The House

Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major


Ihave o en joked that there is no great philosophi­cal question which cannot be answered simply by listening to Schubert. But it is more than a light-hearted jest. For Schubert – the 225th anniversar­y of whose birth falls this month – is the magic elixir of life. He is the musical Heineken – reaching the parts no other composers can. In times of joy, he energises and encapsulat­es the mood of celebratio­n. In moments of sadness, he o ers solace and understand­ing. In the midst of re ection, he inspires with a vision of the eternal. And in tough times, he consolingl­y holds out the hope of something be er.

His life was cut tragically short at 31, but he le behind a musical heritage which is, in my view, unsurpasse­d. It is invidious to pick just one piece. But in tough times, his

String Quintet in C Major

– one of the last pieces he wrote – is the piece which has always brought me comfort and hope.

roughout this work, there are vast changes of light and colour, as Schubert moves from despair to hope. But the second movement in particular epitomises all that is wondrous about Schubert. If you are relaxing in the sun on an enchanting summer a ernoon, he speaks to the beauty around you. If you are in the depths of despair, and without hope, he brings balm and reassuranc­e that all will be well. Its sublime simplicity, and exceptiona­l emotion, is always to what I will turn when the going is tough.

“In moments of sadness, Schubert o ers solace and understand­ing”

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom