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To soothe coronavirus concerns, consider Franz Schubert | READER COMMENTARY

Vienna was the home of great musical minds such as Wolfgang Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert, and they helped bring attention to this old European city.
Vienna was the home of great musical minds such as Wolfgang Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert, and they helped bring attention to this old European city. (V_E // Shutterstock)

Dan Rodricks says his brother Joe is smarter than he is. But he’s just as smart to pass on Joe’s recommendation of music by Franz Schubert to temper our sense of isolation in these precarious times (“Coronavirus watch: Keeping human touch while isolated," March 17). I would add another Schubert work to the list: his Symphony no. 9 in C Major for large orchestra.

Alternately sweet, startling, eloquent, tragic and grand, it plays the orchestra for all it is worth, urging the listener forward in both fast and slow portions for nearly an hour. The last section even includes a quotation from Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9, which the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will perform in June, the city’s health permitting. You can hear both Beethoven and Schubert in the latter’s work. Franz Schubert recognized and drew on the humanity of his symphonic predecessor to help hand posterity the strength and the humanity we urgently need.

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Karen Ahlquist, Baltimore

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