In praise of Schubert.

Author:Rettig, Richard Duckett Photography By Tom

Byline: Richard Duckett Photography by Tom Rettig

A Worcester Schubertiad

"Schumann: In the Steps

of Schubert''

When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27

Where: Tuckerman Hall,

10 Tuckerman St., Worcester

How much: $25

For more: Visit

It was by no means a "Schu-in'' that "A Worcester Schubertiad'' would catch on when the first one was held in September, 2012, at Tuckerman Hall in Worcester.

In Franz Schubert's short life (1797-1828), the Austrian composer wrote an astonishing 660-plus songs, mostly Romantic art "lieder,'' as well as chamber music, operas, liturgical music and nine symphonies, including the famous "unfinished.''

During his lifetime, and for the nearly three centuries since, people have enjoyed gathering in small settings and devoting an evening -- called a "Schubertiad/Schubertiade/Schubertiaden'' (depending on your American-English or German) -- to singing and playing his beautiful songs and chamber music.

More recently, however, concert performances of arts songs for solo voice and vocal chamber music for two or more voices have become increasingly rare, especially in these parts. It looked like such genteel soirees had had their day.

"Much of this music draws upon a tradition of music making among friends and in intimate settings, which today are hard to recreate,'' said Malcolm Halliday, pianist and artistic director of the Master Singers of Worcester. "In this age, we have become so used to high decibel levels this kind of intimate music making is something we're not used to.''

Nevertheless, Halliday and vocal tenor Stanley Wilson put together plans for "A Worcester Schubertiad'' concert.

"We recognized that if we wanted to promote this music, we'd have to create the concert event ourselves,'' Halliday said.

In an earlier interview prior just prior to the first recital, Wilson said part of the idea was to make the Worcester Schubertiad an annual concert that in some shape or form opens the concert season in the Worcester area. That is, if the Sept. 2012 concert, a sort of "Schubert's Greatest Hits,'' went well ...

"The elaborately beautiful Tuckerman Hall was the perfect stand-in for a Viennese parlor of the early 1800s and the men in white ties and tails, the women in lovely gowns, transported us back into the Romantic era,'' wrote Worcester Telegram & Gazette music critic Joyce Tamer in her review of the first Worcester Schubertiad.

"This Schubertiad was a brilliant success. We can't wait for program number two. Well done,'' Tamer...

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