Thursday, May 6, 2010

Franz Schubert-- "Serenade"

A serenade for the beauty of nature. One of the most famous and romantic works by the great composer (1797-1828).

His music has turned up in dozens of films, mostly his most famous work, "'Ave Maria". "Serenade" set the proper mood most recently in Harry Jaglom's romantic-drama feature, "Deja Vu" (1997), and the historical romance "The Young Victoria" (2009).

The story behind the piece, from the "Music At Ease" website:
"One Sunday, during the summer of 1826, Schubert with several friends was returning from Potzleinsdorf to the city, and on strolling along through Wahring, he saw his friend Tieze sitting at a table in the garden of the 'Zum Biersack.' The whole party determined on a halt in their journey. Tieze had a book lying open before him, and Schubert soon began to turn over the leaves. Suddenly he stopped, and pointing to a poem, exclaimed, 'such a delicious melody has just come into my head, if I but had a sheet of music paper with me.' Herr Doppler drew a few music lines on the back of a bill of fare, and in the midst of a genuine Sunday hubbub, with fiddlers, skittle players, and waiters running about in different directions with orders, Schubert wrote that lovely song."


  1. Sorry doug, I can't get it to play. I'll try to listen in at utube and come back later to comment.

  2. It truly is beautiful, doug. Isn't it wonderful how such a gentle piece of music, is to some so easily composed.

    I hope I got the right video, over at utube.

    No, I tried again, this video won't play for me on your page. I'm so sorry.

  3. I've been through that myself Cassandra. Quite frustrating. Hopefully its a temporary glitch--it seems to be working on this end, for what that's worth.

    Luckily there are several excellent versions of "Serenade" over at You Tube. I thought this was the best one visually. Been lucky enough to live near the ocean or the Gulf of Mexico all my life, so I love beach-scapes, especially the rocky beach about this part of Oregon. What we lack in surfers and sunbathers, we make up for in rocks. :-)

  4. Interesting story of Schubert's conceptualisation and composition of this delightful melody Doug. Interesting also how different it must be to what would emerge in our own social and historical spaces, from similar flashes of inspiration today and the nature of the hubub in which we are now immersed in our own times.

  5. I certainly agree there AA. A delightful story.

    Immersed is a good word for it. For one thing, so many cafes and such have Muzak--the ceaseless droning of generic music, or some Internet radio station pumpping Top 40 hits into one's ears, even in the gents restroom!

    I think it would be harder to get a melody in your head. (Perhaps musical geniuses don't have this problem so much , but it can't be helpful. )