Franz Peter Schubert (31 January 179719 November 1828) was an Austrian composer of Classical Music. Schubert had early exposure to music thanks to his family and eventually his talent caught the eye of Antonio Salieri (who was best remembered as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's arch-enemy due to media's mispresentation). An extremely prolific worker despite his short life, Schubert's talent was admired by his friends, who often gathered to listen to his works in the so-called Schubertiad, but he did not achieve significant recognition until after his death. Accounts by people who knew Schubert confirm that he was a Workaholic: friends would visit him at home and he'd look up from composing, say a friendly hello and then go back to work and forget that they were there. It's increasingly believed that he was Ambiguously Gay, but the lack of strong evidence suggests that his workaholism didn't give him much time for a personal life. Ludwig van Beethoven was his idol, and Schubert was a torchbearer at Beethoven's funeral.
Schubert is best known for his many, many songs, such as "Erlkönig", "Gretchen am Spinnrade", "Ständchen" (better known as Serenade), "Ellens Gesang III" (better known as "Ave Maria"), "Die Forelle" (known in English as "The Trout", or in Korean as the Samsung washer/dryer end tone) and "Wandrers Nachtlied II", as well as the song cycles Die Winterreise and Die Schöne Müllerin. Schubert is generally regarded as the greatest writer of classical song in the history of Western music; apart from the sheer quality of his songs, he wrote over 600 of them. But he also found time to write a lot of other music, including many important symphonies, chamber music, works for piano, church music and other pieces, before Author Existence Failure finally silenced him at the age of 31.
Tropes present in Schubert's life and work:
- Call-and-Response Song: 'Erlkönig' is this, sung from four different perspectives: the narrator, the child, the father and the elf-king.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Very much so◊.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": You could not find a bigger fan of Beethoven in his lifetime, and while most accounts of the two men meeting are most likely fictional, Schubert once nearly had a Heroic BSoD when Beethoven pointed out a minor flaw in a work of his.