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Schubert Essay

Discuss Schuberts contribution to life in Vienna as a working musician. Refer to a range of specic
examples and describe some of the main features of the music.

Schubert played an imperative role in musical developments in Vienna. Although his scope of
inuence might have been narrow during his lifetime, he has denitely left behind a legacy.
Schubert composed various forms of music such as lieders, symphonies, operas and
chamber music. He was extremely innovative and often his compositions were the product of
his experimentations. These innovations and experimentations helped develop the musical
scene in Vienna and contributed to its recognition as a culturally rich hub. It is rather
saddening that Schubert was only more appreciated in the later parts of his life, and after his
death.

Although the appreciation of his music was limited to a relatively small circle in Vienna when
he was alive, Schubert was very well-known for his Schubertiades. These were events to
celebrate Schuberts music. It had a very informal setting which was unadvertised and held at
private homes. Schubert himself often participated in these gatherings which were sponsored
by wealthy friends or acionados of his music. These gatherings also included poetry
readings and dancing. However, modern day Schubertiades have evolved to become formal
affairs of concerts and festivals. From this, it can be seen that Schubert has denitely
impacted the music scene in Vienna and set the stage for the continued appreciation of
classical music. In addition, Schubert played a vital role in the Stadtkonvikt. At that institution,
Schubert occasionally led the orchestra, and it was the rst orchestra that he had wrote for. It
was also where he devoted his time to composing various chamber music, piano works and
liturgical choral works. He composed Symphony No.1 in D Major, D.82, which showcased a
balanced orchestration between the strings and winds. and highlighted a balanced tessitura
for trumpets. This symphony was composed with the inuence of Haydn.

Schubert also composed various lieder, such as Der Erlknig, Die Forelle and Heidenrslein.
These were his famous art songs,

Schubert included harmonic innovations in his works, which served to pave the way for other
Viennese composers to follow suit. His works include movements in which the rst section
would end in the subdominant key instead of the dominant key. This is clearly seen in the
Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667, Trout. This quintet piece showcases unusual
instrumentation of the piano, violin, viola, cello and the double bass. Innovative harmonic
language is clearly seen here with the use of many mediants and submediants. In addition,
the 4th movement is in the subdominant of the original key. This piece is highly rich in
chromaticism. Chopin was highly inuenced by Schuberts timbral writing of this piece.

However in terms of stage works, Schubert was not as successful. Although his
compositions of 1819 and 1820 showed his increasing maturity of style, his 17 stage works
were generally unsuccessful and quickly forgotten. The popularity of his operas were
overtaken by Rossini and other Italian Operatic styles, given that they were difcult to
perform. In addition, publishing houses did not want to print his stage works. Therefore, it can
be said that Schubert did not contribute much in terms of stage works.

Schuberts contributions were greatly seen in the last few years of his life, where he
composed a few symphonies. The most popular one being the Unnished Symphony. It was
unnished after 2 movements and there were some sketches of a 3rd movement. This period
of his life is often known as his creative period. This period was also characterised by
tragedy and deep emotional turmoil, but also produced many harmonic innovations and
technical virtuosity.

In conclusion, Schubert was an extremely remarkable composer with almost 1000 works in
his short lifespan. His contributions to the Vienna music scene are far and wide