Compositions of Franz Schubert: Poetry and Music for the Soul

Austrian Composer Franz Schubert never really got much recognition for huge volume of compositions he left behind in his short life of 31 years when he was alive.  Schubert’s initiation into music was right from birth for he was born into a musically gifted family. He started composing and performing at a very tender age. The true genius of Schubert lies in his cycle of songs which are in fact songs woven out of rich poetry.

Schubert always dwelled on the pathos of the soul and this could be the reason he picked up poetry which was romantic as well dark and tragic. Like true poets he pitted seasons of the soul with the seasons of the Nature. In his music there was mood of the spring and heaviness of the winter. There was chirping of birds and silence of the night. One of the most famous song cycle compositions of Schubert is Winterreise based on the poems of W. Muller.

Winterreise is a romantic tragic poetic tale of young man who arrives at a village and falls in love with a young maiden. It is spring, time for the love to blossom. But seasons change and he gets rejected. Winter, with long dark night descends and young man embarks on a journey yet again with heavy heart and longing. If poetry of W. Muller tugs at the heart, the music woven by Schubert makes the feelings transcend extreme sadness and carries the soul in to the land of melancholia.

Schubert had a very difficult life and had to survive with the support of family and friends.  Even his love remained unrequited. He contracted syphilis at the age of 31 and never recovered. In the last couple of years of his life he dwelled on extreme dark thoughts about life, love, rejection and death. The musings of his dark soul are reflected in his composition Doppelganger which is again based on a poem by Heinrich Heine. In the composition slow harmonic progression ends up in a dramatic climax depicting horror and conflict within a mind which sees its own shadow, its own double the death mocking life and tragedy of the soul.

Schubert got his due recognition after his death and now lies at rest beside the other greatest western classical composer Beethoven in Vienna, Austria. His music still finds a place in every dark, sad heart and his classic song Ave Maria brings peace to humanity even during the darkest of times.


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