Franz Schubert's 220th birthday
31 January 2017 sees the 220th birthday of Franz Schubert. The music world remembers him as a great composer, a genius, a rebel, an unrequited lover, a tragic figure in western music history. He died at the untimely age of 31 and left behind a significant oeuvre.
“A new Schubert edition has long been the wish of Schubert scholars”, thus Karl Vötterle wrote in his memoirs, Haus unterm Stern. The plan to create this edition arose in a Salzburg café in winter 1962-63. The following November the German Schubert Society was founded in Tübingen to oversee the preparation of the New Schubert Edition. The first volume of music was presented to the public in an official ceremony on 29 January 1968.
Karl Vötterle himself considered the founding of the complete Schubert edition one of his “great undertakings”. The success story continues to this day: With the publication of the New Schubert Edition Bärenreiter became the leading Schubert publisher and the measure of all things regarding Urtext performing editions.
Dr Wolfgang Thein, Director of the Music Editorial Department, states, “The New Schubert Edition and Bärenreiter have been closely interlinked for five decades. A total of 86 complete edition volumes have appeared to date. These and many individual performing editions form an essential part of our catalogue.”
The great diversity of Schubert's repertoire makes the study of his works particularly appealing. It was through his compositions that romanticism in music first came into flower. Long regarded mainly as the creator of art songs, it was only in the 20th century that his works in other genres increasingly came into focus. Today the concert repertoire is unthinkable without them, their combination of tunefulness, rich harmony and wide-ranging emotions casting a spell on musicians and audiences alike.