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Franz Schubert

In 1814, the genius of Franz Schubert (1797–1828) was first made

evident in his work Gretchen amSpinnrade, inspired by his reading

of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s (1749–1832) Faust.

His first Mass and his first symphony appeared about this time

and showed the influence of Haydn on him. Schubert composed

five more of Goethe’s works into songs.

By the end of 1814, Schubert was an assistant at his father’s

school. Between 1820 and 1823 Schubert achieved his musical

maturity. Two of his operettas and several of his songs were per-

formed in public; amateur and professional quartets sang his part-

songs for male voices.

On November 11, 1828, Schubert began suffering from nausea

and headache. Five days later the doctors diagnosed typhoid fever

and he died a few days later on November 19.

Johann Strauss I

Johann Strauss I was an Austrian

Romantic

composer born in Vienna

on March 14, 1804. He was famous for his

waltzes

and he popular-

ized themalongside

Joseph Lanner

, thereby setting the foundations

for his sons to carry on his musical dynasty.

The piece he is most famous for is the

Radetzky March.

His

mother died of ‘creeping fever’ when he was seven and when he

was 12 his father was discovered drowned, possibly by suicide, in

the

Danube

river.

Strauss was placed as an apprentice to a bookbinder by his

guardian, and took lessons in the violin and

viola,

in addition to

fulfilling his apprenticeship.

He eventually joined a string quartet which played

Viennese waltzes

and rustic German dances and expanded into a small string

orchestra in 1824, becoming deputy

conductor

after it became pop-

ular during the

Fasching

of 1824.

He then formed his own band and began to write music (chiefly

dancemusic). Themusical competition betweenStrauss and Lanner

was very productive for the development of the waltz and other

dance music in Vienna.

Strauss soon became one of the best-known and well-

loved dance composers in Vienna. The conducting reins and

management of this Strauss Orchestra would eventually be passed

on to the hands of his sons until its disbandment by Eduard

Strauss in 1901.

Strauss died in Vienna on September 25, 1849, at the age of

45 from scarlet fever.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg,

was an Austrian composer, widely recognized as one of the great-

est composers in the history of Western

music

. He composed more

than 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of

symphonic

,

concertante

,

chamber, operatic

, and

choral

music.

He is among the most enduringly popular of

classical

compos-

ers, and his influence is profound on subsequent Western art music.

Ludwig van Beethoven

composed his own early works in the

shadow of Mozart and

Joseph Haydn

wrote: “Posterity will not see

such a talent again in 100 years.”

Unlike any other composer in musical history, Mozart wrote

in all the musical

genres

of his day and excelled in every one. His

taste, his command of

form

and his range of expression have made

him seem the most universal of all composers.

Mozart’s father,

Leopold

, came from a family of good stand-

ing (from which he was estranged), which included architects and

bookbinders.

As a boy, Wolfgang Mozart’s early talent for music was remark-

able. At three he was picking out chords on the harpsichord, at four

playing short pieces, and at five composing.

There are

anecdotes

about his precise memory of pitch, about

his scribbling a

concerto

at the age of five and about his gentleness

and sensitivity.

At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg

court, but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position.

While visiting

Vienna

in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg

position.

He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but lit-

tle financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed

many of his best-known

symphonies

,

concertos

and

operas

, and

portions of the

Requiem,

which was largely unfinished at the time

of his death on December 5, 1791.

Franz Schubert

Johann Strauss J

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

OPEC bulletin 5–7/17