Wednesday, 1 April 2009

256. Franz Schubert - Piano Sonata in A major, D959 (1828)


Title: Klaviersonate D959
Performers: Leif Ove Andsnes
Year: 2001
Length: 39 minutes


We come to Schubert's penultimate work on the list and to one of his most interesting sonatas. If there is a Schubert sonata where his internal turmoil is very clearly expressed, this is that sonata.

It starts off with a constantly shifting first movement only to give us one of the saddest slow movements of any of Schubert's sonatas. Now this slow movement explodes towards its end with what can only be the musical representation of frenzied frustration.

Schubert is perfectly aware of his imminent death, and has been for quite a while, syphilis being a long, drawn out disease. It is almost painful to listen to him, who started his career with such cheerful bonhomie as expressed by his earlier works, suddenly go deeper and deeper into depression. Well, maybe if he wasn't so cheerful he wouldn't have contracted syphilis in the first place.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Schubert had been struggling with syphilis since 1822–23, and suffered from weakness, headaches and dizziness. However, he seems to have led a relatively normal life until September 1828, when new symptoms such as effusions of blood appeared. At this stage he moved from the Vienna home of his friend Franz von Schober to his brother Ferdinand's house in the suburbs, following the advice of his doctor; unfortunately, this may have actually worsened his condition. However, up until the last weeks of his life in November 1828, he continued to compose an extraordinary amount of music, including such masterpieces as the three last sonatas,

Alfred Brendel, Andantino:

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