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Monday, March 28, 2011

Schubert's Songs

In Concert at the Conservatory

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Franz Schubert was born in 1797 near Vienna. He learned music at an early age; tutored on the violin by his father, a schoolmaster, he was also taught piano by his older brother.  Schubert was an early member of what later was known as the Vienna Boys choir and caught the attention of Antonio Salieri, who undertook young his training between 1810 and 1816.  Schubert was trained as a schoolteacher but shortly left his father's school and began tutoring music and writing his own compositions.

While Schubert composed all forms of music, including operas, symphonies, string quartets and chamber music, he found great satisfaction composing songs, writing more than 600 of them.  Helped by the 18th century outburst of lyric poetry, including the poems of Goethe, Schubert effectively established a new art form with his German lieder (songs).

Sadly, Schubert's last years were made miserable by illness, not poverty, and his greatness was widely recognized.  Schubert died at the young age of 31, having produced more masterpieces by some who have tallied them than any other composer in classical music.

Schubert's Schwanegesang-Song Cycle will be performed by Baritone Philip Pearl and Pianist Matthew Bergey at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 3 p.m. Sunday, April 3, at the Helen Bader Recital Hall, 1584 N. Prospect Ave.     
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