The hero of music of the Austrian composer Franz Schubert, dubbed the King of Lied, is a lonely, destitute personality. Schubert communicated his music via poems and soul, nurtured bright hopes, and invested inner suffering with meaning. The latter was experienced by the composer himself. Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, which he produced while suffering from severe illness and financial difficulties, is dubbed his musical testament. The poetic title of the work Der Tod und das Mädchen (Death and the Maiden) was generated by the musical quotation (used in the Quartet’s second movement) from his song, set to Matthias Claudius’ namesake poem in 1817, written in the form of a dialogue. The Maiden symbolises life, and Death, differently from its traditional depiction, appears as a friend. In in the Quartet’s four movements the hero experiences controversial feelings, joy and pain, the beauty of life, and fight with death.
Perhaps the most popular Quartet by Schubert (Gustav Mahler’s arrangement for string orchestra) is performed by the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Giedrė Šlekytė.
ORCHESTRA: LITHUANIAN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
CONDUCTOR: GIEDRĖ ŠLEKYTĖ