Why couldn't Schubert get his 'great' C-Major Symphony performed? Why was he the first composer to consistently write four movements for his piano sonatas? Since neither Schubert's nor Beethoven's piano sonatas were ever performed in public, who did hear them? Addressing these questions and many others, John M. Gingerich provides a new understanding of Schubert's career and his relationship to Beethoven. Placing the genres of string quartet, symphony, and piano sonata within the cultural context of the 1820s, the book examines how Schubert was building on Beethoven's legacy. Gingerich brings new understandings of how Schubert tried to shape his career to bear on new hermeneutic readings of the works from 1824 to 1828 that share musical and extra-musical pre-occupations, centering on the 'Death and the Maiden' Quartet and the Cello Quintet, as well as on analyses of the A-minor Quartet, the Octet, and of the 'great' C-Major Symphony.