Schubert & Mendelssohn: Religion & Culture #3

A quintet from Agnes Scott Strings will be providing the third installment of our Religion and Culture series. The program will feature selections from Franz Schubert, 1797 - 1828, (left) and Felix Mendelssohn, 1809 - 1847, (right). The performance will be March 24, 2009 at 7:30PM with dinner starting at 6:30PM. The Masonic Library will be open and tours of the building will be available.

Franz Peter Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was a composer from Austria. The body of his work includes over one thousand pieces of music comprising of eight symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), religious music, operas, chamber music, "songs" and solo piano music. While his style was, in most instances, pleasing to the ear, he was a tireless innovator and experimenter. He died at age 31 just as his music was gaining popularity. Schubert was obsessed with the music of Ludwig Van Beethoven and was interred next to him. Though twenty seven years younger than Beethoven, Schubert only managed to outlive his idol by eighteen months.

Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809 – November 4, 1847) was pronounced a child prodigy by none other than Goethe himself. His compositions ranged from symphonies to concerti and chamber music. Mendelssohn's musical tastes and compositions were extremely conservative and borrowed heavily from the Baroque Era, J.S. Bach in particular. He was the happily married father of five. He died at age 38 after suffering several strokes.

As with the Patron Saints of Freemasonry, it's hard to imagine two more different approaches to life, music and art. Despite their profound differences, Schubert and Mendelssohn represent the romantic era well and there are more similarities than one might suspect both musically and otherwise. Sadly, among the parallels, both men died young... neither made it out of his thirties. Both were Freemasons.

The craft is no stranger to the giants of composition: Haydn, W.A.Mozart, Liszt, J.C. Bach, Leopold Mozart, Paganini, and Berlioz have all been well documented as Brethren.
Norman P.