This course offers an intensive study of Schubert’s cyclic music written for chamber performance, 1822-1828. A major composer whose short life-span and delayed posterity skewed the trajectory of musical Romanticism during and after Beethoven, Schubert wrote a string of masterworks in his later years, including the String Quartets in D minor (“Death and the Maiden”) and G major, the dark song cycle Die Winterreise, the Impromptus and last three Sonatas for piano, the String Quintet in C, the Fantasy in F minor, and the two Piano Trios. His notably artistic friendship circle, his tangential relationship to patronage, and his extraordinary cultivation of chamber genres (including the Lied), reveal him to have had a Viennese career during the 1820s very different from that of Beethoven at the same time. Schubert’s illness and diagnosis with syphilis in late 1822 produced a crisis of creativity still relevant for scholars and students today, as the literature reveals: analyzing biography and art under the sign of death produces tensions we will explore in the course.
Schubert's Romantic Cycles
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