Composing Invisibly: The Posthumous Career of Franz Schubert (1828-1888)
The number of posthumous premieres of the work of Franz Schubert in the decades after his death could easily give the impression that he was still alive, "composing invisibly" (Eduard Hanslick), as he worked his way slowly into the pantheon of the great composers. Schubert's genius as Vienna's Liederfürst was acknowledged during his life, but over the course of the century the importance of this genre grew tremendously, largely on the foundation of Schubert's compositions. The discovery of Schubert's chamber music, operas and, most importantly, symphonies after his death had a profound effect on composers who were struggling to find new ways of expression in the post-Beethoven era.Changes in the performance of music – with professional orchestras playing regular seasons, the growth of professional chamber music and lieder recitals – and the increased virtuosity of all of the above contributed to the success of Schubert's works with a larger public.In the Vienna of the 1860s began the institutionalization of the "monumental" Schubert, including physical monuments such as statues and the scholarly monument of the 'Gesamtausgabe' by an editorial staff that comprised leading members of the Viennese musical community – Julius Epstein, Eusebius Mandyczewski, Josef Hellmesberger and Johannes Brahms. In 1888 Schubert's body was moved from its initial resting place to the "Grove of Honor" in Vienna's new Zentralfriedhof, away from the old grave adorned with Grillparzer's famous epitaph. But there was a consensus that those old words "a fair possession but far fairer hopes" no longer applied to the body beneath them. Those who came of age after 1888 would see Schubert side by side with Beethoven as the twin pillars of Vienna's modern musical legacy.
M.A., born 1970 in St. Louis, USA, studied Foreign Service with a concentration in European History and Diplomacy at Georgetown University; Musicology at The Catholic University of America and Duke University