Mt. Pleasant Lutheran Church

Listening to your Original Voice

May 27th, 2014 by Pastor David Echelbarger

Listening to Your Original Voice

This morning’s concert, in my family room, at 5:30 a.m., courtesy of my stereo system, were two string quartets of Fredrick Schubert. I absolutely love Schubert’s music especially his chamber works. These were two early quartets. D112 composed when he was thirteen years old, and D353 when he was nineteen. I had not heard either work before. Mostly I am captivated by his “mature” works. (Although you wonder if they can be described as mature when you die at age 30!) D112, the early work, was clearly the voice of the Schubert I know so well: the subtle lyricism, a sad drone in the cello and viola, acting like a Lake Michigan undertow taking one into the depths. Clearly this was his voice and evident even at thirteen.

After refilling my coffee cup, I eagerly listened to the second work of the nineteen year old. I was expecting to hear Schubert, but I heard little of his distinctive voice that was apparent in the earlier work. At the time of D353’s composition, Schubert was under the tutelage of Salieri one of the leading music figures of his day. Salieri had successfully (?”) purged all vestiges of Schubert’s own voice and replaced it with his, and Haydn’s. Shortly after finishing the composition, Schubert left Salieri – and for good reason: he was losing his voice.

Each of us has a unique perspective on the world. Each of us mirrors God’s creation in a unique ways. While education is important, advice and guidance sought, we must not sing someone else’s song. Education, advice and guidance, prepares us to better discover our own. Go forth. Discover. And Sing, as only you can.

David L. Echelbarger

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