Come, sweet death

Schubert's glasses ( Schubert Geburtshaus Vienna)

Franz Schubert left this world when he was only 31 years old. A few months before his death, in the summer of 1828,  he composed his   final instrumental work, the String Quintett in C Major.   At the time Schubert’s health was failing and he confided to friends that he feared his near death. At the beginning of November he again fell ill and  his condition worsened. Schubert died in Vienna,  on November 19, 1828.

Schubert Streichquintett C Dur, Alban Berg Quartett, Adagio

The last musical work Schubert had wished to hear was Beethoven’s String QuartetNo.14 in C sharp minor (which Paul and I listened to when we had our conversation about Beethoven a while ago. You find a link to the musical piece at the bottom ).

I heard the Quintet in C Major  for the first time when I was about 27. A friend had died at a young age and he was buried at a beautiful cemetary, between oak trees and vinyards. It was a brilliant autumn day and we listened in stillness to a live performance of the Adagio of Schubert’s quintet in C.

This was the first time I realised death had something very endearing and comforting and at some intuitive level understood the longing to die to this world and to awaken to true freedom.

Whenever I listen to the Quintet in C Major,  I think of the sweetness of death and the longing for salvation that is expressed therein. Listen to poignant voices of the two cellos, expressing the pain of parting – and the hope and temptation that lies therein.  By the way, the cello is  musical instrument that resembles most the tone of the human voice.

About Michaela

I am a wanderer and a wonderer, like you are. I love our journey and to walk in the company of friends – to learn, experience, share, laugh, cry and above all I simply love this marvelous, magical, mysterious life. I have no plan (cannot believe I am saying this) and my only intention is to be truthful to myself and others.
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1 Response to Come, sweet death

  1. jeffrey marcil says:

    Thank you for introducing me to Schubert. Love it!

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