10 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Franz Schubert

Here are some little known facts about the great Austrian composer and his vast collection of work.
  1. Schubert was an extremely talented music student. At age 11 his teacher exclaimed, ‘this one’s learned from God!’
  2. Despite his talents, Schubert was 19 before he composed his first piece of music for money. It was a cantata and the fee was two florins, which is roughly £20 in today’s money.
  3. Schubert never owned a piano, instead he often visited friend’s houses to play on theirs.
  4. Schubert’s mates affectionately called him ‘Schuwammerl’ which translates as ‘tubby’ in English.
  5. During his short lifetime, Schubert wrote a vast amount of music but he struggled to get it published. Of his roughly 600 songs, he only had 187 published. None of his symphonies and none of his operas ever made it to print, either.
  6. Did we mention Schubert wrote ALOT! He was so fast that in 1815 alone he wrote 145 songs, that’s roughly one song every two and a half days.
  7. Schubert only had one public concert during his lifetime. No one came to review it because Paganini was performing three days later and that took up all the space in the papers. We can relate.
  8. Our prolific composer was fond of poetry, particularly the work of Goethe, who was alive at the same time. Around 70 of Schubert’s songs are set to Goethe’s poetry.
  9. Another poet that he was fond of was Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart, who’s text ‘Die Forelle’ inspired Schubert’s popular song of the same name. You can hear us perform this charming piece with tenor Guy Cutting on OAE Player. Release date coming soon
  10. ‘Die Forelle’ (you know, the song we just shamelessly plugged) was so popular that Schubert was commissioned to write a piece of chamber music based on it. This result was the Trout Quintet which includes some variations of “Die Forelle” in the fourth movement. Oh, and what would you know, you can hear us perform that quintet on OAE Player, too! Release date coming soon.