Admittedly, Franz Schubert's biography offers little in the way of great adventures, love affairs, glamour and long journeys. Jörg Handstein ? in what is now his tenth audio biography in the successful BR-KLASSIK series - devotes himself here to a composer with an altogether quieter life. Schubert's story still remains an exciting one: no famous composer before him had ever chosen to lead a life in which his musical activities were supported solely by a private circle of friends. This did not succeed without resistance, setbacks, great disappointments and personal tragedies. Schubert's unhappiness in love, his terrible illness, and probably also his early death were, ultimately, the price he paid for this unconventional life. He bravely stood his ground, however, countering an age of cultural and political paralysis with his great and bold art. In this audio biography, Schubert?s creative path can be followed in around 130 musical examples ? something impossible in any biography in book form. Alongside Udo Wachtveitl (narrator) and Robert Stadlober (Schubert), many other voices bring the composer?s world and his circle of friends to life. Schubert?s conventional image is encumbered by two clichés. On the one hand, we have the warm-hearted, sentimental man, known to his friends familiarly as Schwammerl (?mushroom?), churning out endless songs and beautiful melodies, and on the other, the incessantly tortured outsider, with music primarily conveying a sense of ?brokenness? and ?alienation?. This audio biography allows Schubert to speak for himself as often as possible. Despite the sparse documentation, a far more nuanced picture emerges ? and the well-known Austrian actor and rock musician Robert Stadlober finds richly contrasting colors for it. We discover a different Schubert here: single-minded, argumentative, philosophical, reflective, and with a wide range of interests. That is also what makes his life story so exciting.