600 of them. The lied that we’re offering this month is one of extraordinary beauty. It justifies the title: a golden gem.

Many churches have the tradition on 31 December of reading out the names of the congregation members who have died that year. This is also done during the church service on the last Sunday of the church year, which in the Roman Catholic tradition is on All Souls Day (2 November). This lied was written especially for this moment of remembrance.

The tempo is slow to match the thoughtful reading.

The melody (leading) plays from bar 2 to 10, with bars 11 to 13 serving as interlude and/or postlude, while the registration radiates tranquillity.

Sometimes, a note from the accompaniment coincides with one from the melody. We therefore advise that you don’t use the manual coupler.

We hope that you’ll enjoy so much beauty contained in just 13 bars.

 

Best regards,

André

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