Franz Schubert Recordings

Franz Schubert was an Austrian composer who led a very prolific, however short, career in writing symphonies and lieder. He was born in Himmelpfortgrund, Vienna on January 31 st of 1797. Schubert began studying music under the tutelage of his father at age six, and was enrolled at his father’s school a year later. Having learned basic violin from his father and piano from his brother, he later went on to study under Organist and choirmaster Michael Holzer. He then moved on to studying at the Statkonvikt, where he occasionally led the orchestra there.

Schubert became immersed in the world of composing lieder, which is a German and Dutch word meaning “song”, and generally described as the practice of setting romantic German poems to music. Schubert took the idea of composing these works and ran with it, amassing an impressive 600 Lieder in his short life. Specifically, the year 1814 was an extremely productive one for him. During this year he composed over 20,000 bars of music, a symphony, and roughly 140 Lieder.

Being well known as a forerunner of the Romantic style of relaxing tension, as opposed to raising it in the middle of a movement, and saving the resolution for the very end put him in the foreground of early Romantic composers. His innovative techniques lead to more dark pieces towards the end of his career, which unfortunately was cut short due to a serious illness. Being diagnosed with typhoid fever, which has later been speculated to have been syphilis, Schubert died at the age of 31 on November 19 th of 1828. His last musical request was to hear Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 131. Most noteworthy of his final wishes, however, is that he, upon his own request, was actually buried next to Beethoven in the Village cemetery of Wahring.