Over the past few years I have been interested in various composers, and one that has sparked my interest is the Austrian composer Franz Peter Schubert. I have personally sang one of his composed tenor solos.
This solo in German is known as Die Forelle, but in English it is translated to The Trout. That was an incredibly fun and peppy piece of music literature, and that piece is what mainly sparked the interest of Franz’s lifetime. Franz Schubert was born in Himmelpfortgrund, Vienna on January 31st 1797. Franz was the fourth surviving son of his parents, who had lost several children. Franz’s musical talents possibly were passed from his father, who taught him basic violin skills. Franz’s older brother also taught him piano skills. Later, when he was seven, he was given his first lessons by Michael Holzer, who was the organist and choirmaster of the local church. While Franz practiced he also played viola in his family’s string quartet.
Franz Schubert’s first compositions were for string quartets, and for his family ensemble. Franz’s voice also gained attention during these years. Antonio Salieri, who was Vienna’s leading musical authority, came to Franz in 1804 and by 1808 Franz became a pupil at the Stadtkonvikt Imperial Seminary through a choir scholarship. Schubert played the violin in the student’s orchestra, and was promoted shortly to leader. He also participated in the student choir.
While at school, Franz was introduced to the works of Mozart and other composers. These intrigued Schubert and led him to want to make his own works. It was also during these years that he started writing more compositions. His earlier works included a lengthy Fantasia for Piano Duet which was for orchestra, various chamber music pieces, and three string quartets. Schubert was supposedly very shy in school, but through the interest of his peers and his music he eventually overcame his shyness and brought his finished works to Salieri.
By 1813 Franz left school and returned home to work as a teacher like his father. He started with the youngest pupils and worked for two years teaching. But meanwhile he was still in contact with Salieri, and took private lessons from him. The numerous compositions he wrote between 1813 and 1815 are his most remarkable. In 1815 he composed over 20,000 bars of music, more than half were for orchestra. He continued composing, but by 1822 his financial needs were going unmet, and he became severely sick with possibly syphilis. He continued composing until the last year of his life, which was 1828.
Schubert’s first and final public concert took place in March, 1828, and allowed him to by a piano. With his health getting worse he moved in with his brother Ferdinand. He died on November 19, 1828 in Vienna, Austria. By the end of his life he had composed some 1500 pieces, with his largest genre being solo voice and piano. It was only after he died that his music received the recognition it deserved. His choral pieces make up 500 in total, and were written for male and female voices, along with mixed voices. One of the pieces that Franz Schubert composed for choral is In Monte Oliveti.
This piece was published in the year 1891. I think this piece is a good example of the pieces he wrote but never published in his lifetime. I chose this piece truthfully because it was short and sweet. It sounded good while listening to it and was A capella, which I respect. The dynamics stand out to me the most in this short piece, since the choir that sings does them very well.