Juilliard String Quartet-An Exploration of Schubert's Death and the Maiden

. Touchpress Limited. 2015. iOS, 8.1 or later. Version 1.1.2. $2.99 for a limited time, then $13.99.
Gr 10 Up—When considering a musical masterpiece, discussion centers on the composition, composer, and the historical significance of the work. As usual, Touchpress does an extraordinary job covering all of these elements in its latest production. In addition to the text, the app explores the relationship between the members of the Julliard String Quartet (Joseph Lin, Ronald Copes, Roger Tapping, Joel Krosnick) as they share insights from their performance of the piece and provide commentary highlighting their "ongoing discussions with regard to theme." The depth of their understanding is what makes this production so strong. Sometimes they share what listeners should be attuned to, though often they focus on the emotional pull of the motives.The honesty and intimacy of these conversations will allow untrained listeners to develop an eye and an ear for the genius of Schubert. Professionals may delight in hearing the performers share process, inner fears, and compliments. The musicians reference many relevant works throughout their commentary, and the section, "About the Piece," covers Schubert's life, the song (performed separately by Avery Amereau and Brian Zeger) the Quartet in D minor, and the performers. It is an extensive analysis, with video remarks sprinkled throughout. Listeners can expect to sit with the app for many enjoyable days in order to appreciate its full content. As typical with this developer's productions, the piece can be accessed with or without the synchronized score, beat map, group performance video, individual performer video, and subtitles. A treasure for professionals, students of music, and musical dabblers. Available in English, simplified Chinese, and traditional Chinese.—Pamela Schembri, Newburgh Enlarged City Schools, Newburgh, NY

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