Schubert, Franz Peter
He wrote more than 600 songs, many to the lyrics of such German poets as Goethe, Schiller, and Heine. In addition to individual lyrics, such as the famous Erlkönig, set to a ballad by Goethe, Schubert wrote such song cycles as Die schöne Müllerin (1823) and Die Winterreise (1827), both to poems of Wilhelm Müller. Schubert's symphonies are the final extension of the classical sonata forms, and three of them—the Fifth, in B Flat (1816), the Eighth, in B Minor (the Unfinished, 1822), and the Ninth, in C Major (1828)—rank with the finest orchestral music. The Quartet in D Minor (Death and the Maiden, 1824) and the Quintet in A Major (The Trout, 1819) are the best known of his mature chamber works. He also composed music for the stage, overtures, choral music, masses, and piano music, including 21 sonatas and shorter waltzes, scherzos, and impromptus. Except for a circle of admirers who were among the leading artists of the period, he gained little recognition before his death. He held only one musical appointment, that of music teacher to the children of a Hungarian nobleman, and he lived in poverty.
See O. E. Deutsch, The Schubert Reader: A Life … in Letters and Documents (tr. 1947); biographies by M. J. E. Brown (1958, repr. 1977), A. Einstein (1951, repr. 1981), and C. H. Gibbs (2000); studies by M. J. E. Brown (1966, repr. 1978), B. Newbould (1992, 1997), and I. Bostridge (2015); C. H. Gibbs, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Schubert (1997).
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