"Death and the Maiden"

n.b.  Next month's "Last Fridays" concert is on the Last Saturday! - May 25th -

The second in Liebesfreud's four concert series of the important works for string quartet highlights the quartet known as "Death and the Maiden".  Arguably the most widely known of his works in the genre, it takes its name from a song of the same name which Schubert wrote several years earlier:

The Maiden:

Oh! leave me! Prithee, leave me! thou grisly man of bone!
For life is sweet, is pleasant.
Go! leave me now alone!
Go! leave me now alone!

Death:

 

Give me thy hand, oh! maiden fair to see,
For I'm a friend, hath ne'er distress'd thee.
Take courage now, and very soon
Within mine arms shalt softly rest thee!"

The song's theme forms the basis for the second movement of the quartet, but there is truly much more here.  Around this famous middle movement Schubert has created a masterpiece which is worthy of hearing- and studying for performance- many times during the course of one's thoughtful musical life.

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