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Franz Schubert

Biography

Born: Jan 31, 1797; Austria   Died: Nov 19, 1828; Austria   Period: Romantic
Franz Peter Schubert was among the first of the Romantics, and the composer who, more than any other, brought the art song (lied) to artistic maturity. During his short but prolific career, he produced masterpieces in nearly every genre, all characterized by rich harmonies, an expansive treatment of classical forms, and a seemingly endless gift for melody. Schubert began his earliest musical training studying with his father and brothers. Having Read more passed an audition, Schubert enrolled at the Convict school that trained young vocalists to eventually sing at the chapel of The Imperial Court. Schubert began to explore composition and wrote a song that came to the attention of the institution's director, Antonio Salieri, who along with the school's professor of harmony, hailed young Schubert as a genius. In 1813, after Schubert's voice broke, he returned to live with his father, who directed him to follow in his footsteps and become a schoolteacher. Schubert begrudgingly complied and worked miserably in that capacity by day, while composing prolifically by night. He had written more than 100 songs as well as numerous symphonic, operatic, and chamber music scores, before he reached the age of 20.
Schubert finally left his teaching position to dedicate himself completely to musical pursuits. During the summer of 1818, the young composer worked as a private music teacher to the aristocratic Esterházy family. When he left that post in the fall, Schubert lived a somewhat bohemian lifestyle, composing and spending time with a group of friends that acted as his personal support system. In 1820, Schubert was commissioned by two opera houses, the Karthnerthor Theatre and Theatre-an-der-Wein, to compose a pair of operas. He wrote Zwillingsbruden, and Zauberharfe, both of which were unenthusiastically received. Schubert failed to secure a contract with a publisher, as none were willing to take a chance on a relatively unknown composer who wrote (harmonically) untraditional music. Schubert, along with the support of his artistic friends, published his own work for a collection of roughly 100 subscribers. These efforts, however, were financially unrewarding, and Schubert struggled to sustain himself. His work garnered little attention and contemporary composers dismissed his music as presumptuous and immature.
In 1823, Schubert was elected to the Musikverein of Graz, as an honorary member. Though this brought no financial reward and was an inconsequential appointment, Schubert relished its slight recognition, and to show his gratitude, composed his famous Unfinished Symphony. Five years later, Schubert's music was featured at a concert at Vienna's Musikverein. His work was received quite enthusiastically, and to much critical acclaim. This marked the only time during the composer's life that he enjoyed such success. This seemed to provide Schubert with a renewed sense of optimism, and despite illness, the composer continued to produce at an incredible rate. He began to organize a scheme to increase his artistic popularity, by continuing to evaluate his work and progress as a musician, perhaps even planning to study harmony privately. Schubert's health did not improve, and he soon found himself at death's door. During the composer's last moments, he instructed his brother Ferdinand to ensure that he would be buried alongside Ludwig van Beethoven's grave. Schubert revered the legendary composer, and was grateful to him, as Beethoven had praised his work after hearing a selection of songs. Schubert also highly regarded the work of both Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Franz Schubert died of syphilis.
Despite his short life, Schubert produced a wealth of symphonies, operas, masses, chamber music pieces, and piano sonatas, most of which are considered standard repertoire. He is known primarily for composing hundreds of songs including Gretchen am Spinnrade, and Erlkonig. He pioneered the song cycle with such works as Die Schöne Müllerin, and Die Winterreise, and greatly affected the vocal writing of both Robert Schumann and Gustav Mahler. Read less
Schubert: The Late Piano Sonatas / Paul Lewis
Release Date: 05/13/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902165   Number of Discs: 2
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Schubert: Winterreise / Goerne, Eschenbach
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902107   Number of Discs: 1
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Schubert: Die Schone Mullerin / Fischer-Dieskau, Schiff
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 107269   Number of Discs: 1
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Gidon Kremer & Kremerata Baltica Play Schubert
Release Date: 02/24/2009   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 3072238   Number of Discs: 1
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Schubert Edition
Release Date: 10/28/2014   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94870   Number of Discs: 69
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Work: Impromptu no 3 in G flat major

Browse 101-105 of 105 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    The Best Of Schubert
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8551116 Release Date: 02/02/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  Leonard Hokanson
    Conductor:  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra,  Villa Musica Ensemble,  Mandelring String Quartet
    CD not available
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  • 102.
    Intimate Encounters
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3505 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  David Shifrin,  Carol Rosenberger,  Allan Vogel,  Kenneth Munday  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orford String Quartet,  Chamber Music Northwest
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  • 103.
    Schubert: Impromptus / Daniel Barenboim
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 415849 Release Date: 01/18/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
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  • 104.
    A Portrait Of Murray Perahia
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 42448 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Murray Perahia
    Conductor:  Murray Perahia
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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    CD not available
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  • 105.
    Favorite Encores / Vladimir Horowitz
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 42305 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Alexander Scriabin,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    CD not available
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