William Sterling

Franz Schubert

Schubert’s Finale

The last 18 months of Schubert’s tragically short life saw the completion of a majority of his finest works including Winterreise, the Impromptus and Moments Musicals, the last three piano sonatas, the Piano Trios, the E flat Mass, the Great C major Symphony, the Shepherd on the Rock and the String Quintet. Like Mozart before him, Schubert had an extraordinary outpouring of incredibly beautiful music in the last year or so of his life. This course examined that period chronologically, as near as possible, showing how his music became more intense as he neared his inevitable early death.

The course examined Schubert’s contribution to the varied types of instrumental and vocal music he concentrated on in the last 18 months of his life showing how the problems of his personal life and failing health intensified the music he composed. Among the works examined were the Impromptus and Moments Musicals, the last three Piano Sonatas, Winterreise and the Schwanengesang, the Great C major Symphony, the Mass in E flat, the C Major String Quintet and other chamber works.

I ran this course at Crayford Manor (Bexley College) January-April 2006.  I had previously given a talk on Schubert to the DfE Music Society in March 2004.

Schubert Chronology

Below is a copy of the spreadsheets I created for this course.

Schubert Life and Works