1997 marked the 100th anniversary of Franz Schubert's death. All around the world, schubertiades took place in various forms. The contemporary classical label CRI contributed to the commemoration by inviting a handful of more experimental composers (mainly taken from their Emergency Music roaster) to revisit and reinterpret Schubert. A concert was organized by Phil Kline on September 12, 1997, and the best results are featured The Alternative Schubertiade.
For a theme album, this one holds the road very well. Schubert's music is used as inspiration, sound source or simply as a starting point. Nick Didkovsky tampers with the "Impromptu in Eb Major" by adding computer-analyzed performance statistics. Phil Kline sees a journey into the underworld behind a trill of the "Bb Major Piano Sonata." Roger Kleier creates a soundscape with a fragment of a melody taken from the "Ninth Symphony." But the most surprising results are David First's treatment of nine measures from "Gretchen am Spinnrade" and the very moving "URWhatU8," an interpretation of the "Unfinished Symphony" on guitar (electric)s by John Myers. Of the meeting between old and new comes a fascinating collection of works.