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Schubert's Fingerprints: Studies in the Instrumental Works by Susan Wollenberg

Schubert's Fingerprints: Studies in the Instrumental Works

By Susan Wollenberg

As Robert Schumann put it, 'Only few works are as clearly stamped with their author's imprint as his'. This book explores Schubert's stylistic traits in a series of chapters each discussing an individual 'fingerprint' with case studies drawn principally from the piano and chamber music. The notion of Schubert's compositional fingerprints has not previously formed the subject of a book-length study. The features of his personal style considered here include musical manifestations of Schubert's 'violent nature', the characteristics of his thematic material, and the signs of his 'classicizing' manner. In the process of the discussion, attention is given to matters of form, texture, harmony and gesture in a range of works, with regard to the various 'fingerprints' identified in each chapter. The repertoire discussed includes the late string quartets, the String Quintet, the E flat Piano Trio and the last three piano sonatas. Developing ideas which she first proposed in a series of journal articles and contributions to symposia on Schubert, Professor Wollenberg takes into account recent literature by other scholars and draws together her own researches to present her view of Schubert's 'compositional personality'. Schubert emerges as someone exerting intellectual control over his musical material and imbuing it with poetic resonance.

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