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Franz Schubert


An Austrian composer of great repute, Franz Peter Schubert (b. January 31, 1797 – d.November 19, 1828), is considered to be the last grandmaster of the Viennese Classical school of music, as well as one of the earliest proponents of Romanticism.

Although Schubert died at the age of 31, he is counted among the most gifted composers of the 19th century. He was possessed of a flair for melodies and lyricism, and he left an enormous legacy of musical wealth behind. In fact, he wrote some six hundred romantic Lieder as well as a great many symphonies, sonatas, string quartets, operas and other works.

Public appreciation of his work during his lifetime for a long time was thought to be limited, but when he died at the age of 31 over 100 of his compositions had already appeared in print. Despite this, Schubert was never able to secure adequate permanent employment, and for most of his life he was supported by friends or employed by his father.

Inspired by the poetry of Wilhelm Müller, in 1823 Schubert's first song cycle, Die schöne Müllerin, D. 795, debuted. This work, together with the later cycle "Winterreise" D. 911, is widely considered by many as one of the pinnacles among Schubert's many works and of the Deutschen Lieder in general.

In the spring of 1824, he wrote the Octet in F (D.803), "A Sketch for a Grand Symphony"; and in the summer went to Želiezovce, located in the modern state of Slovakia, where he became attracted by Hungarian musical tonalities, and wrote the Divertissement a l'Hongroise (D.818) and the String Quartet in A minor (D.804).

In the midst of this creative activity, his health deteriorated severely, and it became apparent that he was losing the battle against the effects of a prolonged fight with syphilis. At his own request, he was interred next to Ludwig van Beethoven, whom he had adored all his life. He died at his brother Ferdinand's apartment in Vienna on November 19, 1828.

In 1888, both Schubert's and Beethoven's graves were moved to the Zentralfriedhof where they can now be found next to those of Johann Strauss I and Johannes Brahms. In 1872, a memorial to Franz Schubert was erected in Vienna's Stadtpark.
Franz Schubert


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