He was the only composer to have grown up in Vienna from the 1st Viennese School. 12th child in the family, hence the parents had money problems. Writing over a thousand pieces of music and only 100 got published in his lifetime showed how little recognition he received. Nowadays he is considered ‘musical genius’ and is best known for his song writing (having written 603 songs). German translation for song is ‘lieder’. His piano duets were very popular.
At just 3 years old Schubert taught himself to play the violin- talented or what! He had a good voice so auditioned for Imperial Choir to also enter the school that provided the best education. Salieri (remember he had links with Mozart) was on the panel. When Schubert sung he was respected (considered well for his age)-taken on as soprano.Early Life Here he played 1st violin and people were impressed by his phenomenal ability and so he was taught piano, violin and counterpoint. Holtzer (organist) introduced Schubert to Beethoven and he loved the music- Mozart also influenced his composing. Becoming 1st violinist and Concert Master at 13 shows how talented Schubert was.
At 15 Schubert’s voice broke but he could still be educated at the school. Though at 16 he left and grudgingly became a teacher so he didn’t have to enlist for the war. He also wrote his first symphony at this age for the director at the school (gift). On Sundays he would still compose at the school.Early Life From 17 he wrote 200-300 songs on two years (famous one was Gretchen am Spinnracle). In 1815 Schubert met Schober (law student) and lived with him for free because he had no financial income. He met Vogl a baritone singer which led to the formation of the Schubertiads who sung his songs.
When some of his operas were performed the music critics didn’t like it as it was ahead of their time (too grave/dark- romantic style). As he started to get drunk everyday his health was affected. He found that if he dedicated his work to people he was able to get it published- first was in 1821.Later Life 1823 he became a ‘proper’ composer as his music was done for orchestras. His work from the last years of his life were quite sad/emotional as he was dying. Also as he knew he was dying he wrote more.
He rarely composed with the piano as heheard music in his head and just wrote itdown.His mother understood Schubert’s desireto become a musician whereas his fatherwanted him to have good grades in themajor curriculum subjects.Gypsy music and music heard in Hungaryinfluenced his writing.As he was quite poor he couldn’t go tosee orchestral works, that’s why his musicwas mostly chamber music.
A detailed analysis of eachpart of the 1st movement‘Allegro Moderato’- Sonataform but slightly different in itsstructure.
Considered ‘unfinished’ as there are only 2 movements (normally 4 in a symphony). Until 1978 it was known as the 7th symphony. When he wrote this it was popular to be composing symphonies- highest form of music-orchestral-huge works. Typical Classical Orchestra apart from the odd number of trombones- some modifications needed on the brass- crooks to change key.
TraditionalExposition First Subject is usually in the tonic key. Bridge (possible) Second Subject either dominant or relative major to tonic.Development Develops ideas and modulates to relative keys.Recapitulation + Coda 1st subject and 2nd subject is changed to appear to be in the tonic key. The coda reinforces the home key.
Exposition 1st subject- A1 introductory theme (b.1-8), A2 principal theme (b.9-38) both in B Minor- black- full of despair. Modulates with a pivot chord in bar 38. Then the 2nd subject (B) is the subdominant (G Major- b.42-93. Bar 93-104 seems to be a development closing section. B. 104-110 modulates back to B minor after a repeat of the exposition.Development Based on A1 and has some B accompaniment. Doesn’t introduce any new ideas .Recapitulation Starts with an extended A2 (main theme) which finishes at b.252 in F# major- dominant. The 2nd subject returns in D major (relative major- should have been done in the exposition and the recap should be in the tonic). At b.311 it is in the tonic major (wrong tonality) which was Schubert’s trait.Coda Bar 322 returns to B minor and the coda starts at bar 328 which is based on the introductory theme (A1).
3 trombones was an unusual number, but are there to add weight and effect- not used melodically. They are there to provide chords for harmonic structure. Double bass has more of an independent part than in Baroque music, similar to trombones it add textures with the low timbre. The cello and double bass set the scene for the movement making us strain our ears to hear the quiet beginning.
The woodwind instruments aren’t exploited much even though they have expressive potential instead they double and support the harmonies. Only the oboe and clarinet introduce the principal theme in unison creating an unusual sound. They seem to emerge from nowhere . The horns and trumpets aren’t widely used partly because of their problem of changing to minor keys. Though they are directed with a crook in D for horns so sound minor 7th lower than written, and E for trumpets whom would sound a major 3rd higher than notated. Therefore were they being saved for the final movement of the symphony which supports the idea that it was ”unfinished”. Timpani tuned to the tonic and dominant of B minor (B and F#)- there to keep the key.
The themes are very expressive and lyrical which shows it was more romantic style than classical. Bar 9 onwards ‘til the main theme is initiated gets things moving with rustling strings. There are many mood changes within the movement achieved by short links made between sections. Loud, strong rhythmic tutti sections are followed by quiet textures- rise and fall in texture.
When the 2nd subject is announced it is played by the cello (bar 44. It is then passed to the violins in octaves- contrast. Rhythmic counterpoint and syncopation is a major characteristic of the movement e.g. Cello accents the second beats of bars 53 and 54, the horns syncopate and sustain across the bar lines to make the accompaniment more continuous. Unexpected silences like in b. 62 where a quiet chord of G major is expected. A dramatic, loud and heavily-accented passage follows with strings playing tremolo.
Woodwind continue syncopation with a rapid diminuendo up to b.73. Question and answer is present with imitative sequence between cello/viola and violins in octaves from b. 73. Programmatic writing- change in articulation and dynamic changing the texture as when the double bass comes in it alters from slurred to staccato. In the development a new world is created with introductory theme descending to a 3rd lower than the lowest note of the double bass. By bar 124 a huge gap is given with the introduction of the other strings and bassoon which creates a textural hollow. They crescendo and there is rhythmic diminution.
Powerful tutti at bar 184 with driving, dotted rhythms and imitative figures. At bar 194 a climax of activity is reached where ffz, fz and finally pp is scored. Recap.- develops A2 and avoids A1 being brought back, the 2nd subject is revisited with the motif of syncopated rhythm as the accompaniment (same idea throughout movement); flutes play this for a brighter sound. Scoring becomes canonical for example from bar 312 until the coda. Coda uses restates the start and bases it on this, it reaffirms the tonic key- cadences suggest the movement is nearing an end.