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Schubert's Songs: A Biographical Study Paperback – March, 1984
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It is natural that a talent and a mind with such a close affinity to Schubert would also have studied the composer's life deeply enough to write a book such as this. It is a book with grace and charm that helps us understand Schubert's life on a very personal, even intimate (emotionally) basis. The author carefully connects the music with the life without the fatal mistake of the amateur of making the music biographical. We understand what was happening in Schubert's life, what he was writing at the time, and how that music involved those around him.
The musical detail never gets too technical, but only serves to illuminate the beauty and significance of the song and helps the reader understand its musical poetry and its illumination of the text. There are no musical examples or pictures, but plenty of excerpts of the texts of the songs so they may be discussed.
There is also a wonderful immediacy to the writing. We are taken to concerts, recitals, parties, and share in Schubert's triumphs and disappointments.Read more ›
The only thing that needs to be said about this book is that no-one knows Schubert and sings Schubert like Dieterich Fischer-Dieskau, so when he speaks on him, we should listen. To truly understand Schubert, you have to listen to his lieder. To truly hear his lieder, you have to listen to Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore. To truly understand Schubert, you have to read Fischer-Dieskau's little book. 'nuf said.
I don't know if it's required reading in Conservatory's around the world when studying Schubert or songs in general, but it should be.