cover image Schubert & His Vienna

Schubert & His Vienna

Charles Osborne. Alfred A. Knopf, $48 (209pp) ISBN 978-0-394-54111-2

For the music lover who wants a straightforward biography of Franz Schubert, without complicated technical or psychological analyses, this will be useful. Drawing heavily on Otto Erich Deutsch's ""documentary biography'' as well as on Schubert's own diaries and letters, and quoting copiously from the composer's contemporaries, Osborne depicts a complicated man and artist, euphoric and melancholic in turn, sometimes within the same composition. Chapters alternate between descriptions of Vienna's politics, society and culture and the personal, professional and creative life of a genius who transformed a world of poetry into music. Osborne wrote The Complete Operas of Verdi, The Complete Operas of Mozart, etc. Illustrations not seen by PW. November 11