Excellent post by Hendrik Slegtenhorst. on Schubert’s last piano sonatas.


It is said the last three piano sonatas of Schubert are suffused with premonitions of his death. It may be so, but the contemplation is often sweet, as if Schubert cannot help being so in his music and, thus, so as well in his preparations for death.

They are piano sonata 19 in C minor, D. 958; 20 in A major, D. 959; and, 21 in Bb major, D. 960. They are long, D. 958 over half an hour, the other two three-quarters of an hour. The length is temporal, not aural. A similar phenomenon occurs in the compositions of others; repeatedly, for example, in the performance of Wagner’s Ring, where even the longest acts seem to go by more quickly and acutely despite their actual temporal length.

Melegh_Portrait_of_a_Man_(Schubert)_1827 Melegh : Portrait of Schubert (1827)

Schubert was 31 when he died, twenty months after the death of Beethoven. Like Beethoven’s final…

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