· The Life of Schubert by Christopher Gibbs (’76). Christopher takes a close look at what we know about Schubert, his family, friendships, the evolution of his work, and the various myths that have grown up around this intriguing composer. Because of his enormous outpouring of songs, symphonies, masses, string quartets, and more, Schubert’s short life can be divided into distinct periods as though he led a full, long life compressed into 31 years. Christopher has a sure hand with the documents that remain, letting us in on the apocryphal debates but harmonizing his own arguments with the evidence. The Schubert we get to know is an intensely loyal friend, generous with his staggering talent, who endured extreme suffering, not only because of his ill health, but because of deep depressions. What I liked most about this book was Christopher’s thorough understanding of the compositions. I was happy to have YouTube by my side so that I could listen to Der Doppelgänger and the D Minor Quartet, “Death and the Maiden,” or any other piece Christopher discussed. The biography leads one back to the music, as it should.