One of the greatest composers of the 19th century, Franz Schubert is widely regarded as the world’s finest songwriter. He had written two of his best songs, Gretchen am Spinnrade and Erlkönig, nearly 200 other songs, 3 masses, 3 symphonies, and much piano and chamber music all before his 19th birthday.
He was immensely prolific in all musical genres; only his operas were not successful. His existence rested on the support of his friends and the occasional sale of his compositions. Schubert was not a concert performer and most of his works were written for intimate gatherings which were later called “Schubertaids.”
Schubert’s long list of accomplishments includes more than 300 sonatas for trios, quartets, and quintets, over 600 songs called “Lieder,” and nine symphonies. Two of these, the Great and the Unfinished were performed after he died tragically at the age of 31.
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