Playlists for the Long Distancing 4

This weekend’s listening is one, all-new playlist. It’s related to a recurring fascination of mine – one that has been growing in recent months – of contemporary composers’ attraction to the music of Schubert. There will hopefully be a much larger project to come out of this one day, but for now I’ll just observe that composers’ responses to Schubert appear to be very different, and very much more personal, than they are with regard to – say – Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, or any other classic whose works are regularly mined for material and inspiration. I’m very taken with remarks made by one composer on Facebook some years ago, about Schubert’s perfect ear for register; likewise Richard Barrett’s observation (see my forthcoming article in Tempo) of the ability Schubert’s music has to evoke a particular aesthetic in a very short time (perhaps related to the comment about register and voicing); and of course Feldman’s beautiful lament about ‘Schubert leaving me’.

The list contains perhaps less familiar Schubert-related works by composers from Alwynne Pritchard to Edison Denisov (whose completion of Schubert’s Lazarus is not featured here), as well as well-known examples by Zender, Berio and Bernhard Lang. I’ve made some attempt at sequencing, and many of the longer works are represented by single movements to help keep the length down; it’s still three hours long, but the original was nearly seven. That said, I am always on the lookout for works to add to my collection – I’m sure it is nowhere near complete! Please feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Playlists for the Long Distancing 4

  1. I’d quite like to hear Chris Newman’s “Kinks and Schubert Fantasy” (though there’s lots of Schubert in his other music too)

  2. Lovely list – have spent most of the afternoon listening to the tracks, so Lockdown is not all bad for me! (Was amazed by how many I already had).
    Anyway, I am sure that this track was on your longlist for this playlist – why? – because I first learned about it from reading your book! – Shing Kee by Carl Stone based on Schubert’s Der Lindenbaum.

    As a very genuine nb, I would like to add that I sent this track to a lovely man called Alain who is dying from MND a few months ago and he was very touched indeed because I emphasised how much I love this track, especially (to cut and paste from my message to him:

    “I won’t explain too much as I want you to hear it without too much explanation, but this electronic composer in question has taken a tiny sample from a Schubert Lieder (in English) and done something remarkable with it I think.
    It takes about 8 minutes for the final 6 second original unaltered phrasing to finally emerge in all its beauty, but before then an even tinier sample of this is just endlessly looped and distorted as perhaps a millisecond of the original. Have a listen if you have time. The words in the middle are for you!” TF

    Which as you will know, Tim are “…and words of love”.

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