Classical Music | Cello Music

François Schubert

The Bee for cello and piano  Play

Krystof Lecian Cello
Sandra Gonzáles Piano

Recorded on 09/28/2010, uploaded on 09/28/2010

Musician's or Publisher's Notes

Sometimes confused with his southern counterpart, Franz Anton Schubert (also known as François Schubert) was born in 1808 and spent much of his life in the German city of Dresden. The son of a church composer, François himself became a violinist and composer. During his long life (he lived until 1878), he composed numerous concert pieces and etudes, as well as chamber music. Today, however, he is principally known for a single piece—L'Abeille for violin and piano.

L'Abeille ("The Bee") is a moto perpetuo much like Tchaikovsky's later Flight of the Bumble Bee. It was published as part of Schubert's Bagatelles op. 13, no. 9. In E minor and duple meter, the violin part is a persistent stream of triplet sixteenth notes. The opening section mainly centers on semitone oscillations in the violin, which are mimicked by the piano accompaniment. As the piece progresses, the oscillations become wider and by the time the first section closes in the key of the relative major, the violin is mostly moving in arpeggios. The brief middle section begins over a pedal tone in D. The violin melody, consisting of arpeggios followed by repeated tones, climbs gradually up from E-flat to B natural, only to fall back down to the tonic E. The opening section returns but this time remains firmly grounded in the key of E minor. A brilliant ascending tonic arpeggio and two pianissimo chords bring the piece to a close.    Joseph DuBose