Schubert and His World: A Biographical Dictionary

Schubert and His World: A Biographical Dictionary

Schubert and His World: A Biographical Dictionary

Schubert and His World: A Biographical Dictionary


This lively, fascinating book is the first of its kind on Schubert. It appears at a time when interest in Schubert's life and compositions is greater than ever, and its publication coincides with the celebration of the bicentenary of Schubert's birth in 1797. The book opens with a chronicle of the composer's life, followed by more than 300 biographical entries on Schubert's friends and acquintances, and on the numerous persons with whom he became associated through his music. There are also articles on later "Schubertians" who have greatly enriched our knowledge of his life and works.


Franz Schubert's music is enjoyed by more people today than ever before. It is performed at countless concerts and recitals around the world, played on innumerable radio stations, and made available for private listening on a constantly growing number of recordings. A specialist can, moreover, enrich his knowledge and understanding of the compositions by consulting the new critical edition of Schubert's collected works which is in process of publication. At the same time, Otto Erich Deutsch's remarkable documentary biography is now being superseded by an even more comprehensive collection of printed and hand-written documents (accompanied by commentaries); at the time of writing, the first of the four planned volumes has already appeared.

In addition to these major research projects, a steady stream of publications dealing with biographical and musical matters testifies to the intense interest which scholars take in every aspect of Schubert's life and works. Indeed, certain aspects of his life have recently come under fresh scrutiny (see Bauernfeldɠ5). The time therefore seems opportune for the publication of a book like the present one, which, it is hoped, will be of use and interest to the Schubert specialist as well as to the general music lover.

The dictionary provides information about more than 300 persons. It lists not only friends and acquaintances, and persons with whom Schubert was associated through his music (poets, librettists, publishers, patrons, musicians), but also a number of later 'Schubertians' who, in a variety of ways, were instrumental in promoting knowledge and appreciation of his music both in his own and in certain other countries, or who made a particularly significant contribution to the discovery and publication of important information about his life. Room has also been made for two persons whose names, it is true, evoke no great admiration or gratitude from modern Schubert scholars, but whose influence on the public perception of Schubert, both as a man and a composer, cannot be denied, and who therefore deserve to be mentioned in this context: the writer Rudolf Hans Bartsch and the composer Heinrich Berté. On the other hand, the catalogue does not list any of the distinguished modern interpreters of Schubert's music, since any choice among them would inevitably prove to be a highly personal one.

The amount of biographical particulars furnished in the different articles depends necessarily on the celebrity of the person in question. The better known a . . .

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