<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by serge urtizberea:<BR><B><BR>This thread was a refreshing thing to read after my short absence. I want to say that the speculations that you all have about what Beethoven would have done were he alive today are totally moot. ANYTHING could happen. Beethoven would, first of all, have been raised under different cultural influences. As far as I think, he'd likely would have become a pianist, not a composer. No market anymore for a c.m. composer unless you're writing that inane tripe that passes for "modern". He'd play the great works of Bach, Handel, Schumann, Lizt, Rachmaninoff, and Schubert, who could very well have aspired to great heights were it not for Ludwig. Unless, of course, his inspiration lay with Ludwig... in which case... see what I mean? Too moot.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Schubert DID aspire to, & indeed achieve, very great heights. Yes, his career was dwarfed by the simultaneous one of Beethoven. Yes, Schubert worshipped the ground on which Beethoven walked. Yes, it`s probable that Schubert would not have stretched himself so spectacularly, especially when he knew death was imminent, in the fields of the symphony, string quartet & piano sonata, had he not been trying to emulate the master. But the fact remains that he is regarded as, arguably, the greatest melodist of all the great composers, and, universally, the greatest songwriter ever. Couple these facts with his shy, retiring nature, the lack of appreciation of his music in his lifetime and his superhuman, qualitative output, allied to his death at 31, & one should be drawn to the single, most suitable word which best sums him up: Genius.