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Franz Schubert is considered the last of the classical composers and one of the first romantic ones. Schubert's music is notable for its melody and harmony.
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That same year, Schubert returned to Vienna and composed the operetta "Die Zwillingsbrüder (The Twin Brothers), which was performed in June 1820 and met with some success. Schubert's musical output also included the score for the play "Die Zauberharfe" (The Magic Harp), which debuted in August 1820.
The resulting performances, as well as Schubert's other pieces,
greatly expanded his popularity and appeal. He also showed himself to be a visionary. His composition "Quartettsatz [Quartz-Movement] in C minor," helped spark a wave of string quartets that would dominate the music scene later in the decade.
But Schubert had his struggles as well. In 1820, he was hired by two opera houses, the Karthnerthof Theatre and Theatre-an-der-Wein, to compose a pair of operas, neither of which fared very well. Music publishers, meanwhile, were afraid to take a chance on a young composer like Schubert, whose music was not considered traditional.
His fortunes began to change in 1821, when, with the help of some friends, he began offering his songs on a subscription basis. Money started coming his way. In Vienna especially, Schubert's harmonious songs and dances were popular. Across the city, concert parties called Schubertiaden sprung up in the homes of wealthy residents.
By late 1822, however, Schubert encountered another difficult period. His financial needs going unmet, and his friendships increasingly strained, Schubert's life was further darkened when he became severely sick—historians believe he almost certainly contracted syphilis.
And yet, Schubert continued to produce at a prolific rate. His output during this time included the renowned "Wanderer Fantasy" for piano, his masterful, two-movement "Eighth Symphony," the "Die Schöne Müllerin" song cycle, "Die Verschworenen" and the opera "Fierrabras."
None of the finished pieces, however, brought him the fortune he deserved or so greatly needed. Battling health problems, Schubert again turned to music for escape. In 1824, he turned out three chamber works, the "String Quartet in A Minor," a second string quartet in D minor and "Octet in F Major."
For a time, Schubert, almost constantly penniless, returned to teaching. He also continued to write, producing piano duets such as "Piano Sonata in C Major" (Grand Duo), and the "Divertissmement à la Hongroise."
In 1826, Schubert applied for the job of deputy musical director at the Stadtkonvikt. While certainly a top candidate, he failed to land the job. Still, his fortunes during this period began to improve. His impressive musical output continued, and his popularity in Vienna increased. He was even in negotiations with four different publishers.
His work during this time included the "String Quartet in G Major" and the "Piano Sonata in G Major." In 1827, no doubt influenced by the passing of Ludwig van Beethoven and his impressive musical legacy, Schubert channeled a bit of the late composer and created a string of pieces.
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