Today is Schubert’s birthday and I’ve just recalled a post I wrote a few years ago entitled “Where Good Ideas Come From.” In it, I share the story of how, when Schubert’s friend and fellow composer, Lachner, called on him unexpectedly one day, Schubert suggested that they have some coffee. Supposedly, when Schubert began to grind the beans in his old, rusty coffee mill (his prized possession), he began singing the themes of what would become his String Quartet in D minor, Death and the Maiden.
Earlier this month, I wrote about Bach’s fascination with coffee in my post about his Cantata 211, nicknamed the Coffee Cantata. In it, Bach and his librettist, Picander, tell the story of a young woman addicted to coffee. This cantata, really a miniature comic opera, was probably first performed in 1734 or 1735 at Zimmermann’s coffee house in Leipzig.
Hmmm…there’s something about coffee. Starbucks, here I come!