3 Jun 2012

Schubert and his Publishers

From The Sunday Feature, 2:00 pm on 13 March 2016
Franz Schubert

Franz Schubert Photo: Creative Commons

Thomas Goss examines the relationship of Franz Schubert with his publishers, particularly Anton Diabelli, revealing not only their systematic exploitation, but also that Schubert's prolific musical outpourings may have been a form of response.

Sometimes, history only sees what it wants to see, or what it’s been told to see. This is especially true in the case of Franz Schubert. In even the most modern and objective of biographies, the image arises of a painfully shy, socially awkward misfit, ignored by his public, whose whole artistic life amounted to little save a long string of disappointments. But how true is this perception? Is it really possible to believe that a composer could create a body of work such as Schubert’s without any substantial reward or recognition? And how do the actual facts about Schubert’s finances, intentions, and environment stack up to the well-polished notion that he was a terrible businessman?