Sunday Feature - The Spirit of Schubert - Claiming Schubert
John Tusa explores the many and varied ways Schubert has been used and reinvented after his death in politics, art and literature.
As part of Radio 3's Spirit of Schubert season, Sir John Tusa explores the many and varied ways in which the composer has been used and reinvented after his death, in politics, art and literature. Who has claimed Schubert - and why? And what are the different things that he has come to represent since his death in 1837?
For many decades across parts of Europe there was a Romantic interpretation of Schubert as lovelorn, naïve and at one with nature.
He has also been seen in a feminine context, especially after the composer Robert Schumann described him as having feminine qualities when compared to Beethoven.
But Schubert has also been appropriated by political leaders. The emerging Christian Socialist Party in 20th century Vienna used Schubert to exemplify a nostalgic, non-multicultural way of life. This fitted in with their anti-semitic and anti-liberal policies. John explores the significance of this use of Schubert and how this link with fascism developed throughout the century.
And John hears how the novelist George Eliot and the painter Gustav Klimt refashioned Schubert and brought a different view of him to a wider public.
Producer: Emma Kingsley.