Schubert in 1815, age 18

The year 1815 has been called Schubert’s annus mirabilis. This hardly overstates the case. His output in this year can be summarized as: four Singspiele, a symphony and a half, a string quartet, nine works for solo piano, eight or nine church works involving orchestra, some two dozen partsongs mostly with piano accompaniment, and about 140 songs. It is worth analyzing the rate of productivity and extrapolating an illustration that will be readily understood by anyone who has dabbled in composition, has played music if only for private pleasure, or simply knows a few works by Schubert. Schubert composed about 21,850 bars of music in this one year, of which 11,072 involved an orchestra. Arranged out over the calendar year of 52 weeks, this amounts to an output of 420 bars a week, of which 213 bars involve an orchestra. This would mean that Schubert produced, in each week of 1815, the equivalent of the slow movement of the Third Symphony; the Gloria of the Mass in G; the slow movement of the E major piano sonata, D. 157; the partsong Trinklied for TTBB and piano, D. 267; Erster Verlust; Heidenröslein; Sehnsucht [Lieder].
     Given that this illustration permits no weekends off and not even a single day’s holiday throughout the year, it would be remarkable enough if Schubert were a full-time composer. But he was employed throughout the year as a teacher in his father’s primary school. Taking all these factors into account, and the fact that Schubert maintained social contacts, had twice-weekly lessons with Salieri, went to concerts and opera performances, undertook some private teaching, attended the regular [family] orchestra rehearsals at Frischling’s, and presumably enjoyed moments of relaxation and exercise, his productivity was phenomenal … If a true composer is one who can seldom escape the compulsion to compose, Schubert was probably the truest composer of all time. 

Schubert: The Music and the Man, Brian Newbould

The composer Hans Zimmer was at work on his score for Man of Steel when Nolan approached him [for Interstellar]. “Chris said to me, in his casual way. ‘So, Hans, if I wrote one page of something, didn’t tell you what it was about, just give you one page, would you give me one day of work?’” Zimmer recalled. “‘Whatever you came up with on that one day would be fine.’ I said, ‘Of course, I’d love to.’ One day, an envelope arrived, almost handed to me by Chris. It was on quite thick paper, typewritten, which told me there was no carbon copy. This was truly the original.”

On the paper was a short story, no more than a precis, about a father who leaves his child to do an important job. It contained two lines of dialogue – “I’ll come back” “When?” – and quoted something Zimmer had said a year before, during a long conversation with Nolan and his wife at the Wolseley restaurant in London. It was snowing, central London had ground to a halt, and the three of them were more or less stranded. “There was no movie to be made, there was no movie to discuss, we were talking about our children,” said Zimmer, who has a 15-year-old son. “I said, ‘once your children are born, you can never look at yourself through your eyes any more, you always look at yourself through their eyes.”

He worked on the score for a day and then let Emma Thomas know he was done.

“I said, ‘Do you want me to send it over?’ She goes, ‘Oh, he’s curiously antsy, do you mind if he comes down?’ He got into the car and drove to my studio in Santa Monica and sat down on my couch. I made the usual excuses a composer makes when they play something to somebody for the first time. I played to him, not looking at him, I just stared straight ahead at my copy of the screen and then I turned around and he’s sitting there. I can tell he was moved by it. He said, ‘I suppose I’d better make the movie, now.’ I asked him, ‘Well, yes, but what is the movie?’ And he started describing this huge, epic tale of space and science and humanity, on this epic scale. I’m going, ‘Chris, hang on, I’ve just written this highly personal thing, you know?’ He goes, ‘Yes, but I now know where the heart of the movie is’. Everything about this movie was personal.” (via)