Franz Peter Schubert (1797 – 1828)

“Picture to yourself a man whose health can never be re-established, who from sheer despair makes matters worse instead of better. Picture to yourself, I say, a man whose most brilliant hopes have come to nothing, to whom proffered love and friendship are but anguish, whose enthusiasm for the beautiful – an inspired feeling, at least – threatens to vanquish entirely; and then ask yourself if such a condition does not represent a miserable and unhappy man.

Each night, when I go to sleep, I hope never again to waken, and every morning reopens the wounds of yesterday.”

Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer born on this day in the year 1797 – he died on November 19, 1828 after a prolonged sickness.

Schubert wrote some six hundred romantic songs as well as many operas, symphonies, sonatas and many other works. Public appreciation of his work during his lifetime has long been thought to be limited, but when he died over one hundred of his compositions had already appeared in print. He was never able to secure adequate permanent employment and for most of his life was supported by friends or employed by his father.

Today, with his imaginative, lyrical and melodical style, he is counted among the most gifted composers of the 19th century. Franz Liszt said of Schubert that he was “the most poetic Musician ever.”

In clarity of style Schubert is easily subordinate to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in power of Musical construction he is far inferior to Ludwig van Beethoven – but in poetic impulse and suggestion he is unsurpassed. He wrote always at headlong speed and he seldom blotted a line. The greater part of his work bears, in consequence, the essential mark of improvisation.

His Music is fresh, vivid, spontaneous, impatient of restraint, full of rich color and of warm imaginative feeling.

Franz Schubert was one of the greatest songwriters who ever lived, and almost everything in his hand turned to song.


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