February 9, 2001
Looking Beyond the Sentimental Schubert
The late 20th century saw the transformation of Franz Schubert's image from that of a shy, impoverished "prince of song," beloved by his merry friends, into that of a depressed, drunk, hedonistic homosexual.
Of course, I exaggerate both portraits a bit. Musicians and scholars have long known that there was much more to this elusive figure than that found in countless novels, operettas, and movies. But many Schubert fans knew only the simple soul depicted in Rudolf Hans Bartsch's