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Life & Works - Franz Schubert

Length: 4 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Summary

The life of Franz Schubert has been a gift to romantically inclined biographers: the beautiful, brilliant, modest boy who sprang to fully fledged genius at the age of 16; the quintessential "artist in a garret", entirely consumed by his art and living a hand-to-mouth existence in Vienna (home of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven); the gentle, cheerful, convivial young man who prized friendship almost as highly as music itself; the unworldly poet from whom great music poured like water from a fountain; the unrecognized master who died almost penniless at the age of 31. And most of this is true. But, as revealed in this dramatized biography (lavishly illustrated with musical examples), there was a secret, darker side to Schubert which only renders his story that much more fascinating.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2004 Naxos AudioBooks (P)2004 Naxos AudioBooks

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Schubert realised

Really enjoyed this, learned so much in an entertaining way. Having the music alongside the narrative really enhances the experience.

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Unoriginal

Would you try another book written by Jeremy Siepmann or narrated by the narrators?

No. There was nothing new presented. It was a rehash worth little more than a Wikipedia entry

Would you ever listen to anything by Jeremy Siepmann again?

No.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

His voice was stiff, almost pedantic and without charm

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

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Wonderful

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

A beautifully constructed, performed and delivered book that is an absolute must for anyone interested in this remarkable man and his genius. I can't praise it enough and have enjoyed every moment.

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Profile Image for Margaret
  • Margaret
  • 06-07-18

An Informative Look at Franz Schubert, the Heir to Beethoven's Musical Legacy

Another fabulous Jeremy Siepmann look into the life of Western Music's Great Composers! Siepmann
succeeds in giving us a glimpse into19th century Vienna, and the influence Beethoven had over the composers who followed his lead.
Beethoven himself declared Schubert his successor upon reading his scores at the publisher's office. Siepmann shows us Schubert's musical and personal progress, leading to the mistake he makes that causes his untimely death.
Throughout the Audio book we get treated to benchmark compositions outlining the progress of Schubert's musical style.
Actors give a lively performance of the main characters in Schubert's life. They are listed in the credits; regrettably the musicians are not. Since these are remarkable performances, I would like to know who did them so I can look up the entire recordings.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Jeffrey Keimer
  • Jeffrey Keimer
  • 16-09-14

Very well done

Any additional comments?

I found this story of Schubert's life quite well done. It gave me a much expanded, and more accurate, understanding of this man's life. Although a given listener may complain the book did not include this or that composition amongst those recordings inserted to augment the story line, I found the sampling to be good. I liked the fact that full performances, or large segments, of each piece were played, rather than just short snatches. I also liked how different actors' voices read quotes from various letters and journals that were used to support the story. Enjoyable and informative!

4 people found this helpful

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  • bobdc
  • 31-01-20

Robert Greenberg would have done better

I have been spoiled by Robert Greenberg's audio books in the Great Courses series, where I have heard his books on Brahms, Stravinsky, Mahler, Haydn, Beethoven's string quartets, and more. He hasn't done one on Schubert, so I listened to this audio book. It was OK, and the musical examples were good, but the book doesn't provide the kinds of insights that Greenberg provides into things like what made the subject's music innovative compared with the music of the world around him.

The worst part of this one is that when the book quotes the letters and other writings of Schubert and his contemporaries, the passages are read by actors who are overacting enough to make it grating. If Greenberg ever covers Schubert I will listen to it and I'm sure I'll learn a lot that I didn't learn with this book.