Author Archives: Andrea R Huelsenbeck

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

Franz Schubert

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Franz Schubert

Franz Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19,1828) was an Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras. Despite his short lifetime, Schubert created a vast quantity of compositions, including more than 600 vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of piano and chamber music. His most famous works include the Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667 (Trout Quintet), the Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 (Unfinished Symphony), the three last piano sonatas (D. 958–960), the incidental music to the play Rosamunde (D. 797), and the song cycles Die schöne Müllerin (D. 795) and Winterreise (D. 911).

Born in the Himmelpfortgrund suburb of Vienna, Schubert’s musical gifts were evident from an early age. At the age of five, Schubert began to receive regular instruction from his father, and a year later was enrolled at his father’s school. Franz was given piano lessons by his brother Ignaz, but they lasted for a very short time as Franz surpassed him within a few months.

His father gave him his first violin lessons when he was eight years old, training him to the point where he could play easy duets proficiently. Soon after, Schubert became the student of Michael Holzer, organist and choirmaster of the local parish church, who did not give him any real instruction, as the boy already knew anything he tried to teach him. The boy seemed to gain more from an acquaintance with a carpenter’s apprentice who took him to a neighboring piano warehouse where Schubert could practice on better instruments. Franz also played viola in the family string quartet, with his brothers Ferdinand and Ignaz on first and second violin and his father on the cello. Schubert wrote his earliest string quartets for this ensemble.

Young Schubert first came to the attention of Antonio Salieri, then Vienna’s leading musical authority (and rival of Mozart), in 1804, when his vocal talent was recognized. In the meantime, Schubert’s genius began to show in his compositions; Salieri instructed him in music theory and composition.

In November 1808, he entered the Stadtkonvikt (Imperial Seminary) on a choir scholarship. There he was introduced to the overtures and symphonies of Mozart, the symphonies of Joseph Haydn, and the overtures and symphonies of Beethoven, a composer for whom he developed a special admiration.

At the end of 1813, Schubert left the Stadtkonvikt and returned home for teacher training at the St Anna Normal-hauptschule. In 1814, he entered his father’s school as teacher of the youngest pupils. For over two years young Schubert endured the teaching profession for which he cared little. He continued to take private lessons in composition from Salieri, who gave Schubert more actual technical training than any of his other teachers, before they parted ways in 1817. His teaching job and private musical lessons earned him enough money for only his basic needs. Schubert’s unhappiness contributed to his depression, from which he suffered throughout his life.

In 1821, Schubert was granted admission to the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde as a performing member, which helped establish his name among the Viennese citizenry. He gave a concert of his own works to critical acclaim in March 1828, the only time he did so in his career.

Schubert

Franz Schubert by Wilhelm August Rieder

In the midst of this creative activity, his health deteriorated; Schubert confided to some friends that he feared that he was near death. Some of his symptoms matched those of mercury poisoning (mercury was then a common treatment for syphilis, suggesting that Schubert suffered from it). At the beginning of November, he again fell ill, experiencing headaches, fever, swollen joints, and vomiting. He was unable to retain solid food and his condition worsened. Schubert was only 31 years old when he died.

Appreciation of Schubert’s music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades following his death. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, and other 19th-century composers and performers discovered and championed his works. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the 19th century, and his music continues to be included in popular repertoire.

Monday Morning Wisdom #215

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King quote

From the Creator’s Heart #211

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He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth (Isaiah 53:7 Berean Study Bible).

ICAD2019: Week 6

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I am participating in the Index-Card-a-Day challenge and World Watercolor Month. I am making small watercolors every day in July.

I watched a video tutorial Angela Fehr posted for World Watercolor Month, which inspired me to try an abstract painting for Day 36:

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The prompt for Day 37 was botanical. I attempted to try to paint an impression of these roses that I photographed at Mesa Community College’s rose garden:

On Day 38 I watched a tutorial for drawing a watermelon with watercolor pencils. My past attempts with watercolor pencils were very unsatisfactory. Even though I’d read articles on how to use them, it’s not the same as looking over someone’s shoulder and listening to the artist describe what she’s doing. Apparently, I’d not been pressing hard enough to leave enough pigment on the paper, and I’d only dribbled the water on instead of scrubbing the water with the brush. What a difference!

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Every July I get frustrated with what an unpredictable surface index cards are for watercolor. The cards curl up and wrinkle where the water pools. I thought I could get around it by “preparing” the cards by taping them to a hardboard, spraying them with water, and letting them dry before painting. It didn’t work.

So I switched over to watercolor postcards. I’m justifying to myself that they count for ICAD because they’re 4 x 6 inches, the size of a large index card.

Since video tutorials have been working out well for me, I watched another one, which inspired the rest of the cards for the week.

Day 39:

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Day 40:

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Day 41:

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Day 42:

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My favorite painting for the week is the watermelon. I think it looks real. I’m excited that it’s a step forward for me, that now I know better how to use the watercolor pencils.

The tree tutorial didn’t help me as much as the others, because even though I could see what the artist was doing, hearing an explanation would have clarified it for me. I need words + the visual.

It’s not too late to jump in and participate–there are still two and a half weeks left, time enough to make 19 little artworks if you start today. It’s fun! No pressure.

In the Meme Time: Brainstorm

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Brainstorm

Creative Juice #146

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Creative Juice #146

Happy to provide your weekend inspiration. You’re welcome.

Guest Post: The Value of Dreams for a Writer by Doug Lewars

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Thank you to Doug Lewars and to A Writer’s Path for this insightful article about drawing on dreams for your fiction.

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A member of a writers’ group to which I belong woke up one morning with a fully formed story in her head. She had to do a bit of background checking to make sure some elements of the setting were accurate but the basic plot was all there. I’ve never experienced that but I have had dreams that were useful in crafting a narrative.

Dreams, they tell us come from the subconscious. Some suggest they are representative of psychological conflicts working themselves out. Others say they’re just random brain functions sorting informational experiences from the day before. A few believe they are transmissions from the supernatural. I would like to believe the latter because it would be more fun but I have my doubts.

Babies, particularly newborns sleep a lot – some as much as 20 hours per day – some even preferring sleep over food. Do they dream? Probably. Dreams occur during rem sleep. Adults have about 20% rem sleep whereas with babies it’s more like 50%. So if a baby is sleeping 16 – 20 hours a day, that’s a lot of time during which they can dream. Therefore it might be hypothesized that dreams are a means by which the brain sort itself out – establishes neural networks and that sort of thing. Parents report that babies can be pretty active when they sleep. That suggests that while they may not dream quite like adults, their dream life is possibly as real, or more real to them than waking.

Certain psychological practices make use of dreams. In one, the patient selects any character from a dream, imagines the individual sitting across from him and starts a conversation. Then the patient physically moves to the other chair and responds from the dream character’s perspective. The dialog proceeds this way and is supposed to assist in working out underlying mental problems. I don’t know if it does the latter but it’s a pretty good strategy for getting into the head of a new character whether that character originated in a dream or not.

From a writer’s perspective, one of the more useful things about dreams is that they’re unstructured. In a dream, literally anything goes. You can meet and defeat monsters. You can sustain any amount of abuse without feeling any undue pain. You can meet people from your past who have died and you can die yourself without consequences. As a result, dream images can be highly surreal and that is useful for stretching the imagination. Last night for example I met my cousin’s great grandchild. I have no idea whether a great grandchild exists in real life and consider it somewhat unlikely; nevertheless, there she was and her name was Harmony. This is not a name I would normally come up with and I certainly don’t know anyone with such a name but it sounds like one that might fit into a story.

To continue reading this article, click here.