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by Frank Ruppert
Franz Schubert and the Mysterium Magnum explores the incredibly rich symbiosis of Jewish and Christian mysticism that flourished in Germany and Austria at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In the music of Franz Schubert heaven and earth intertwine in the sublime experiences of a wanderer. This is some of the most elevated art that any civilization has produced. The door that leads to this is poetry.
Franz Schubert was called by Franz Liszt “the most poetic of all composers.” Poems inspired Schubert’s operas and Lieder. Poems also inspired his instrumental masterworks. It is this poetry that gives us sure insight into the mystical depths of his art.
The poetically inspired works of Schubert tell the mythical tale of a wanderer experiencing life as a great romance, a romance between heaven and earth, a romance between earthly opposites. His instrumental works in particular reveal an artist caught up in the deadly torture and earth-transcending ecstasy of that romance. His artistic commitment seems to have been to the celebration in profound sensitivity and utter honesty of this life-transcending adventure. These celebrations reach their apex in the last eighteen months of his life, months some call the most important in the history of music. For those intrigued by this romance, there can be no better introduction then Ruppert’s thoughts on Schubert.
About the Author
Frank Ruppert is married and the father of two daughters. He has been active in the real estate business in Washington, DC for forty years. At the age of twenty, he entered a Roman Catholic seminary in Baltimore. In 1958, while earning a licentiate in theology from the Gregorian University, he was ordained in Rome as a priest for the archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Ten years later, along with other Washington priests, he took public issue with Pope Paul VI on birth control and the rights of conscience and left the priesthood. His interests have been in German spiritual thought, especially as expressed by the great composers of music. This thought received perhaps its highest expression in the works of Schubert. It is this aspect of Schubert’s art that he exposes in this book.
(2009, paperback, 448 pages)