Recorded on 04/04/2012, uploaded on 04/04/2012
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Franz Schubert’s instrumental music was largely neglected during his lifetime; his publishers preferring only to put in print his lieder and shorter piano pieces. Thus, Schubert only saw three of his twenty-one piano sonatas published. Furthermore, he was forced to endure publishers appending artificial, if not completely erroneous titles, to his works (in some cases even changing the titles altogether). Such was the case with his Piano Sonata No. 18 in G major, which has ever been known as the “Fantasy” Sonata. Composed in October 1826, it was Schubert’s last sonata to be published before his death. Tobias Haslinger, who thought the first movement too congenial and restrained to be an opening sonata-allegro, printed the work under the title “Fantasia, Andante, Menuetto, and Allegretto,” and consequently bequeathed upon the work its epithet. Indeed, the opening movement, marked Molto moderato e cantabile, is perhaps the most subdued and technically correct sonata form movement he ever composed. It certainly stands in stark contrast to its counterpart, the dramatically intense Allegro, in the String Quartet No. 15 in G major composed only a few months earlier.
In a gentle compound meter, the first movement begins with its hushed principal melody. Rarely do shadows pass over the bright tone of this movement, and the music seems to glide forward without any effort at all. The following Andante is made to embrace greater contrasts with a tender opening melody juxtaposed against dramatic forte sections in the relative and parallel minor keys. A graceful Minuet and Trio, the third movement begins with rather fervent chords in B minor before subsiding into an elegant tune in the relative major. The repetitive chords, however, dominate much of the minuet. In contrast, the Trio section in D major is blithe and charming. The rondo finale, marked Allegretto, returns somewhat to the unhurried feeling of the first movement, yet is certainly imbued with a greater amount of energy. A witty conclusion to the sonata, the finale sparkles with brilliant passagework, yet concludes with a tender restatement of the refrain’s opening measures marked Un poco più lento. Joseph DuBose
by cd " The sound from silence" 2011
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