En "light"ened composer 

click to enlarge Pianist Abram Minzer performs with singer John - Carpenter. - 2006 PETER A. FECTEAU
  • 2006 Peter A. Fecteau
  • Pianist Abram Minzer performs with singer John Carpenter.

In my early years as a budding classical music aficionado, my tongue tripped over many of the foreign names of the composers. One of my more memorable mispronunciations was confusing the composer Schubert with the frozen dessert, sherbet.

My malapropism aside, many make a similar mistake when they recall the Romantic composer: They think of him as sugary and sweet, a creator of light music.

"Schubert in Vienna," a new salon-style concert series performed and presented by tenor John Carpenter and pianist Abram Minzer, aims to dispel that myth.

As Minzer explains, "Schubert spent time with the best minds in Vienna, discussing a popular concept of the Enlightenment: the idea of self-improvement through the interchange of ideas, from all the different arts. We're trying to capture that spirit in these performances."

Minzer and Carpenter will perform the complete song cycles of Schubert over five evenings. Schubert composed more than 600 songs, an impressive feat which becomes even more remarkable when you consider the fact that he died from syphilis at the tender age of 31.

His song cycles, groups of songs meant to be performed as a whole, were some of the earliest in the genre, and still are among the most exceptional. In addition to establishing Schubert's legacy, the songs also were vehicles for some of the best poetry from German lyric masters such as Johann Wolfgang von Gothe and Friedrich Schiller.

Bill Davis, Colorado College associate professor of comparative literature and German, will provide commentary about the poetry Schubert transformed into song.


"Schubert in Vienna":Music Salon Series

8 Broadmoor Hills Drive

Tuesdays at 7 p.m., from May 16 through June 13

Tickets: $15 per evening, $60 for full series; call 439-4630 to make a reservation.


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