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Schubert's glasses, on display in his Birth House Museum in Vienna.

Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828)

Schubert, a prodigiously gifted composer of both secular and sacred music, lived most of his short life in Vienna, but failed to make the same kind of decisive breakthrough in the city achieved by his older contemporary, Beethoven. It was thanks largely to the keen awareness of later composers like Schumann and Brahms, conductors like Johann Herbeck and, in the UK, the endeavours of Arthur Sullivan and George Grove, that he gradually achieved the international fame and popularity denied him during his lifetime.


Schubert's finest works, all of which illustrate Schubert's capacity to combine great melodic fluency with intense harmonic richness, include the two-movement ‘Unfinished’ and ‘Great’ C-major symphonies (D759 and D849), the ‘Trout’ Quintet for piano and strings (D667), the three ‘late’ String Quartets in A minor (‘Rosamunde’ D804), D minor (‘Death and the Maiden’ D810) and G major (D887), the Octet (D803), the C-major String Quintet (D956), the Moments Musicaux (D780), two sets of Impromptus (D899 and D935) and several sonatas for piano, notably those in C minor (D958), A major (D959) and B flat major (D960), the Masses in A flat and E flat, and a considerable number of matchless songs and partsongs. His settings of poems by a wide range of authors, including Goethe and Schiller, culminated in the song-cycles Die schöne Müllerin (D795), Winterreise (D911) - both to texts by Wilhelm Müller - and Schwanengesang (D957), two groups of songs to texts by Heine and Rellstab.

Crawford Howie

All Things Schubert

On these pages you can start to explore our collection of 'All things Schubert'. But where to start? We can offer

  • An Iconography, a collection of all the lifetime pictures and portraits of Schubert that we know about, with a collection of several other ones that are questionable.

  • A Bibliography with a growing collection of books, compendia, and articles about Schubert and his world.

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