Hi all,

It’s been quite a busy weekend, so I apologise that I didn’t have a chance to post on anything. Somebody offered to babysit Shelby for the day, so Rachel and I went to see a musical for the first time in about two years . . . it was great fun!

Anyway, in the meantime, I tried another experiment with subtitles and classical music. This time it was for a piece of music that will be performed at an upcoming concert of ours. It was a piece I initially found rather boring, so I was keen to see if I could make myself interested in the piece.

It’s a piano sonata by Franz Schubert, the D784, the first movement. It’s in exactly the same sonata form as the Beethoven 5th first movement, ironically enough, and from the early 1800s like the Beethoven, but that’s where the similarities end.

The Schubert is very quiet and introverted, which is very fitting for Schubert’s personality. He never achieved much fame in his day (only in hindsight, do we realise how clever he was), and he lived in the shadow of Beethoven.

Anyway, he must have been having a melancholy day when he composed this, because it alternates between two themes – one, a quiet funeral march and the second is a hauntingly beautiful, but very fragile second theme.

From what I can tell, this doesn’t look like music that’s terribly difficult to play, but I think it would be hard to play well. There’s a lot of moments in the middle where Schubert has these rather harsh and simple-sounding moments, which could easily turn into bashing. I’m not sure, but it’s almost like he gets irritated with life halfway through the music.

Anyway, just clear your mind of Beethoven, put yourself in a quiet, introvert frame of mind, and you can see what you make of it here:

Schubert with Subtitles

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One thought on “Schubert With Subtitles

  1. Great work, Matt. I really had not taken much notice of this piano sonata (or of any of Schubert’s piano sonatas for some reason), but you’ve inspired me to change my mind on that. I like the way you capture both the formal and the expressive characteristics of the music, explaining them both together. Well done!!

    Now back to W&P … lots happening there!!

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