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The Complete Piano Music by Franz Schubert

Unlike Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt or Chopin, Schubert was not a keyboard virtuoso. He played the piano only in the intimate gatherings known as Schubertiads. Nevertheless, he is certainly one of the greatest composers for piano, exploring the expressive potential of the keyboard in a succession of masterpieces for solo piano, piano duet, chamber music and song accompaniment. Therefore, it’s an event worth celebrating when Piano Street now publish his dances as well as his complete piano sonatas, which in addition to the previously available selection of Impromptus, Moments Musicaux and many other pieces give you the complete picture of Schubert as a composer for the piano.

The charming miniatures

The numerous dances now made available on our site are simple, graceful and melodic works, of which many are suitable for the intermediate player.

The dance was a part of Schubert’s output throughout his life. His ability to compose a steady stream of these charming miniatures contributed to what little public recognition and income he had; on the other hand, almost none of Schubert’s larger piano works were published during his lifetime. The sonatas were, if not a well-kept secret, practically unknown to the larger public.

The secret, great works

Between 1815 and 1828, Schubert began work on 23 piano sonatas. Of these, he only completed fourteen. The nine unfinished ones fall into three different categories: 1) fragments of sonata movements that break off after the exposition; 2) sonatas that seem more or less complete but where one or more movements might be missing; 3) sonatas that have unfinished movements. Some of these movements, where Schubert stopped writing at the point of recapitulation, can be considered complete in the sense that all the musical material needed is present – to finish them all you need to do is to repeat the exposition with the necessary adjustments (transposing secondary themes etc), possibly including a coda.

This raises a lot of questions for both editors and performers. Which works should be included in a “complete” edition of the sonatas, and in what order are they to be presented? Can incomplete sonata movements be performed at all? If you perform them, should you stop playing where Schubert left off or compose your own ending?

So, how many sonatas are there?

The most authoritative scholarly edition so far, Bärenreiter’s Neue Schubert Ausgabe (1996-2003), numbers 19 sonatas. However, the numbering encountered in most recordings and on most web pages listing Schubert works, runs to 21. Piano Street adopts this numbering and includes 21 works in our collection of Schubert sonatas.

To the sonatas that seem to lack one or more movements, we have added movements that have been repeatedly suggested by scholars and which are often included in recordings and performances. For example, the Sonata in E minor, D.566, may have been intended by Schubert as a two-movement sonata (I. Moderato- II. Allegretto) although a Scherzo was written into the same manuscript. In this case, Piano Street publishes the Scherzo as well as a fourth movement, the Rondo in E major, D.506. This piece was suggested as the missing fourth movement as early as 1905, and has been included in several urtext editions of the complete sonatas.

Movements that have been handed down in incomplete form are published as fragments. We leave it to the performer to decide whether to leave off where Schubert did, or to try to complete the movement.

Enjoy the new publications and become an expert in the piano music of Franz Schubert!

We are happy to be able to present an even more complete and useful Schubert piano sheet music library and wish you many happy hours exploring the great masterworks for piano by Franz Schubert.
All pieces are available to instantly dowload and print but not least to study or just enjoy in Piano Street’s unique Audiovisual Study Tool.


Reader question:
Which is your favourite piano work by Franz Schubert?
Please post your answer and comments below.


/david

  1. Karen Lerner Says:

    Drei Klavierstucke.

  2. John Toffaletti Says:

    Schubert Impromptu op 90 #3. Especially love the performance by Horowitz in Vienna on youtube.

  3. ernest meunier Says:

    D959

  4. Phil Says:

    Sonata D.958

  5. Findlay Ferrier Says:

    Impromptu 899 no 4

  6. tom aiezza Says:

    fell in love with this one the moment i first heard it. committed myself to learning it and it has brought me much joy ever since. Impromptus, Op. 90 (D. 899): No. 3 In G-Flat (Andante)

  7. Giancarlo Colleoni Says:

    My favourite pièce is Theme et bariations op.142 best sishes Giancarlo Colleoni

  8. Barrie Braiden Says:

    F. Schubert Piano Sonatas D 568, 958

  9. Anne Mette Holm Says:

    My favourite is Wandererphantasie, – because it is a great tale.
    Should I choose from a more abstract angle, I might choose otherwise, but the Wandrerer was my ear-opener as a small kid, so I´ll stick with that.

  10. James Clay Says:

    Impromptu Opus 90 D899

  11. Fan Pan Says:

    Impromptu Op.90, particularly No.1

  12. Salvatore Mariani Says:

    Sonata 20 D. 959 A Major

  13. Salvatore Mariani Says:

    The Sonata 20 D. 959 is my favorite.

  14. Linda Brady Says:

    The magnificent Piano Sonata in G major D894

  15. Judy Nesher Says:

    If I had to choose one – a difficult task I itself – it would have to be his last: D969.

  16. Amaia S Says:

    Four Impromptus, D. 899 (Op. 90) No. 1 in C minor

  17. Pete Menhennet Says:

    Gretchen am Spinnrade

  18. Ailine Hess Says:

    Schubert’s early and late A Major Sonatas

  19. Sheila Says:

    The Wanderer Fantasia

  20. liiz stopp Says:

    Standchen

  21. Frank Frerichs Says:

    For me, it has always been Sonata D960…

  22. Noel Moreira Says:

    Impromptus D 899

  23. Norman Noah Says:

    The Sonata in G major, no 18. Wonderfully tender first movement, and a lollipop of a minuet and trio.

  24. Ruth Colvin Says:

    D899 no.3

  25. Susan Ball Says:

    Sonata in B flat D960

  26. Soroush Says:

    impromptu Op.90 No.2 as well as moment musicaux No.3 are my favorite ones. Schubert’s Serenade which was originally written for piano and vocal and was arranged later for piano by Liszt is one of the best romantic piece, I believe.

  27. Les Polt Says:

    Klavierstucke D946 #2, although any of the Impromptus would be close behind..

  28. Rob Connell Says:

    G flat Impromptu and D960. Playing them is like being in heaven on earth.

  29. Gordana Says:

    Schubert
    1.Piano sonata A major op 120 /D 664/
    2.Impromptu A flat op 90 No 4
    MAGIC AND SOPHISTICATED

  30. Bryn Williamson Says:

    Sonata in A major D664, especially the second movement

  31. Jerry Dunne Says:

    Stanchen is my favourite followed by Gb impromptu

  32. Joris Van Maldeghem Says:

    D940 fantasia in F minor (piano 4 hands)

  33. Sharmila Says:

    For me I love both of these pieces!No 3in F minor-Allegro moderato (Moments Musicax op 94.
    And Ungraishe melodie in B minor.

  34. shannon Says:

    What ever is slow, quiet and easy to play!

  35. Noriko Says:

    Sonata D845 in A minor
    Sonata D894 in G
    Fantasy D940 in F minor Op103 for piano four hands

  36. Edward M. Funke Says:

    Sonata #13 in A major, D.664 (op.120) — especially the performance by Sviatoslav Richter. It is also paired with the Sonata #14, D784 (Op.143)
    (Vox Cum Laude MMG MCD 10030).

    D664, as many of Schubert’s works do, has melodic and thematic elements, but it also seems to be the brightest and most optimistic of all his works.

  37. JC Tchavdarov Says:

    Impromptu Op 90 #3

  38. Mark Ess Says:

    D. 958. There are many wonderful performances, my favorite being Leonard Shure on Audiofon….

  39. ilya Says:

    Sonata D. 894 in G
    Sonata D. 568 in E-Flat

  40. Giselapaterbo Says:

    Piano Sonata D. 958 without a doubt!

  41. Thomas Kaplan Says:

    Sonata 13, D. 664, especially the Andante.

    Richter’s performances of the piece in the 1970s are unique and should not be missed.

  42. Chris Says:

    1. The late A Major piano Sonata (D959 I think)

    2. The ‘Grand Duo’ sonata for four hands

    3. The Fantasy in F Minor for four hands

  43. Steven James Says:

    Impromptu in F minor, D.935 No. 1. I also like Impromptu in C minor, D.899 No.1, and F minor, D.935 No. 4.

  44. Verotschka Says:

    Sonata D. 960 (by S. Richter) is the most moving, heartbraking piece I ever heard. It takes me in another world.

  45. Colin Says:

    Fantasie, Andante, Menuetto et Allegretto Op 78

    A pleasant, calm and contemplative Fantasie, followed by a nicely structured and melodic Andante. A brisk Menuetto with a softer contrasting trio and to finish, the Allegretto has a flowing melody with balanced rhythm shared between the treble and bass, the movement ending satisfyingly, dimenuendo .

  46. nobrains Says:

    Andantino from Sonata D 959

  47. Charles Kosina Says:

    Hard choice between B flat sonata and Wanderer fantasy. Maybe the Wanderer by a small margin.

  48. Snjezana Says:

    Fantasie in F minor, D.940

  49. Bachiana Says:

    D960

  50. Bachiana Says:

    I prefer in this sonata the one played by Christoph Eschenbach. Everytime I hear the opening, I understand the dying Schubert.

    You have also the Eight Variations on an Original Theme in A-flat major, D813. There are some hidden pearls in there…

  51. Paola Says:

    The wanderer

  52. John J Conlon Says:

    cleqrly the Wanderer fantasy, and the great song cycle s well as D960 SONATA IN BFLAT

  53. Lola Akwabi Says:

    Impromptu in Gb Op. 90
    Especially enjoy listening to Zimmerman’s rendition – absolutely love it!

  54. Charles Ray Howard Says:

    The F minor Fantasy D940 for piano duet is very haunting.

  55. Mario Pech Says:

    Ellens Gesang III, D. 839, Op. 52 n.º 6
    This work is unique.

  56. Robert Forrest Says:

    Op90 all four- beautifull

  57. Tom Says:

    g flat major impromptu

  58. Pat Simmons Says:

    Sonata 21, especially when played by Radu Lupu

  59. Herbert Says:

    Impromptu Op.90 No.3

  60. Ginger Taylor-Saclioglu Says:

    The piano sonata in B flat major is my favorite.

  61. roberto Says:

    The Wanderer Fantasia

  62. natasa Says:

    1.Piano sonata A major op 120 /D 664/

  63. JOSÉ LUIS Says:

    WANDERER FANTASY

  64. Paulinho Leme Says:

    The Piano Sonata in A minor (D 537) is my favorite piece of Schubert.

  65. Milton Clark Says:

    Standchen is a favourite of mine

  66. Andrea Sgarbi Says:

    Impromtu op.90 n.2 is my favorite one!

  67. Clarice Wilby Says:

    My favourite Schubert sonata at present is Sonata 18 Op. 78 D894 in G Major. I particularly enjoy listening to the Ist movement, Fantaisie, I now have a box set of Schubert sonatas, mostly because I was fortunate enough to listen to a video on medici tv of Danill Trivinov playing Sonata in G major and that inspired me to want to know more.
    I am very, pleased at the opportunity to learn more about Schubert`s sonatas.
    Thank you Piano Street.

  68. john Says:

    Fantesia in fa moll D 940

  69. Jean-Marc Oliviero Says:

    My favourite is Impromptu D899 opus 90 #3
    Thanks PianoStreet for this interesting poll !

  70. manfred Says:

    D960, first movement, hands down.
    The octet in F major is pretty nice too.

  71. yan Says:

    Impromptu Op.90 No.2

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