Franz Schubert

Among the hundreds of outdoor sculptures that dot Philadelphia’s urban landscape are three classical music masters. But they're not where you might expect to find them.

Shawn Northcutt

Though born in Canada, violinist Shannon Lee’s story really starts in Texas; for it was there that she began her musical journey. With three-year-old hands too small for the piano, Lee began Suzuki violin classes instead. 

By the time she completed all 10 Suzuki books, much of her social life revolved around rehearsals, workshops and music camps. For Lee, “play” has always meant music. 

At the age of 8, Lee secured the mentor who would nurture her through the end of high school - Jan Mark Sloman, then the Principal Associate Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. 

Among the hundreds of outdoor sculptures that dot Philadelphia’s urban landscape are three classical music masters. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, they’re not where you might expect to find them.

Franz Schubert's Notturno in Eb, D. 897, performed by the Stuttgart Piano Trio, is featured on CD 1 in the WRTI 60th Anniversary Classical 3-CD set.

The Notturno in Eb or Adagio was probably written just one year prior to Schubert's death at the early age of 31. Although the work was published posthumously with the title Notturno (Nocturne), Schubert merely labeled it "Adagio" as it may have been intended as a movement in a larger work for piano trio. With the clarity and contrast of the piano and two, stringed instruments, listen for the simple, Schubertian melody to be exchanged.

In the opening, for example, the violin and cello sing a soft duet while the piano accompanies with rolling, harp-like chords. Then the roles are reversed as the piano takes the melody, and the strings respond with a pizzicato accompaniment. The pianissimo conclusion of this little night music drifts off into a nocturnal dream.

Music for double-bass and orchestra and a Schubert Symphony are on the program for this month's broadcast concert by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.  Guest Conductor Michael Stern, Music Director of the Kansas City Symphony (and son of violin great Isaac Stern) leads a program that features Philadelphia Orchestra Assistant Principal Double-bassist Joseph Conyers in one of the virtuoso concertos by 19th century bassist Giovanni Bottesini.  Sunday, Feb. 17, 5 to 6 pm.

Program:

It's so easy to find oneself attracted to the music of Franz Schubert. His unmatched gift for lyricism makes him so approachable, so comprehensible; and we feel ourselves being pulled into his musical world – in my case, at a very early age.  But now, with the wisdom of my years, my appreciation for Schubert has deepened.  For lying within this musical world of color and melodic beauty is a powerful undertow of mystery, of light and dark, of profundity beyond the years of a young genius who lived only until the age of 31. January 31st, 2013 marks the 215th anniversary of Schubert's birth - so I thought it was an opportune time to share my thoughts on one of my all-time favorite composers.

American String Quartet violist Daniel Avshalomov is Jill's guest this week. The Quartet celebrates its 35-year anniversary with the release of a new CD, Schubert's Echo.

More Information:

Jill's guest this week is virtuoso flutist Robert Stallman. His CD New Schubert Works for Flute & Strings, sonatas in transcription, was recently released on the Bogner's Cafe label.

Join Jill Pasternak when she interviews Seymour Lipkin - esteemed concert pianist, and dedicated faculty member at Curtis and Juilliard.