Franz Schubert: Music and Belief

Franz Schubert: Music and Belief

Leo Black


Boydell Press



A fresh appraisal of Schubert's nature and beliefs, deriving from close study of his works.
Remarkable new study...Its central submission, that we have hitherto disregarded or misinterpreted the most profound intuitions of a unique composer, certainly carries conviction. And even after one reading there are already musical passages that this Schubert enthusiast finds himself hearing in quite a new way. Bayan Northcott, BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

The old stereotypes of Schubert as Bohemian artist and unselfconscious creator have been replaced over the past half-century with a picture of a difficult man in difficult times. The author aims to redress the balance, concentrating firstly on works where Schubert's beliefs are clearly expressed (masses, other religious music, songs amounting to Geistliche Lieder). This also prompts an examination of instrumental masterpieces (Unfinished and Great C Major Symphonies, and the Wanderer Fantasy), which show that Schubert's religious side encompasses awe and terror as well as wonder. Schubert's 'complete voice' is thus clearly heard, rather than the sombre one currently emphasised in both literature and concert.
LEO BLACK is a former BBC chief producer for music.


February 2005
226 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843831358
Format: Paperback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
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Remarkable new study. BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE (Bayan Northcott)
A thoroughly convincing study of the music, beautifully and unpretentiously written... Excellent study does memorable justice to the composer. CLASSIC FM
An important and absorbing addition to the canon of Schubert literature. GRAMOPHONE
(This) book is an invaluable addition to Schubert studies, not only as a treasure trove for the academic, but also for the performing musician.... The author is clearly a musicologist of the highest order, but he also proves to be a philosopher of insight and generosity, and it is here that his genius lies.... Leo Black has written a masterpiece and a monument. Robert Tear in THE OLDIE
There is much that is interesting and original in this book. MUSIC & LETTERS

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