Vienna was the centre of the cultural world at the dawn of the 19th century. Music was performed everywhere – in homes both grand and modest, in the taverns, even in the streets – and one of the city’s stars was Joseph Leopold Eybler, a friend and distant cousin of Haydn’s, who in his youth had been dubbed the greatest musical genius in Vienna apart from Mozart. His String Quintet is a sparkling, delightful example of late Classical style, and deserves to be better known.
Schubert wrote his Octet in 1824 at the suggestion of a colleague who wanted another piece like Beethoven’s Septet, first performed in Vienna in 1800 and still very much a favourite of the city’s music community. Schubert added a second violin to Beethoven’s instrumentation, and kept a similar structure to his work, but the character of the music is all his own. His most ambitious chamber work, and arguably his finest, features those immediately Schubertian qualities of effortless, gorgeous melodies coupled with an almost desperate sense of heartache and longing.
a conversation about hope, beauty, and humanity … an elegant, expert performance.
Night Writes, 2021
Other programs in the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra series:
Northern Serenades – Wednesday 23 March
Tempestuous Skies – Tuesday 23 August
Subscribe to all three
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