Self-Quotation in Schubert - "Ave Maria," the Second Piano Trio, and Other Works
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"Ave Maria" is one of the few Schubert songs for which we have documentation of some early private performances, and the trio stood at the heart of Schubert's only public concert devoted to his works. Messing establishes that Schubert sought to convey an associative meaning with this self-quotation, trusting in his contemporaries' familiarity with the original melody and with Walter Scott's poem, a text that carried profound resonances in Catholic Vienna. Scrutinizing this evidence yields the symbolic purpose behind Schubert's allusion to "Ave Maria" in the piano trio: honoring the recently deceased Beethoven and validating Schubert as his legatee.
SCOTT MESSING is Charles A. Dana Professor of Music Emeritus at Alma College.