Recorded on 06/17/2009, uploaded on 08/06/2009
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Schubert composed the Sonata for Arpeggione and Piano in November 1824 and it remains today the only significant composition for the
instrument. The arpeggione, invented in 1823 by a Viennese guitar maker, was a
six-stringed instrument with frets but bowed like a cello. In this respect, it
resembled the older viola da gamba. The instrument experienced a brief period
of popularity after its invention and it is likely Schubert wrote the sonata in
response to a commission. However, by the time the sonata was posthumously
published in 1871, all interest in the instrument had died out. Today, the work
is mostly commonly performed on cello or viola. Transcriptions for other
instruments, such as the double bass, flute, clarinet and guitar, also exist.
The first movement, in A minor, begins with a lyrical melody
stated first by the piano and then repeated and embellished by the soloist. A
new melodic idea quickly follows that serves as a transition to and establishes
the accompaniment of the animated second theme in C major. Beginning in the key
of F major with a statement of the opening melody, the development section
largely concerns itself, instead, with the second theme. The recapitulation
presents several changes from the exposition and an overall embellishment of
the movement's ideas.
Moving to the key of E major, the central Adagio more
or less serves as an introduction to the Finale. The principal melody,
occupying nearly half of the movement itself, is lyrical and recalls to mind
many of Schubert's songs.
Following the second movement without pause, the Finale, a
gentle rondo movement in A major, begins with one of Schubert's first rate
song-like melodies. Recalling the energy of the first movement's second theme,
the first episode moves to the key of D minor. After a restatement of the rondo
tune, the second episode begins in E major with a lively melody. The first
episode returns in the key of A minor before the final statement of the A major
melody brings the sonata to a close. Joseph
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
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