Classical Music’s Tragic Losses : Mozart and Schubert
The greatest Classical Musicians whom I still listen to when time permits are Mozart and Schubert. Both died incredibly young, Mozart at 36 and Schubert at 31.On January 27th it Mozart’s birthday and on January 31st it’s Schubert’s birthday . Both died penniless.
Mozart the most “classical,” and Schubert off in his own universe. Whose music reaches the most sublime heights?
I have recently been listening to a lot of Schubert and my opinion of his music has been steadily rising. Mozart was arguably the greatest opera composer of all time. Schubert wrote none. Mozart was the supreme composer of piano concertos. Schubert wrote none. Mozart penned several incredible symphonies. I prefer Schubert’s final three sonatas of D.958, D.959 and D.960; over any of Mozart’s sonatas, and the impromptus are fabulous. Schubert’s great chamber works are fantastic, but Mozart wrote quartets, trios, and quintets just as fabulous, and a lot more of them. Symphonies 39, 40 and 41 of Mozart’s uplifts you and makes you feel thankful to be alive to listen to these. This is not to dismiss Schubert in any way. I love his music. And who knows what would have happened had he lived some more years. But the same can be said of Mozart. Had Mozart lived to be as old as Haydn…the thought boggles the mind!
These two incredibly talented Austrian composers are some of the greatest in history. Even though Schubert admired Beethoven, I believe that Schubert has a more kinship to Mozart than him. Let me write a bit on Symphony No. 5 in B flat major by Schubert. It was written mainly in September, 1816 and completed on October 3, 1816. Of all of Schubert’s symphonies, it is scored for the smallest orchestra. It is the only one of his symphonies which does not include clarinet, trumpets or timpani as part of the instrumentation. In character, the writing is often said to resemble Mozart ( in particular his 40th symphony)
Another composer on whom I will write next time is Sibelius.