“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
Franz Peter Schubert was born on this day in Himmelpfortgrund, Austria in 1797. It is the 216th anniversary of his birth.
Schubert demonstrated his love of music early. He could sing, play piano, violin and organ at a young age. His father and older brother were his first musical instructors. “Eventually, Schubert enrolled at the Stadtkonvikt” [Biography.com] The school was a training ground for young singers who aspired to the chapel choir of the Imperial Court. In…
1808 he earned a scholarship that awarded him a spot in the court’s chapel choir. His educators at the Stadtkonvikt included Wenzel Ruzicka, the imperial court organist, and, later, the esteemed composer Antonio Salieri, who lauded Schubert as a musical genius.[Ibid]
He was the leader of the violin section of the student’s orchestra. He also conducted.
When his voice broke in 1812 he left the college, though he still took lessons from Salieri. In 1814 he enrolled at a teacher’s college and began composing.
By 1814, the young composer had written a number of piano pieces, and had produced string quartets, a symphony, and a three-act opera. Over the next year, his output included two additional symphonies and two of his first Lieds, “Gretchen am Spinnrade” and “Erlkönig.” Schubert is, in fact, largely credited with creating the German Lied.
He left the teaching college to pursue a music career full-time in 1818.
That summer he completed a string of material, including piano duets “Variations on a French Song in E minor” and the “Sonata in B Flat Major,” as well as several dances and songs. [Ibid]
At about that time wrote his first operetta “Die Zwillingsbrüder” (The Twin Brothers) followed by the score for “Die Zauberharfe” (The Magic Harp).
His composition “Quartettsatz [Quartz-Movement] in C minor,” helped spark a wave of string quartets that would dominate the music scene later in the decade.[Ibid]
He continued to produce symphonies, string quartets, fantasies, piano sonatas and songs. He wrote over 500 songs, and is perhaps best known today for his setting of Ave Maria.
Schubert suffered from syphilis for years leading up to his death. The official diagnosis was typhoid fever, but it is likely that he also suffered from mercury poisoning as well. He died on November 19, 1828 at the age of 31.
- A Schubert Birthday Showdown (wqxr.org)
- Relaxation Piano Music I – Chopin, Schubert, Handel, Brahms & Othersמוזיקה מרגיעה (yara1133.wordpress.com)