« Previous | Main | Next »

Schubert One-Stop Shop

Post categories:

Graeme Kay Graeme Kay | 14:54 UK Time, Tuesday, 27 March 2012

I (heart) Schubert image


The Spirit of Schubert is a gigantic project not just for Radio 3 broadcast, but also for Radio 3 Online. To make it easier to find all the rich online content which is currently available, here’s an easy click-through guide. We're adding material to the site (and this guide) every day, so do revisit this Blog for the latest updates.

Graeme Kay, Interactive Producer, BBC Radio 3 and Classical Music TV.  



The Graham Johnson Collection – Lieder recorded live in Graham’s Schubert Salon programmes (audio).

The Imogen Cooper Collection - Imogen's introductions to key piano works, followed by performances by various artists (audio). 

The Paul Robertson Collection - Paul's introductions to classics of the chamber music repertoire (audio).

The Lieder Collection - Some of the world's finest interpreters of Schubert's songs introduce their favourites.

The Symphony Collection - Conductor Roy Goodman introduces great performances of many of Schubert's symphonies.

The Alfred Brendel Collection - Pianist Alfred Brendel introduces the last three great piano sonatas by Schubert.

The Schubert Lab - Tom Service's entertaining and informative investigations and experiments in the world of Schubert (video).

The Spirit of Schubert live concert venue and ticket guide. (PDF file)

The Spirit of Schubert Podcasts Currently including the Schubert Lab, Sean Rafferty's Schubert's Vienna, The Essay, and Sir John Tusa's Claiming Schubert. 

The Spirit of Schubert Scrapbook - A fascinating collection of Schubert memorabilia linked to the broadcasts

And now, Schubert A special Twitter feed with real time 'now playing' information on the Radio 3 schedule.

schubert@bbc.co.uk The email address to communicate with production teams, presenters, and to send in requests and dedications for Play Schubert For Me.  

The Radio 3 Facebook page

FranzIsUnwell - 'Schubert' on Twitter

Radio 3 on Twitter

Franz Schubert profile and links at bbc.co.uk/music

The Spirit of Schubert on Audioboo

Do It Yourself An die Musik - Radio 3 presenter and professional pianist John Shea performs the accompaniment to Schubert's beautiful setting of Franz von Schober's poem, An die Musik. Download the music (PDF) and sing along to John's video recording




  • Comment number 1.

    This morning, Wandering lonely as a single sculler on the orange weeping-willow lined River isis at Oxford. For coaching rowers we take videos and place them on our website www.cheneyfalcon.co.uk . To make more moving movies for pupil-rowers,

    what SHUBERT soundtrack music could we add to the audio track of these peaceful yet energetic rowing videos on vimeo.com or YouTube?

    I note that Schubert likes lines of poems about romantic river fisherman, though rowers can snare lines on the narrow Isis in Oxford.

    English or Latin translations of Shubert songs might please Oxford rowers rather than splashy German! Suggestions for best buys of the suggected rowing movie soundtracks?

    Paddling light and firm on R3
    Doc John HF British Rowing Coach on Isis

  • Comment number 2.

    Thank you to R3 for the fantastic Schubert scheduling.I only wish I had the time to listen to more.Through the Night is wonderful but too stimulating and I reluctantly have to try and sleep !! I love the great artists you have selected ,someone has done alot of homework eg Anthony Rolf Johnson ,what a relevation. I do hope more unusual Schubert is selected post the 8 days.As with the Beethoven programming of some years ago.Lots never heard and not heard since.
    We are very lucky to have R3 we need to keep promoting it.

  • Comment number 3.

    I love roast beef. However I wouldn't want to eat roast beef and nothing but roast beef every day for a week. The same, I am afraid, applies to Schubert. I'm afraid you have lost a listener for the next few days. I'm even prepared to suffer the Classic FM adverts!

  • Comment number 4.

    Longcot Doc John F,
    A Schubert song that would suit rowers would be “Auf dem Wasser zu singen,”
    “To be sung on the water”
    This would give you a steady stroke. The song compares the gliding boat to a swan and to the soul, the shimmering waters to the peace and joy of heaven, and the time spent on the river flies away as we ourselves will also vanish one day.
    English words will not fit the music! At least, no translation I know of would. You can find the translation, but it is under copyright, so I will not quote it here.
    For this song, try Barbara Bonney, (soprano) Geoffrey Parsons (piano).

    If you want something quicker, then “Die Forelle,” “The Trout,” would do nicely. The fisherman on the bank is not romantic, but cold and calculating!
    For “The Trout,” listen to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) with Gerald Moore (piano).

  • Comment number 5.

    I've loved Shubert songs for 40 years, FD&GM and the the GJ Schubert edition are on my CD rack but a week is a bit like being fed on a rich diet. Might have got new fans who have dipped into the programming but too intense for someone who has radio 3 on all day, sorry but some time for background music.


  • Comment number 6.

    This has been a wonderful week of music, but I do wonder whether having so many lieder is a good idea, as although I learned German, so few students study it nowadays, and much of the attraction of Schubert lieder is the combination of the words and music, and you can only really appreciate the depth of feeling if you know what "Sehnsucht", "Abschied" "elend" mean

  • Comment number 7.

    Demonstrating a Downgraded Dictatorial Demeanour by Doing a Daily Delivering of Deutsch Ditties is Driving Demographic Denominations Deliriously Demented.

    Double-Hundred and Double-Two Hours.

  • Comment number 8.

    Please Please Please play anything but Schubert for me!! Surely no one who listens to Radio 3 regularly wants 8 and a half days of Schubert. I can just imagine the presenters starting to dread the thought of going on air and having to find another way of saying the same thing over and over again... yes Schubert wrote a lot of music, he was short and fat, he had a good life that all went a bit pear shaped at the end and he often modulated up or down a minor or major third... Ok we've got it! Thanks! Now move on...

  • Comment number 9.

    Many thanks for the most wonderful 8 days, it has been a delight to live and work to the sound of Schubert. On Wednesday we wandered in Rosehill Victoria Park, Rawmarsh, in Rotherham, in the spirit of Schubert and enjoyed the flowers and trees as part of the spirit of wandering and friendship.
    Can you do this again?

  • Comment number 10.

    I to am a little fed up with nothing but Schubert. Did anyone actually consider this when undertaking this project? Like other bloggers I am switching to my SPOTIFY account to listen to the muic I like. It is a pity as I have found so much music that is new to me on Radio3 but this week I am simply sick of Schubert. Come on BBC you are losing listeners.

  • Comment number 11.

    I'm so sorry to learn that not everyone loved this spirit of Schubert like I did. I couldn't listen all the time but when I did I was delighted and it never occurred to me that others weren't.

  • Comment number 12.

    As a musically ignorant person I have enjoyed spirit of Schubert immensely, in conjunction with Symphony on BBC 4.
    Highlight for me on another sleepless night was to put the headphones on at 4am & listen to the gravediggers song "Who will dig my grave when I am gone" Totengrabers Heimwehe (D.842) and the unapologetic way death is presented on Radio 3 is refreshing in the distorted modern world.

  • Comment number 13.

    Enough Radio Schubert. Interesting for a while, but there is only so much minor/major, pain/comfort one can take. The M6 is bad enough without having to resort to "You and Your's".

  • Comment number 14.

    I think it has been amazing--I love the slightly mad intensity of it all (but then Schubert is pretty much my favourite composer) and haven't minded the occasional cheesiness/cringeworthiness too much.

    Picking up on Moyra's point about the large amount of German on the airwaves: this would have been a perfect time to accompany the digital broadcasts with linked translations viewable on the radio/tv/computer display (as was done a few years ago with a Wagner opera). I've never understood why this experiment hasn't been repeated: it worked very well.

    Like RClaire, I've to do a lot of driving this week, but for me Schubert has immeasurably improved the experience. How could anyone not adore this--and Radio 3 more generally?

  • Comment number 15.

    I really think it is very arrogant of the the Radio 3 management to think a whole week of one composer is entertaining, especially Schubert. In his short life he composed vast amounts. Most of this was composed early in his career and while of a very high standard, it's not fair to Schubert to dig it all up. Schubert may not even have sanctioned performances of some. Two days of the best of Schubert might have worked. I have been forced to vote with my feet, listening to CDs and Spotify.

    Radio 3 people, please note this story. My partner was very ill with and later died of cancer. He was a huge Radio 3 and while in hospital, the only thing that he liked to do was to listen to Radio 3. Then came the Beethoven extravaganza. He survived one day of Ludwig and then was very miserable till it ended. I wrote and complained at the time.

    Please note! These completist composer fests don't work on any level. Please don't even think of a month of Haydn!

  • Comment number 16.

    Classic fm must be jumping for joy at all this endless Schubert, as they do every evening with the repeat of Composer of the Week and yes, even this was about Schubert. Getting home from work is bad enough without having to listen to a lecture. Don't get me wrong it's a good programme just in the wrong slot. I'm off to break all my Schubert CDs, LPs and 78s

  • Comment number 17.

    I have loved Radio 3's Schubert celebration (and the earlier Bach, Beethoven and Mozart celebrations), and would like to thank Radio 3 for your vision and courage in programming them all. Such opportunities to immerse oneself in the music of some of the great geniuses of European classical music are a rare treat and privilege.

    There's so much to enjoy - the old favourites heard in a new way, music not heard before, historial recordings (Peter Dawson's 'Der Erlkonig' from the 1920s bowled me over). I particularly love the interactive nature of these festivals - the experience of sharing it all with other Schubert lovers the world over is a very powerful and uniting one. I have dragged myself away from the radio only with reluctance.

    As well, of course, as revelling in the music, I've loved the discussions and analyses - psychological, medical, cultural, technical - of the man and his music from those who've spent their lives studying him. Their insights have enriched and deepened my own listening. Immersion in the musical output of one person also seems to help to increase one's sensitivity to the composer's musical language. I'm sure I'm hearing more and better! I know from experience of the previous celebrations that insights and learning I've made during this one will stay with me and enrichen my listening in the future.

    Thank you, Radio 3. You are a national treasure!

  • Comment number 18.

    This has been a wonderful week of Schubert with great analysis, commentary and discussion throughout - thoroughly enjoyable. As well as all this - and Schubert - I've particularly enjoyed Petroc Trelawny presenting in the early mornings. Thank you Radio 3 for this inspirational week and all your good work.

  • Comment number 19.

    This has been the best of the composer fests so far! I love the Schubert labs and all the performers and writers introducing the pieces, it's like having a friend guide you through his vast output.
    I don't think a week is too long, the songs being in German is not a problem as a short introduction is enough if the song is quite short. The discoveries for me are the unfinished symphonies especially the scherzo of the D major D708a, can't get this "earworm" out of my head!
    I need to catch up with the recordings of the Arnold Schoenberg choir of all the male voice and mixed choral pieces. Song of the spirits over the waters -marvellous! The simple Tantum ergo, so tender and moving reminds me a bit of the Mozart week.
    You know, I never "got " Schubert when I was younger I wanted complicated modernism and drama. Now I am older and a bit wiser, to listen to the "spirit" of a man who could offer the world such happiness and "deep joy" is something very, very special indeed.
    God bless Radio 3 for treating the audience with respect (I will never listen to Classic FM). Anyway a week is soon over, and there is so much to explore and rediscover, the great string quartets, piano sonatas, and the many lighter pieces. The piano duos were a revelation e.g. the Fantasy in F minor, such a lilting catchy melody.
    Why should there be a limit to effusiveness? Do the roses and lilies in a paradise garden ask to be curtailed? So let us enjoy and admire the outpourings of this very special personal composer.
    Good job Radio 3, very interactive and open approach, thank you.

  • Comment number 20.

    To translate the songs to english I have found
    https://www.recmusic.org/lieder/ and
    to be very informative

  • Comment number 21.

    There's an urban myth which may be true... new employees at Cadbury's could eat as much chocolate as they wanted, because Cadbury's knew that eventually they'd get sick of the sight of chocolate.
    I used to think Schubert was ok. After a week of Schubert grind I'm thinking that maybe a lot of his music is just a bit. This is a shame.
    I want a reason to tune in to Radio 3 again, and be excited and intrigued by music. Not overwhelmed in relentless stodge from 200 years ago. There really is a lot of other music out there, some being composed right under our very noses.
    Come on R3, you can be a bit more imaginative than this. Surely? Where's this great British creative spirit of which we're meant to be proud? Not on R3 that's for sure...

  • Comment number 22.

    I listened to Composer of the Week (as I always do) and 3 live evening Piano recitals by Imogen Cooper, Paul Lewis and Elisabeth Leonskaja (as I often do). I unfortunately caught one of the remixes which reminded me why I hate remixes! Is it now reasonable to assume that Radio 3 will not play any Schubert until …

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    I have absolutely loved this immersion week of Spirit of Schubert.
    Absolutely amazing. I really have never listened to much classical
    music in the past, just occasionally, but I am a convert and am in love with the music of Schubert.
    What a week it has been. I think it is a great way to really expose
    people like me to the work of one composer; to hear about his
    life and loves and sufferings. But best of all his music.
    Absolutely wonderful. And the love and dedication he inspires in people
    - scholars, interpreters, lovers of his music, was very moving to listen to.
    It has been an opening to a world I didn't know existed really. An unforgettable experience. I have felt part of a big community listening together to all this beauty. I don't want it to end. But I will continue
    to listen to his work and hopefully there will be further immersion weeks
    for other composers please, THANK YOU !!

  • Comment number 25.

    Thank you Radio 3 for this inspirational week.

  • Comment number 26.

    Congratulations to the BBC as we're coming to the end of this terrific Schubert project.What other station in the world would have the guts or the resources to do it?Always loved the symphonies/piano & chamber works but for me the revelation has been the lieder.Graham Johnson should be given a knighthood!Thank goodness for the iplayer so I can catch up on the R4 & R4 extra plays etc I've missed over the last week...even forsook the holy of holys "In Our Time"..sorry Melvyn!!Great to be alive,reasonably well,unlike Franz,& have access to Radio 3 !!!

  • Comment number 27.

    It's been a wonderful eight days! This is absolutely the kind of programming Radio 3 should embrace, from time to time. At the risk of temporarily alienating some listeners, it invites and enables us to ascend to a higher level of musical, intellectual, historical and spiritual experience. Once in a while, Radio 3 dares to assume a level of sustained engagement on the part of its listeners, or many of them, at least, which goes some way to compensate for the tide of banality threatening to engulf us in the mornings. (Listeners may text, tweet or e-mail, but we don't need to be constantly informed of the addresses, please!)

    And a wonderful side-effect of weeks like these is that one can turn on Radio 3 late at night and be assured of lovely music, not the edgier offerings that we normally have to endure, or turn off, post 10pm!

  • Comment number 28.

    I have hugely enjoyed the wonderful Schubert week, listening whenever work permitted and staying up far too late in order not to miss things. I was listening to the final day in the car with my 10 year old daughter - there was a bit of a battle going on about which radio station we were going to listen to and when I finally gave in and said she could have a turn with Capital Radio, she didn't want to as she was enjoying the Schubert! This made me wonder whether in the course of a week like this something could be devised to appeal specifically to children (though without patronising them)? I think that comment applies generally to Radio 3 programming, but Schubert is a composer whom I think children will be quick to respond to - though not in his darker moods.

  • Comment number 29.

    I too have always loved Schubert's symphonies (especially 2,3, 4, 5 and 9 - I've never really taken to the "unfinished" though I can appreciate what magic is in its two movements), piano music and his chamber works but was always turned off by his (and everyone else's!) Lieder!! I think that what several comments say about the German and understanding the words is crucial. The only song I could say I knew is the amazing sinister Erlkonig - but I missed that this last week!!!! :o(( And I tended to switch off the hundreds of songs being played. But I did sit down with the words and a translation which I found on the internet and listened both to the James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook in "Die schone Mullerin" from Edinburgh and on Friday night Florian Boesch singing "die Winterreise". I was absolutely hooked and stunned by how the music, especially the piano accompaniments, reflected the words. I've been converted: I so much want to hear at least these wonderful cycles again, and maybe I will give other Lieder a second chance, perhaps more aware of what I could be missing!!

    It struck me during the week how someone in their twenties could write such music, the maturity and depth of which a much older composer would be pleased with. I also caught several tinges of Mozart in some of his chamber and orchestral music. It made me wonder whether Schubert is in fact late Mozart, showing us where Mozart might have gone if he had lived. I am 67 and it underlines the tragedy that the combined lifespans of these two amazing composers who have enriched the human experience so much, is less than my own!

  • Comment number 30.

    This has been the most magnificent week of broadcasting I have ever experienced. Whoever decided to go out on such an extravagant limb was brave - and 215 is a difficult number to justify - but those at the BBC who accepted his project were inspired. As someone said what will we do without Schubert and have to listen to who knows who .....

    Thank you

  • Comment number 31.

    I might have thought that a diet of just Schubert for a week would become stale. But no! It seemed even more tolerable than unremitting Beethoven back when. That said, it was a treat to hear Bach on Palm Sunday.

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm holding out for a Wolf week (or maybe just a Hugo's Half Hour?)

  • Comment number 33.

    thank heavens we are back to normal scheduling! please, no more marathon single composer weeks !

  • Comment number 34.

    The whole thing is misguided. I wouldn't want a week of music from the same period, let alone the same composer. I didn't listen much at all because the lack of variety made it unbearable.

    As for the presentation - don't get me started! One can only hope it is a nadir from which things can only improve.

  • Comment number 35.

    Thank you for the Schubert festival. Three comments:
    1. It was great to know that there'd be music I'd like whenever I tuned to Radio 3.
    2. I didn't listen to Classic FM once during the Schubert week.
    3. I hope you'll do it again for other prolific composers - preferably Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart and Vivaldi.

  • Comment number 36.

    Some 4 years ago you had an excellent 'Chopin Day', a Sunday I think, when every published work of his was aired; do Schubert (& other prolific types) really add up to 9 +/- days? Overkill, for me; you should have split the 9 days in 3, say, with a gap of a day or so, to allow us to reignite our appetites! From what I was able to listen to, I'd have liked to have heard more of his devotional music, esp. the masses; but I must say, the 9 days did at least introduce many, I suspect, to S's lesser-known works, otherwise rarely heard on radio.
    I hope you'll do many more single 'days', concentrating on composers' 'non-popular' repertoires: we tend to hear too much of the same old stuff all the time, especially from the romantic repertoire, a la Classic FM.

  • Comment number 37.

    As anticipated this was over kill, far far too much, it did poor Schubert no favours, so unlike a carefully balanced programmeof contrasting composers. Programme building is an art, sadly disappearing fast on R3

    The play list was terrible to navigate, so I could not even dip in for particular works I wanted to hear.

    I tried random listening, but every time, perhaps bad luck I heard that jingle and or sensless chatter or the Arpeggione Sonata (twice)

    So I listened far less than usual

    Please please give up these marathons, instead do a series of features like an extended composer of the week

    Please start treating listeners as adults and stop gushing!

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    Tedious. Contrived. My radio was turned off Saturday morning when the week started and switched back on again Sunday just gone. I dipped in during the week to see what I was missing. The answer? Nothing.

    R3 has really gone down hill now. The morning slots are a banal shambles of tweets and emails and VoxPop. What was once an enjoyable radio channel has now been reduced to the equivalent of ClassicFm-Lite.

  • Comment number 40.

    Well, on a First-Past-The-Post basis, Schubert is winning here at the moment. I make it 18 Pro and 14 or 15 Anti. Not counting me. The other Schubert blog was 5-2 against.

    As I suggested on the other blog https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radio3/2012/03/behind-the-scenes-for-schubert.shtml , it doesn't matter exactly which camp noses ahead. What matters for an advertising-obsessed Radio 3 is how much resistance there is to 'composerthons' among the core audience.

    If a commercial firm discovered that approaching half (or even a quarter) of its customers were dissatisfied with its product, it would be looking at what it was doing wrong.

  • Comment number 41.

    I was delighted with all the Schubert music.I wish I understood German.
    Is there a book with all the lyrics in English?I would like to know!
    I came late to Leider:that was when radio 3 ran a programme of songs many years ago all connected with water.Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Graham Johnson-Des Fischers Liebesglucke instantly converted me.
    (personal tribute to these two genii-name a beautiful black kitten Johnson:-)

  • Comment number 42.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments, everyone. The range of opinions of the season is fascinating. It was, of course, inevitable that some wouldn't enjoy the focus on one composer but what has been gratifying is how many fell head-over-heels in love with Franz as a result of the 'Spirit of Schubert' (this seems especially to have affected our listeners on Twitter and Facebook, interestingly!).

    Meanwhile, much of the online content from the season is still available via the links in this blog post so there's still plenty to listen to and watch. Thanks for listening!

    Steve Bowbrick, Interactive Editor, Radio 3


More from this blog...


These are some of the popular topics this blog covers.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.