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Living Lent from Home: Listen to Schubert’s Psalm 23

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He didn’t just compose that Ave Maria, you know.

Franz Schubert is one of the quintessential masters from the late Classical and early Romantic eras. Born in Austria on January 31, 1797, he was baptized a Catholic the very next day. Even though he lived a rather short life (only 31 years) he composed an impressive oeuvre that includes more than 600 secular vocal works, Masses and sacred music (we all know his famous “Ave Maria,”) operas, symphonies (including his “Unfinished” symphony), piano sonatas and other chamber music.

He composed a musical arrangement for the famous Psalm 23 (“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”) in 1820, which was originally scored for two soprano and two alto sections. Almost a lullaby, Schubert’s rendition of this psalm is exceptionally gentle, capturing the spirit of the psalm itself: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me …”

This psalm was specifically commissioned as part of the vocal exams at Vienna’s Konservatorium der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, and remained among the conservatory’s examination pieces for years. Surely you will understand why, after you listen to it in the video below. Let the music inspire you, and perhaps, pray along.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW4c_gYCXek&feature=emb_title

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