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#3113951 05/05/21 12:12 PM
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Schubert’s sonatas are masterpieces that have historically been neglected and criticized for being too long and repetetive. Some people still hold that view, while others consider them to belong among the greatest masterpieces ever written for the piano. I am of the latter view, which is why I start this thread. So, what is your personal favorite sonata, and which one do you consider to be the greatest(these to things does not always need to mean the same thing)? Pesonally, I would say that I lean towards thinking that the last one in B-flat, No. 21, D 960, is his the greatest, but No. 20, D 959 in A major is a close second. I love them all but these two also happens to be my favorites, along with No. 17, D 850 in D major. How about you?

Last edited by Franz Beebert; 05/05/21 12:13 PM.
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D960, and I like it the most of any piano sonata. So brooding, with fleeting moments of unfettered joy. It's the first thing I'm going to learn after I finish my current recital program.

After that, I haven't been able to get into any of his others. I know D959 and D958 are well-regarded, but don't have the same magic for me. I think his #14 in A minor D784 and #6 in E minor D566 are others I expect to love any time now...

I think No. 18 in G maj, D894 is another one that comes up in these conversations.

Schubert might be my favorite composer for the piano outside of Chopin, ahead of Beethoven and Bach.


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I second Mark C’s pick above. That and the G major D894 are the two on my list to hopefully learn.

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I like sonata number 16 D845 in a minor and D575 in bflat major. As an aside, does anyone know why pianists don't perform more schubert sonatas that aren't the last 3, (and to an extent, sonatas that aren't 664, 784 and 894?). I have always wondered why pianists don't program his middle/earlier period ones, or is it just because the last three have much more pathos then the other ones. And even disregarding the last three sonatas, pianists tend to prefer the klavierstucke/impromptus/wanderer fantasy rather then the other sonatas. Why is that?

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I am fond of the five sonatas in A.


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For me, the first movement of D960 is in a supreme league of its own, but the other movements inspire me considerably less. The one whole sonata, which I like best, is D664; all movements are great.


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D 959 in A major. The first movement for the way Schubert constructs all his motives in a well balanced and satisfying narrative. The 2nd movement for its despairing, heartrending pathos. A near nervous breakdown occurs in the middle section, followed by resignation. The sprightly scherzo/trio offers a ray of hope, while the final rondo is an excursion of melodic lyricsim, flying high into the horizons (perhaps that's why it was chosen as the theme music to the television series "Wings"). A dramatic development section ensues, only to bring back the expansive rondo theme. The final measures reference the opening theme of the first movement, thus bringing a cyclical end to this great sonata.
Plus the final movement is a joy to play, the fingers flowing underneath the keys.
Solid modern interpretations of this music include Schiff, Murray Perahia and Leif Ove Andsnes.


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Originally Posted by BeeZee4
D 959 in A major. The first movement for the way Schubert constructs all his motives in a well balanced and satisfying narrative. The 2nd movement for its despairing, heartrending pathos. A near nervous breakdown occurs in the middle section, followed by resignation. The sprightly scherzo/trio offers a ray of hope, while the final rondo is an excursion of melodic lyricsim, flying high into the horizons (perhaps that's why it was chosen as the theme music to the television series "Wings"). A dramatic development section ensues, only to bring back the expansive rondo theme. The final measures reference the opening theme of the first movement, thus bringing a cyclical end to this great sonata.
Plus the final movement is a joy to play, the fingers flowing underneath the keys.
Solid modern interpretations of this music include Schiff, Murray Perahia and Leif Ove Andsnes.

It might be the most well constructed of all the sonatas. Sometimes I feel a bit lost in the first movement though. And with the last movement I think it is hard to find recordings that I am fully satisfied with...

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Originally Posted by emnayisay
I like sonata number 16 D845 in a minor and D575 in bflat major. As an aside, does anyone know why pianists don't perform more schubert sonatas that aren't the last 3, (and to an extent, sonatas that aren't 664, 784 and 894?). I have always wondered why pianists don't program his middle/earlier period ones, or is it just because the last three have much more pathos then the other ones. And even disregarding the last three sonatas, pianists tend to prefer the klavierstucke/impromptus/wanderer fantasy rather then the other sonatas. Why is that?
Originally Posted by emnayisay
I like sonata number 16 D845 in a minor and D575 in bflat major. As an aside, does anyone know why pianists don't perform more schubert sonatas that aren't the last 3, (and to an extent, sonatas that aren't 664, 784 and 894?). I have always wondered why pianists don't program his middle/earlier period ones, or is it just because the last three have much more pathos then the other ones. And even disregarding the last three sonatas, pianists tend to prefer the klavierstucke/impromptus/wanderer fantasy rather then the other sonatas. Why is that?

Good question. I wonder the same. I think D 845 and D 850 are just as great as all the other pieces mentioned.

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There are a handful that I adore... and many others I haven't explored yet!

D. 840, 784, 960, 894. And my favorites of these are a tie, 960 and 894!

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I think his best is D.960, my favourite is D.894. The one I have performed the most is however D.664, mixed bag here.


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Apart from the last three I think my favourite is D.845. I also love the incomplete "Reliquie" D.840.

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I am falling in love with 894 now, thanks.


Only in men's imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life. -Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski

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