Franz Schubert: An die Natur, D. 372
Schubert apparently referred to Therese as “not exactly pretty and with a pock-marked face, but a heart, a heart of gold.” And what is more, she had a beautiful soprano voice. Schubert’s first complete Mass setting was composed entirely with Therese in mind, and she sang the soprano solo at the premiere of the Mass in F, D. 105 at the Lichtental parish church, while Schubert conducted the performance. In addition, Schubert compiled 17 songs at various times during 1816, which subsequently became known as the “Therese Grob Album.” The term “album” is somewhat misleading, as the collection does not describe the chronological order of composition. Therese later told Schubert’s first biographer, that “Süsse, heilige Natur,” (An die Natur), which appears as the third song in the collection, was the first song she ever saw. Three of the songs were expressly written for Therese, as no other manuscript copies exist. The remaining 14 are copies that Schubert made for Therese; however, he also made copies for his other friends.
We are not entirely sure that Schubert actually wanted to marry Therese Grob, as he supposedly told his friend Hüttenbrenner. Schubert was employed as a teacher at his father’s school and desperately wanted to devote himself exclusively to music.
As such, he applied for the post of music teacher at a training college in Ljubljana in April 1816. Eventually his application was rejected, and he therefore could not get around a Marriage Consent Law that expressly forbade marriages by men in Schubert’s class if they could not verify their ability to support a family. Schubert might conceivably have used his financial predicament to gain distance from Therese. Therese later suggested that she had no idea that Schubert was in love with her, and she married the master baker Johann Bergmann at the Lichtental church in 1820. Yet, there might be a twist to this story. Schubert also composed music for Therese’s brother Heinrich, two years his junior. Heinrich was a talented pianist and violinist, and the violin sonatas op. 137, published posthumously, were almost certainly composed for Heinrich Grob!
Franz Schubert: Violin Sonata in A minor, Op. 137, No. 2, D. 385