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Shadow on Concrete Wall

Franz Schubert
​1797 - 1828

Austrian composer. He learned the violin from his schoolteacher's father and the piano from his brother. He joined the forerunner of the Vienna Boys' Choir (1808) and made such rapid progress that Antonio Salieri undertook to lead his training.


At the urging of his family, he was trained as a school teacher. In 1815 he wrote 2 symphonies, more than 100 songs and 4 works for the stage. In 1818, in search of independence, he gave up teaching at his father's school to teach the daughters of Johann Esterházy. Between 1819-20 he wrote the famous Trout Quintet and a mass. In 1821, 20 of his most popular songs were published with great success, and he wrote the three-act opera Alfonso and Estrella.


Despite his first awareness of the disease (possibly syphilis) that would kill him, his amazing production continued in 1822 with the Unfinished Symphony and the Wanderer Fantasy.


During his last five years he was often ill, but continued his music production, including the song cycles "Die Schöne Müllerin" and Winterreise, the last three piano sonatas and the Great Symphony. His last years were made miserable by illness, not poverty; in fact, its size has been widely recognized.


He died at the age of 31 and by that age had created more masterpieces than almost any other composer in history. Its 600 songs made the song a serious genre and sparked its great development in the decades that followed.

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