Andante con moto

Franz Schubert

Andante con moto has been performed in Montréal and Totnes…

In 1822, Schubert began experiencing symptoms of an illness that, just six years later, would claim his life. Perhaps an awareness of his own mortality drew the composer to revisit an earlier composition, his setting of Matthias Claudius’ poem Der Tod und das Mädchen (Death and the Maiden), which depicts the arrival of Death to take a young life. Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 is named for this composition, drawing on material from the earlier piece for the main theme of this quartet’s second movement. Structured as a theme followed by five variations, the second movement opens with this direct quote from the earlier composition’s piano part. The following variations recast the sorrowful and processional-like theme through different emotional lenses. The first two variations present lilting embellishments on the theme, while the third makes a stark break with galloping rhythms that some have compared to Death’s horse. Following the lyrical fourth variation, the fifth builds momentum only to grow softer and fade away, ultimately arriving in a major key. This might suggest that after much struggle, Death offers a source of comfort and rest.

Christina Volpini, April 2021

Andante con moto

13 Febr 2022
2:00 pm
In person Free admission with pass
Montréal (Québec)
15 Augu 2022
7:30 pm
In person
Totnes (England, UK)