Franz Schubert (1797–1828)

How to say the name:

‘Schubert’ is said like Shoe-bert. ‘Franz’ is said like ‘France’.

Born:

31st January 1797 in Vienna, Austria.

Schubert’s grave in Vienna

Died:

19th November 1828 in Vienna.

Buried:

Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) in Vienna.

Type of Music:

Classical music from the late classical period to the early romantic period.

some famous pieces:
  • Ave Maria (Hail Mary)—a song. (See below for a video).
  • Serenade (a song)
Some great pieces:
  • Symphonies No. 8 (the ‘Unfinished’) and No. 9 (the ‘Great’).
  • ‘Trout’ quintet. (See below for a video.)
  • Several string quartets, such as ‘Death and the Maiden’ (String Quartet in D minor, D. 810).
  • Last piano sonatas (D. 958, D. 959 and D. 960).
  • Plus many, many songs!
Some interesting facts:
  • He wrote over 1000 pieces of music, even though he only lived to the age of 31!
  • He wrote over 600 songs! Some of these are among the greatest songs ever written.
  • His ‘Unfinished’ Symphony really is unfinished and was discovered by surprise after Schubert died. It is one of his greatest works, but he didn’t even tell his friends that he was writing it!
  • He wasn’t one to show off. He often wrote music and simply put it in a drawer where he forgot about it. And towards the end of his life he thought about taking lessons in composing because he didn’t think he was good enough!
  • He was in awe of Beethoven throughout his life. And he was very nervous when he met Beethoven for the first time. Some people say he was so nervous that he simply ran away!
  • He was a torch-bearer (someone who carries a torch) at Beethoven’s funeral.
  • He wanted to be buried next to Beethoven, and he is.

Here is a video of Schubert’s Ave Maria (Hail Mary).

Schubert’s Ave Maria

And here is a video of part of Schubert’s Trout Quintet. By the way, it’s called the ‘Trout’ Quintet because the tune you hear in the video comes from a song by Schubert called ‘The Trout’ (or Die Forelle in German).

Fourth movement of Schubert’s ‘Trout Quintet’

Picture credits:
  1. Franz Schubert. This is a painting by Wilhelm August Rieder from 1875 based on another painting from 1825. It is held in the Historisches Museum in Vienna. The image is in the public domain. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
  2. Schubert’s grave in Vienna. This photograph was taken by James Grimmelmann on the 16th May 2005. The image is may be use freely, providing one credits the photographer. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
Video credits:
  1. Barbara Hendricks – Ave Maria (Franz Schubert). Barbara Hendrricks (soprano) and Roland Pöntinen (piano) during the recording of the Ave Maria (Ellens Gesang III) by Franz Schubert in Stockholm in November 2007.
  2. Schubert Piano Quintet “Trout” 4rd mov.. 20070914 “Ruhwa Study” in C.N.U.

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