Spirit of Schubert Season comes to Radio 3

Date: 12.03.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.59
Category: Radio 3
For the last eight and a half days of March, BBC Radio 3 is devoting its entire schedule to one of the greatest ever composers, Schubert, in the 215th anniversary year of his birth.

When he died in 1828 (at the age of 31) he left a vast body of work in addition to incomplete works and scraps of workings. Now for the first time on this scale, Radio 3 will unravel the spirit of this prolific composer and his work in 200 hours of continuous broadcasting.

As the biggest commissioner of new music Radio 3 is to commission leading Schubert authority Brian Newbould to complete Symphony D, D.708a. This will be the first time he has attempted to complete this work (having previously finished the Unfinished Symphony amongst others). Brian Newbould's version of this piece will be performed live on Radio 3 on Thursday 29th March in a World Premiere from Salford performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Juanjo Mena.

Live performance will be a focal point of the BBC Radio 3 Spirit of Schubert Season with 24 live performances broadcast across 8 and a half days from around the UK. The network will also recreate the spirit of Schubert's time through lunchtime gatherings in intimate venues around the UK known in Schubert's day as Schubertiads and featuring artists Imogen Cooper, Melvyn Tan, Michael Collins and many of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists.

A daily In Tune Schubert Salon presented by Suzy Klein and Sean Rafferty will feature trusted guide and expert, Graham Johnson curating and playing Schubert Lieder recitals with some of the UK's leading singers performing live including Ian Bostridge and Aylish Tynan. Schubert in Concert every evening will feature some of the world’s leading Schubert pianists playing live including Imogen Cooper, Paul Lewis and Elisabeth Leonskaja.

Controller of Radio 3, Roger Wright, comments: “I am delighted that BBC Radio 3 is uniquely able to dedicate our whole schedule to the celebration of a single composer through distinctive and engaging programming spanning live performance, documentary and expert comment. We hope that our exploration of every performable Schubert work across 200 hours of programming will bring new and old audiences together alike, to explore and celebrate the spirit of this truly remarkable composer.”

Other highlights across the schedule include one of the world’s leading Schubertians and pianists, Alfred Brendel, who will talk about Schubert's last 3 Piano Sonatas. Tom Service will host The Schubert Lab answering issues and questions about ‘The Spirit of Schubert’; Donald Macleod will present the story of Schubert’s life daily from 12 o'clock; Essential Schubert will see guests Roger Scruton, Sir John Tusa and Julia Neuberger talking about their favourite Schubert music; Sean Rafferty will present Schubert’s Vienna as it would have been in Schubert's time in a series of short travelogue features; The Sunday Feature will explore how Schubert's legacy has been re-interpreted from generation to generation; and Play Schubert for Me will encourage discussion of Schubert’s works presented daily with Sara Mohr-Pietsch.

Unfinished Piece information - Minuet and Trio D2F

Completed by Schubert expert, Brian Newbould, this completion of an unfinished Schubert work will be given its world broadcast premiere on Mon 26th March on BBC Radio 3's Breakfast Programme (6.30 – 9.00am). This is the first time BBC Radio 3 has revealed details of the piece itself.

At just 14 years old and whilst attending school, Schubert wrote three minuets and trios for wind nonet. These nonets consist of nine instruments - two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns and one trumpet. He completed these three pieces, but left a further trio uncompleted. This fourth partial composition was just written out for piano, and missing a minuet. In keeping with the nature of Schubert's original pieces, Brian Newbould has also written his completion of the uncompleted trio for all nine instruments. Brian's composition has stayed true to the style of the completed three minuets and he has completed the minuet to fit around the trio. What listeners will hear is a complete minuet and trio from a 14 year old Schubert with a little help from his 21st century friend, Schubert expert Brian Newbould.

Another interesting point about this piece is the inclusion of a trumpet part, this is particularly rare in chamber music from Schubert’s time.

Brian Newbould – a brief biography

Brian is a former Professor of Music (University of Hull) and is a renowned composer, conductor, lecturer, critic and pianist. He has authored and contributed to many books on Schubert and featured in broadcasts on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 and in the USA, Canada, Sweden, France, Germany, New Zealand, Cyprus.

Brian’s Schubert symphony completions include:

  • No.7, D.729
  • No.10, D.936a
  • No.8 ('Unfinished'), D.859

Brian's completed symphonies are performed and broadcast around the world. He has written many analytical articles on: Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Elgar and Ravel.

Interesting Schubert Facts

  • Schubert auditioned for Salieri at the age of 7. He was one of Salieri's star pupils.
  • Schubert's 1st surviving composition is from the age of 13 (fantasia in G for piano Duet)
  • Schubert's father was a teacher, and he trained as a teacher himself
  • Between 1811 and 1823 there wasn't a year in which Schubert wasn't involved in an operatic project.
  • When Schubert was 18 he wrote 150 songs - an average of 1 every 3 days.
  • By the age of 20 Schubert's compositions included:
  • 5 symphonies, 300 solo songs (half of the surviving total) several dozen part songs 4 masses, 4 Singspiel, 7 String Quartets…
  • In 1815 Schubert wrote 21850 bars of music - 11072 involving an orchestra - that's 420 bars a week.
  • Schubert never bought, borrowed or leased a piano of his own.
  • Beethoven said of Schubert: "Truly in Schubert there dwells a divine spark"
  • Schubert contracted syphilis and died at the tender age of 31
  • Schubert wrote nearly a thousand works over 600 of which are song.

"What I produce is due to my understanding of music and my sorrows," Schubert wrote in 1824 when he composed his String Quartet Death and the Maiden.

Schedule

Daily – Spirit of Schubert

Radio 3's regular programming will dedicate its daily output to Schubert, and each day will explore a different aspect of Franz Schubert's life. The themes that will be covered are mentioned below beside their corresponding day. There will be 200 hours of continuous broadcasting over eight days.

Schubert Lab

During this season, throughout the day at 10:00, 15:00 and 17:45 Tom Service presents The Schubert Lab - exploring the issues of the day and answering questions about Schubert's life and music.

In Tune Schubert Salon

Sean Rafferty and Suzy Klein introduce the In Tune Schubert Salon with guests and exclusive live performances from the music world.

Throughout the week, pianist Graham Johnson and guests perform live in the studio and Sean continues his journey in Schubert's Vienna, recorded on location in the city.

Play Schubert for me

Sara Mohr-Pietsch presents late night Schubert dedications. Programmes will also include Schubert Re-mixed – live performances from artists of their personal interpretation of Schubert's music. At 11.30pm each evening, the Schubert Essay examines the literary and philosophical sides of Schubert with a series of thinkers from across the UK, including writer and philosopher Dr Raymond Tallis and medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

Friday 23 March – Launch of Spirit of Schubert Season

16:30-19:30, In Tune – Schubert Salon Suzy Klein launches Spirit of Schubert Season, Radio 3's eight and a half day celebration of the composer, with a live In Tune Schubert Salon from Kings Place in London and performance by Graham Johnson.

19:30-22:00, Schubert In Concert Showcasing Schubert's music

Featured repertoire includes

D.915 Allegretto

D.899 Impromptus

D.850 Sonata in D

22:00-01:00, Play Schubert For Me Sara Mohr-Pietsch presents late night Schubert dedications in this series to be broadcast throughout Spirit of Schubert Season

01.00-07.00 Through The Night. John Shea continues The Spirit Of Schubert throughout the night.

Saturday 24 March - 1815 Day

07:00-09:00, Breakfast Martin Handley presents Radio 3's classical Breakfast Show. On Saturday, the programme will celebrate the year 1815 when Schubert wrote nearly 22,000 bars of music, much of it in the current repertoire 200 years on. It is commonly thought that productivity on this scale is unparalleled in the history of any art form. Where did that productivity come from and how did he physically create and write down such a vast amount of music?

09:00-12:00, CD Review A special Schubert edition of CD Review with Andrew McGregor. Including, Harriet Smith with a personal recommendation from recordings of Schubert's Piano Sonata in C minor, D.958 and pianist Iain Burnside discussing some of the most important recordings of Schubert Lieder.

12:00-13:00, Composer of the Week – Schubert A special extended series of Composer of the Week for Spirit of Schubert Season, with music spanning his entire career. In the first programme Donald Macleod follows the young composer as he deals with some traditional teenage rites of passage: his first job and his first serious relationship.

13:00-14:10, Lunchtime Schubertiad Louise Fryer presents this special live Lunchtime Schubertiad from the beautiful surroundings of Holkham Hall in Norfolk. The German-based Signum Quartet - one of BBC Radio 3's current New Generation Artists - performs two of Schubert's best known works for string quartet: the short movement known as his Quartettsatz and his last contribution to the genre - the "Death and the Maiden" Quartet, written in 1824.

14:10-16:30, Robert Winston's Schubert Professor Robert Winston introduces some of his personal Schubert choices. The programme will include a selection of Schubert's settings of Goethe songs composed in 1815.

16:30-19:30, In Tune Schubert Salon Continuing programme, details at top of the schedule.Featured music includes D.408 Violin Sonata

19:30-22:00, Opera on 3 - Schubert's Fierrabras Schubert's last completed opera and an early example of the German romantic operatic style. With Karita Mattila as Emma and Josef Protschka as Fierrabras; Claudio Abbado conducts the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

Presenter/Andrew McGregor

22:00-01:00, Play Schubert For Me Sara Mohr-Pietsch presents late night Schubert dedications. Including the Schubert Essay: Writer, philosopher and retired medical doctor Raymond Tallis re-examines the neurological and psychological evidence of a composer who increasingly meditated on the darker side of the human psyche and human relationships.

01.00-07.00, Through The Night. John Shea continues The Spirit Of Schubert throughout the night.

Sunday 25 March 2012 - Schubert and Friends

06:30-09:00, Breakfast Breakfast will celebrate Schubert and his Friends. The spirit of camaraderie reflected in much of Schubert's music was essential to the life of the composer and his close-knit circle. How important were these friends to the creativity and productivity of a composer who lived life to the full?

09:00-12:00, Rob Cowan's Sunday Morning Schubert Rob Cowan presents a morning of great Schubert performances. Artists include Hans Hotter, Jascha Heifetz, Edwin Fischer and Emmanuel Feuermann.

12:00-13:00, Composer of the Week – Schubert Music included in this programme will be D.487 Adagio & Rondo concertante and D.620 Einsamkeit

13:00-14:30, Lunchtime Schubertiad Sean Rafferty introduces a concert from Champs Hill in Sussex, featuring the baritone Henk Neven, pianist Imogen Cooper, and the Atos Trio.

14:30-16:30, The Choir - Schubert Choral Sunday Aled Jones presents an afternoon concert of live choral music. Performances feature the BBC Singers and BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by David Hill and Johannes Wildner, live from BBC Maida Vale studios in London.

16:30-18:30, In Tune Schubert Salon Continuing programme, details at top of the schedule.

Musical highlights include songs

D.536 Der Schiffer

D.545 Der Jungling und der Tod

D.828 Die Junge Nonne

18:30-19:30, Schubert - In Words and Music This special edition for The Spirit of Schubert features the words of Schubert himself, read by actor, Russell Tovey, and those of his friends, family and critics, read by actor, Anthony Calf. Extracts featured range from fascinating contemporary documents including the composer's school reports, to the poignant inventory of his paltry possessions, listed after his death.

19:30-21:15, Schubert in Concert Petroc Trelawny presents some of the world's leading soloists in Schubert recitals from European concert halls. Featuring Andras Schiff, Gerald Finley and Christine Schafer.

21:15-22:00, Sunday Feature: Claiming Schubert Sir John Tusa explores the ways in which Schubert has been used and reinvented after his death in politics, art and literature. Amongst the many interpretations featured, Sir John looks at how the novelist George Eliot and the painter Gustav Klimt refashioned Schubert and brought a different view of him to a wider public.

22:00-00:30, Play Schubert For Me. Sara Mohr-Pietsch presents late night Schubert dedications.

00:30-6:30, Through The Night. John Shea continues the Spirit Of Schubert season throughout the night.

In Sunday's Schubert Essay, Professor Karen Leeder, a specialist in the German poetic tradition, examines Schubert's poetic sources from Goethe to Wilhelm Muller.

Monday 26 March 2012 - Schubert and Vienna

06:30-09:00, Breakfast The exclusive premiere of of Schubert's: Minuet and Trio D2F (completed by Brian Newbould).

09:00-12:00, Essential Schubert Sarah Walker introduces the Essential Schubert - great works by the Viennese master in classic performances. Each day Sarah is joined by a special guest who offers their experiences of the composer and his works.

On Monday, Baroness Julia Neuberger's choices include an excerpt from the unfinished opera Der Graf Von Gleichen, based on an exotic tale set in the Ottoman Empire.

12:00-13:00, Composer of the Week – Schubert Further programming details above. This programme will include the song D.118 Gretchen am Spinnrade

13:00-14:00, Lunchtime Schubertiad Live from Wyastone Leys, in the heart of the Wye Valley, Louise Fryer introduces one of Schubert's most ambitious and revolutionary chamber works, Piano Trio in B flat, performed by the Gould Piano Trio.

14:00-16:30, Afternoon on 3 Afternoons are the home of the Symphony, and Roy Goodman brings us his expert choices throughout the week.

Monday’s programme features Schubert's 3rd and 4th Symphonies, there will also be classic performances of Schubert Songs with baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

16:30-19:30, In Tune Schubert Salon Continuing programme, details at top of the schedule.

Musical highlights include songs

D.593 2 Scherzi

D.578 Abschied

19:30-22:00, Schubert in Concert More of the finest Schubert pieces, including: D.784 Sonata in A minor and D.845 Sonata in A minor

22:00-00:30, Play Schubert For Me. Sara Mohr-Pietsch presents late night Schubert dedications.

00:30-6:30, Through The Night. John Shea continues the Spirit Of Schubert season throughout the night.

In Monday's Schubert Essay, musician and novelist Clare Morrall imagines what might have happened when Schubert met his hero Beethoven.

Tuesday 27 March 2012 - The Outdoors Day

06:30-09:00, Breakfast Featuring the piece D.486 Magnificat.

09:00-12:00, Essential Schubert Jeremy Sams chooses music with a domestic setting. Schubert composed a great deal of music for piano four-hands, to be played by two pianists at one piano. Jeremy shares his fond memories of playing this uniquely intimate but still profound music.

12:00-13:00, Composer of the Week – Schubert Details as above.

Repertoire highlights from this programme include D.708 Im Walde

13:00-14:00, Lunchtime Schubertiad Live from the Assembly Rooms in Bath, Sean Rafferty introduces a programme of Schubert chamber music, performed by the Escher Quartet.

14:00-16:30, Afternoon on 3 – featuring Schubert's ‘unfinished’ 8th Symphony This programme will have a Live concert from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Manze, featuring a completed version of Schubert's "unfinished" 8th Symphony. And the complete incidental music to "Rosamunde" with the BBC Philharmonic

16:30-19:30, In Tune Schubert Salon Continuing programme, details at top of the schedule. On this programme, songs include: D.544 Ganymed

D.799 Im Abendrot

D.809 Gondelfahrer

19:30-22:00, Schubert in Concert Repertoire featured includes:

D.959 Sonata in A

D.960 Sonata in Bb

22:00-00:30, Play Schubert For Me Sara Mohr-Pietsch presents late night Schubert dedications.

00.30: 6.30, Through The Night. John Shea continues the Spirit Of Schubert season throughout the night.

Tuesday’s Schubert Essay examines the journey Sir George Grove made to Vienna in pursuit of the lost works of a neglected composer, Franz Schubert, resulting in his discovery of the score of Rosamunde.

Wednesday 28 March 2012- Schubert the Wanderer

06:30-09:00, Breakfast Featured repertoire for this programme includes D.106 Salve regina

09:00-12:00, Essential Schubert On Wednesday, Roger Scruton selects songs in classic recordings by great singers of the 20th century, and a beautiful Notturno for Piano Trio written towards the end of Schubert's life.

12:00-13:00, Composer of the Week – Schubert The song Auf dem Wasser zu singen will be one of the pieces featured in this programme

13:00-14:00, Lunchtime Schubertiad - Melvyn Tan and Clara Mouriz at Finchcocks Fortepianist Melvyn Tan and BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Clara Mouriz (mezzo-soprano) perform together at Finchcocks in Kent.

Melvyn will be showcasing two of the remarkable instruments in the Finchcocks collection, specially refurbished for the museum's 40th Anniversary year. He performs Schubert's six 'Moment Musicaux' as well as the Sonata in E flat major.

14:00-15:30, Afternoon on 3 Repertoire highlights from this programme include:

D.787 Die Verschworenen

D.550 Die Forelle

D.190 Der Vierjahrige Posten

15:30-16:30, Choral Evensong Led by the Reverend Alan Gyle, Choral Evensong presents a Passiontide Devotion live from St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, London. This piece is based around the movements of Schubert's 'Stabat Mater' in F minor D.383 which he composed in 1816 and was not performed publicly until 5 years after Schubert's death. Featuring the BBC Singers directed by David Hill and Organist Richard Pearce.

16:30-19:30, In Tune Schubert Salon Continuing programme, details at top of the schedule.

19:30-22:00, Schubert in Concert This programme will include a performance of D.911 Winterreise

22:00-00:30, Play Schubert For Me Sara Mohr-Pietsch presents late night Schubert dedications.

00:30-6.30, Through The Night. John Shea continues the Spirit Of Schubert season throughout the night.

In Wednesday's Schubert Essay, reference is made to 'Winterreise' as Philip Dodd reflects on the paradoxes presented in relation to snow in music and literature and life, with Schubert as the point of departure and return.

Thursday 29 March 2012 - Classical or Romantic?

06:30-09:00, Breakfast Featured repertoire for this programme includes D.895 Rondo brilliant and D.460 Tantum Ergo

09:00-12:00, Essential Schubert Sir John Tusa reflects on memorable concerts he has attended with recordings of these pieces of repertoire.

12:00-13:00, Composer of the Week – Schubert

Featured repertoire for this programme includes D.384 Violin Sonata

13:00-14:10, Lunchtime Schubertiad Sean Rafferty introduces a performance of the enduringly popular Octet in F. Live from Champs Hill in Sussex, acclaimed Clarinettist Michael Collins is joined by the young Doric Quartet, as well as horn player Richard Watkins, bassoonist Robin O'Neill and Double Bassist Lynda Houghton

14:10-16:30, Afternoon on 3 Featured repertoire for this programme includes D.787 Die Verschworenen and

D.550 Die Forelle.

16:30-19:30, In Tune Schubert Salon Continuing programme, details at top of the schedule.

19:30-22:00, Schubert in Concert - World Premiere, Brian Newbould’s finished symphony

The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under Chief Conductor Juanjo Mena continues the celebration of The Spirit of Schubert with a concert featuring the live world premiere of Brian Newbould’s BBC Radio 3 commission to ‘finish’ Symphony D, D.708a (1821), completed from fragments left by the composer.

20:15-20:35, Twenty Minutes: Discovering Music Stephen Johnson talks to Professor Brian Newbould about his work on reconstructing a number of Schubert fragments and incomplete works. They explore how close to the composer's original thoughts these completions really are.

22:00-00:30, Play Schubert For Me Sara Mohr-Pietsch presents late night Schubert dedications.

00:30-06:30, Through The Night. John Shea continues the Spirit Of Schubert season throughout the night.

In Thursday's Schubert Essay, Matthew Sweet examines the legacy of controlling an audience. During the 19th century, public performance became polite and professional with audiences listening attentively. Did this new wave of respectability enable writing, composing and performance to prosper?

Friday 30 March 2012 - Who is Schubert?

06:30-09:00, Breakfast Featured repertoire for this programme includes D.385 Violin Sonata

09:00-12:00, Essential Schubert Fiona Sampson looks at Schubert's chamber music for strings. This music is particularly meaningful to Fiona as she originally trained and worked as a violinist.

12:00-13:00, Composer of the Week – Schubert Featured repertoire for this programme includes D.940 Fantasy in F minor.

13:00-14:00, Lunchtime Schubertiad Live from St Cecilia's Hall in Edinburgh tenor, Ben Johnson and pianist James Baillieu perform D.795 Die Schone Mullerin

14:00-16:30, Afternoon on 3 Featured repertoire for this programme includes Symphony no.7 and Symphony no.10.

16:30-19:30, In Tune Schubert Salon

Continuing programme, details at top of the schedule. including the songs

D.891 An Silvia

D.764 Der Musensohn

D.580 Polonaise for violin & orchestra

19:30-22:00, Schubert in Concert Petroc Trelawny presents Schubert in Concert. Joshua Bell and Sam Haywood play the Fantasy in C for violin and piano, D.934,

Our ‘Trusted Guide’ to Schubert's Chamber Music, Paul Robertson introduces the piece. Other featured artists included The Takács Quartet, Florian Boesch and Roger Vignoles.

22:00-00:30, Play Schubert For Me Sara Mohr-Pietsch presents late night Schubert dedications.

01:00 - 6.30, Through The Night. John Shea continues the Spirit of Schubert season throughout the night.

In Friday's Schubert Essay, medical historian and author Andrew Cunningham, examines Schubert's ‘difficulty’ with romance.

Saturday 31 March – The Final Year

06:30-09:00, Breakfast Clemency Burton-Hill presents Radio 3's classical Breakfast show.

09:00-12:00, CD Review Featuring, Misha Donat with a personal recommendation from recordings of Schubert's String Quartet No 14 in D minor, D 810 "Death and the Maiden" and Rob Cowan discussing some his favourite recordings of Schubert's orchestral music.

12:00-13:00, Composer of the Week – Schubert Much of the music from Schubert's last year seems to bear dark portents, in this final programme Donald Macleod explores some late works that show the doomed composer in a more optimistic mood.

13:00-14:00, Lunchtime Schubertiad Live from the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi performs D.664 Sonata in A and D.959 Sonata in A.

14:00-16:30, Robert Winston's Schubert Professor Robert Winston introduces more of his personal choices including a recording of the Great C major Symphony.

16:30-19:30, In Tune Schubert Salon Sean Rafferty presents a special Schubert edition of BBC Radio 3's In Tune live from the Chapel at the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) as The Spirit of Schubert draws to a close. With live performances and recorded music, guests include the pianist Imogen Cooper and friends, and pianist Graham Johnson with a group of young singers. Including D.574 Violin Sonata and D.667 Trout Quintet

19:30-23:00, Schubert In Concert Tom Service and Sara Mohr-Pietsch present recordings of Schubert's late great works, including a performance of D.957 Schwanengesang by baritone Christian Gerhaher, Schubert's final piano Sonata D960 introduced and performed by Alfred Brendel and a performance of the String Quintet D956.

23:00-01:00, The Spirit Of Schubert, an un-presented sequence of some of his finest music.

01:00-6.30, Through The Night. John Shea concludes the Spirit Of Schubert season throughout the night.

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