Franz Schubert

“When I wished to sing of love, it turned to sorrow. And when I wished to sing of sorrow, it was transformed for me into love.”

Franz Schubert

Painting of young Schubert

Born on 31 January 1797 in Vienna, Franz Schubert is considered one of the greatest composers and is one of the most frequently played composers today. His melodic and harmonic music was praised by Ludwig van Beethoven, and inspired composers like Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn who collected and championed his works.

Franz Schubert's Ave Maria

Ave Maria

Schubert was first introduced to music by his father, who was a parish school master. He also gave young Franz violin lessons, while Schubert’s brother Ignaz gave him piano lessons. The family also played together as a string quartet, with brothers Ferdinand and Ignaz playing the violin, Schubert – the viola, and their father – the cello. Many of Schubert’s early compositions were written for these family occasions.

Franz Schubert's Op. 90 No. 3

Impromptu in G major Op. 90 No. 3

In 1808, Schubert received a choir scholarship to study at the Convict school that trained young vocalists to sing at the chapel of the Imperial Court. There his genius was recognized by the institution’s director and Vienna’s leading musical authority, Antonio Salieri, who played a great role in Schubert’s life.

 

Franz Schubert's String Quartet No.13 in A-, D. 804, Op.29 ('Rosamunde')

String Quartet No.13 in A-, D. 804, Op.29 "Rosamunde"

In 1813, after Schubert’s voice broke, he returned home and, influenced by his father, completed studies at the Normalhauptschule to become a school teacher. The misery of having to perform teacher’s duties at his father’s school Schubert compensated by music. At nights, freed from the tedious work, Schubert prolifically composed, producing many of his works – about 140 Lieder, one symphony, liturgical and operatic music.

 

Franz Schubert's song cycle Die schöne Müllerin

The song cycle "Die schöne Müllerin"

After a couple of years, Schubert finally decided to leave his teaching position and dedicate himself fully to music. However, Schubert was unable to secure a permanent employment, and his music did not receive much acclaim. It was only after Schubert’s death that his works received wide recognition.

 

Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor "Unfinished"

Symphony No. 8 in B minor "Unfinished"

During his brief, but very prolific life (Schubert died at 31), he wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies, including the famous Unfinished Symphony, operas, liturgical music as well as chamber and solo piano music.

4 thoughts on “Franz Schubert

  1. In July 1947 the twentieth-century composer Ernst Krenek discussed Schubert’s style, abashedly admitting that he at first “shared the wide-spread opinion that Schubert was a lucky inventor of pleasing tunes … lacking the dramatic power and searching intelligence which distinguished such ‘real’ masters as Bach or Beethoven”.

    Not far from today’s artists 🙂

    Good day to all Schubert fans 🙂
    Simon

  2. In a short lifespan of less than 32 years, Schubert was a prolific composer, writing some 600 Lieder, ten complete or nearly complete symphonies (including the most famous of the incomplete ones, the “Unfinished Symphony”), liturgical music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. Appreciation of his music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades immediately after his death. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms, among other lesser lights, discovered and championed his works through the remainder of the century. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the early Romantic era and, as such, is one of the most frequently performed composers of the early nineteenth century.

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