BBC Music Magazine

The composer


Schubert was in fairly good spirits at the start of 1824, which he welcomed in by breaking a window at a New Year’s party – an omen, perhaps, for 12 months that would leave his spirit similarly shattered. The previous year had him diagnosed with syphilis, whose effects now began to take their toll, while his state of mind was probably not helped by a passion for his pupil Caroline Esterházy that evidently went unrequited. Aside from the Death and the Maiden quartet, other major works from this year include his F major Octet and the ‘Rosamunde’ String Quartet.

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