Franz Schubert: A Biography And Musical Analysis

1517 words - 7 pages

Franz Peter Schubert, born January 31, 1797, is accredited as one of the most gifted musicians of the 19th century (“SCHUBERT”), and is considered to be the last composer of the classical era and one of the first romantic composers (The Biography). His relentlessly impoverished life was short in comparison to many people of the era – his death was on November 19, 1828 (two months shy of his 32nd birthday) – and his music was generally unrecognized and unappreciated during his time, but his exemplification of romantic lyricism and immense amount of composing, which encompasses approximately 600 liturgical music scores and lieder (lyric songs); nine symphonies that truly represent the era of classicism; several pieces for the stage; choral music; overtures; piano music, including sonatas and trios; chamber music; string quartets; impromptus; three song cycles; incidental music; seven masses; and scherzos (Forney 273, “Franz”), has earned him an unfaltering legacy among the musical community.
Schubert, born in Himmelpfortgrund, Vienna (located in Austria), was the fourth surviving son of a parish schoolmaster, named Franz Theodor Schubert, and homemaker Elisabeth Schubert (The Biography). Throughout Schubert’s early childhood, he was noted as having a remarkable musical talent. He began receiving instruction from his father and older brother (Ignaz Schubert), who taught him to play both the violin and piano; this helped in developing his passion for music (Columbia).
Following this initial introduction into music, he began singing at a local church and studying organ. He gained admittance as a singer into Stadkonvikt (Imperial Seminary), a university that “trained young vocalists so they could one day sing at the chapel of the Imperial Court” (The Biography). This location is where he began to develop many friendships that would last decades. These close friends have been familiarized as the only consistently devoted fans in Schubert’s life, as Schubert’s death preceded his public recognition as a musical genius by 40 years. In 1808, his “beautiful” voice earned him a scholarship and a position in the court’s chapel choir, which in turn allowed him to study composition and theory at the university under the instruction of educators such as Wenzel Ruzicka (the organist of the court) and, later, Antonio Salieri (Columbia), who was the leading authority of music in Vienna during this time. Salieri acclaimed Schubert as a “musical genius,” and the two would continue working together until separating in 1817 (The Biography). While in the seminary, Schubert attended choir practices, practiced chamber music and piano, and performed as a violinist in the students’ orchestra. He was soon given a leadership role and sometimes conducted when Ruzicka was absent. While Schubert was in the seminary, he wrote his first songs, including “Hagars Klage” (Hagar’s Lament, 1811) and “Der Vatermörder” (The Patricide, 1811), which captivated many of his...

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