23-31 March 2012
Schubert’s death certificate said he had died of Nervenfieber (nervous fever). Otto Erich Deutsch decorously interpreted this as typhus or typhoid fever. Those less squeamish of Schubert’s true nature think that mercury poisoning - a treatment for syphilis - may have been the cause. Others have pointed to Schubert’s well-documented alcoholism, as well as malnutrition from a loss of appetite attendant with any fever. He died on 19 November 1828, aged 31. His funeral took place in a nearby church before his body was taken to Währing, where he was buried near to Beethoven. When the City of Vienna opened the Zentralfriedhof in Simmering (to the South) later in the 19th century, both composers’ remains were moved there and given pride of place. You can still visit Schubert and Beethoven as well as Brahms, Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Wolf, Schoenberg, Zemlinsky and a whole host of Schubert’s successors’ graves today.