The life of Franz Schubert has been a gift to romantically inclined biographers: the beautiful, brilliant, modest boy who sprang to fully fledged genius at the age of sixteen; the quintessential ‘artist in a garret’, entirely consumed by his art and living a hand-to-mouth existence in Vienna (home of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven); the gentle, cheerful, convivial young man who prized friendship almost as highly as music itself; the unworldly poet from whom great music poured like water from a fountain; the unrecognised master who died almost penniless at the age of thirty-one. And most of this is true. But, as revealed in this dramatised biography (lavishly illustrated with musical examples), there was a secret, darker side to Schubert which only renders his story that much more fascinating.
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