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A Guided Tour of Piano Sonata D784 Movements 2 & 3 - Franz Schubert

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Movement II is marked "Andante" meaning "at a moderate speed" The main theme is like a slow hymn - and does nothing to lift the melancholy of the first movement. The only fast moments in this melody are the little notes in-between phrases. Like these ones. Notice also how Schubert emphasises unresolved chords. Like this one. And this one. The music also alternates between the lower end of the keyboard... ...and the higher end. The theme comes to an end. Then a transition moment begins. It is a simple ascending motif... ...made of triplets... ...and it grows increasingly passionate... ...until the triplets become an accompaniment... a return of the main theme. In addition to the triplet accompaniment... ...the theme has new sections... extra thoughts added in parentheses. The fast notes in-between the phrases now take on a life of their own. Schubert starts to develop them. He adds in a few trills... ...repeats this again... ...and this melancholy movement winds to a gentle close. Schubert adds a very simple coda... ...a repeat of the opening of the theme... ...and the movement quietly ends. But the sadness does not. Movement III is marked "Allegro vivace": "fast and lively". The first theme consists of long overlapping melody lines, all constructed from triplets. These melody lines weave in and out in a complex manner... ...some move in the same direction - others move in the opposite direction... ...with strident chords in the middle. We know there's sadness hiding in this work - but now we hear rage. By contrast, the second theme is more like a gentle waltz. Again, it makes us ask the question... the end of this work, will the anger/sadness hold the day? Or will beauty win out? The triplet melodies begin again. Somehow, after hearing the second theme, this music sounds even more aggravated by contrast. We can also enjoy it just as a spectacular piece of piano-playing. Second theme waltz again. As in the first movement the first theme invades the second theme. The fast triplet melody interjects itself into the waltz. The second theme attempts to keep moving on. And for one breathtaking moment, Schubert transforms the fast triplet melody into a beautiful version to match the waltz. But the tone gradually darkens - we slip into the minor key. The triplet melody becomes more intense... ...and before we know it... ...we're back into the world of the first theme... its most furious incarnation yet. The waltz tries one more time. Has it won? The optimists among us might like to think so. But it is not to be. In a show-stopping display of virtuosity and angst, Schubert's darkest piano sonata ends.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 43 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 108
Posted by: bromley on Apr 11, 2009

This is a guided tour of the rest of the Schubert D784 Piano Sonata.

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