Schubert, Franz Peter

(1797–1828)
   The greatest of all composers to work in the genre of the art song, Schubert was born and spent his first years in Lichtental, then one of the outlying districts of Vienna. His father was a schoolteacher and gave him his first instructions in music theory and violin. A brother, Ignaz, taught him piano. Schubert sang as a choirboy in the University Church in the center of the city. We know relatively little about his childhood and his family relations; frustrated biographers have speculated much about Schubert’s psyche and his feelings, but have relied heavily upon the memoirs of the composer’s friends and acquaintances for their information.
   Franz Schubert assisted his father at the latter’s school for a time. Between 1814 and his death, however, gifted with seemingly inexhaustible melodic resources and an uncanny feel for sometimes subtle, sometimes startling, modulation, the youthful composer turned out a staggering amount of music that probed a wide range of emotions. Taking his texts from the famous, such as Johann Wilhelm Goethe, as well as from the modest and all but unknown poets of his day, Schubert wrote more than 600 songs with piano accompaniment. They often had their first performances at so-called Schubertiades, held initially in Schubert’s family home, then in the quarters of musically inclined friends who represented the spectrum of cultivated Viennese society. These occasions finally became full rehearsals and orchestral concerts. Though Schubert was financially more astute than some of his biographers have believed, his intimates occasionally published his works at their own expense.
   Beyond his songs, his 18 string quartets and quartet movements, his piano quintet The Trout (1819), two piano trios, and several of his 23 sonatas for piano, along with many smaller works for the instrument, such as the eight impromptus and six Moments musicaux, are classics of their type. His eight symphonies were more problematic, suffering from awkward orchestration and fitful inspiration. The best known, the B minor, has gone down in posterity as the “Unfinished” because it ends after the second movement. It has long been believed that Schubert suffered from pangs of inadequacy brought on by comparing his own symphonic resources to those of Ludwig van Beethoven, who was working in Vienna at the same time. But the relationship of the two men is still a matter of debate. If their careers were parallel at all, it was in their mutual failure to write successfully for the theater. Nevertheless, Schubert’s music toward the end of his life suggests that the author very much wished to follow structural patterns that his great contemporary had perfected for the piano and symphonic works. Schubert gave a eulogy at Beethoven’s funeral in 1727.
   See also Biedermeier.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Schubert,Franz Peter — Schu·bert (sho͞oʹbərt, bĕrt ), Franz Peter. 1797 1828. Austrian composer who perfected the form of the German art song in his more than 600 compositions for voice and piano. He also composed symphonies and chamber music. * * * …   Universalium

  • Schubert, Franz (Peter) — born Jan. 31, 1797, Himmelpfortgrund, near Vienna died Nov. 19, 1828, Vienna Austrian composer. He learned violin from his schoolteacher father and piano from his brother. He joined the precursor of the Vienna Boys Choir (1808), making such quick …   Universalium

  • Schubert, Franz Peter — ► (1797 1828) Compositor austríaco. El número de sus composiciones se eleva a más de mil y, aparte de sus óperas y sinfonías, es el creador del lied moderno. Entre sus muchas obras cabe citar: Viajes de invierno, La bella molinera (ciclos de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Schubert, Franz (Peter) — (31 ene. 1797, Himmelpfortgrund, cerca de Viena–19 nov. 1828, Viena). Compositor austríaco. Aprendió a tocar el violín con su padre, un maestro de escuela, y piano con su hermano. En 1808 se incorporó al conjunto precursor de los Niños cantores… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • SCHUBERT, FRANZ PETER —    composer, born, the son of a Moravian schoolmaster, at Vienna; at 11 was one of the leading choristers in the court chapel, later on became leading violinist in the school band; his talent for composition in all modes soon revealed itself, and …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Schubert, Franz — ▪ Austrian composer Introduction in full  Franz Peter Schubert  born , Jan. 31, 1797, Himmelpfortgrund, near Vienna died Nov. 19, 1828, Vienna  Austrian composer who bridged the worlds of Classical and Romantic music, noted for the melody and… …   Universalium

  • Franz Peter Schubert — noun Austrian composer known for his compositions for voice and piano (1797 1828) • Syn: ↑Schubert, ↑Franz Schubert, ↑Franz Seraph Peter Schubert • Instance Hypernyms: ↑composer …   Useful english dictionary

  • Schubert — Schubert, Franz Peter …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Franz Schubert — Franz Peter Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. He wrote some 600 lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous Unfinished Symphony ), liturgical music, operas, and a large body of chamber and solo piano… …   Wikipedia

  • Franz — /franz, frants/; Ger. /frddahnts/, n. a male given name, German form of Frank. * * * (as used in expressions) Beckenbauer Franz Becker Boris Franz Boas Franz Bopp Franz Brentano Franz Clemens Canaris Wilhelm Franz Karl Franz Josef Chrysander Karl …   Universalium

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