Schubert’s “An Die Musik”: An Ode to the Art of Music

An die Musik (“To Music”) is Schubert’s moving ode to the art of music.

Composed in March of 1817, the song can be heard as a deeply contemplative prayer of gratitude. The vocal line engages in a canonic dialogue with an equally important voice in the piano’s lower register. The music is gently propelled forward by pulsating harmony. Using the most sublimely simple means, this brief song inhabits a space of dignity and reverence.

Here is the late Christa Ludwig’s 1967 performance with pianist Geoffrey Parsons:

Here is a translation of the text by Franz von Schober:

O blessed art, how often in dark hours,
When the savage ring of life tightens round me,

Have you kindled warm love in my heart,
Have transported me to a better world!
Transported to a better world

Often a sigh has escaped from your harp,
A sweet, sacred harmony of yours

Has opened up the heavens to better times for me,
O blessed art, I thank you for that!
O blessed art, I thank you!

Recordings

  • Schubert: An die Musik, D. 547, Christa Ludwig, Geoffrey Parsons Amazon 

Featured Image: Schubert’s manuscript for “An die Musik” 

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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