Trivia / Franz Schubert

  • Author Existence Failure: The "Unfinished Symphony" is not quite an example; at least, his early death was apparently not the whole reason it was left unfinished. (It was his 8th symphony and he went on to write and finish an entire 9th symphony before he died.) The "Unfinished" got its nickname from having only two movements (and a sketch for a third) while most symphonies have four. However, it's quite possible that Schubert would have later gone back to compose the two missing movements if he'd lived longer, so the trope is Zig-Zagged.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: Schubert died at just 31, yet left behind a truly impressive volume of work that would have been respectable for a composer who lived twice as long. In particular his songs, chamber music, and symphonies remain an important part of the Classical Music repertoire to this day.
  • What Could Have Been: This trope was invoked by Schubert's friend Franz Grillparzer, who wrote the composer's epitaph: "The art of music here entombed a rich possession; but even far fairer hopes." However, it has been pointed out that, since Schubert managed to compose several hundred songs, eight complete symphonies (and a couple of unfinished ones), 15 string quartets, several other pieces of chamber music, 21 piano sonatas and numerous other works for piano, six entire masses, a couple of dozen other pieces of church music, at least four full-length operas and a lot of shorter pieces of musical drama, plus an oratorio, such that the Bärenreiter Verlag edition of his complete works consists of 83 Volumes, nearly all of which is of the highest quality, then he succeeded, by most reasonable standards, in averting this trope.