Schubert - Piano Music

Franz Schubert

Schubert stands between the Classical and Romantic eras; while attracted to the established forms of sonata, symphony and quartet, he was far from satisfied with pouring his wealth of melodic and harmonic ideas into conventional moulds. His greatness often grows out of something that seems very simple - because so much of his music is very easily grasped and enjoyed, it's even more heart-stopping when an unexpected modulation reveals a powerful undertow of darkness and mystery.

Top Pieces:

Moment Musical  in F Minor, Op. 94 No. 3

This delicate little "musical moment" has sometimes been labelled "Russian Air", but could equally be thought of as a typical Viennese mix of elegance and rustiqueness.

Impromptu in E-flat Major, Op. 90 No. 2

The right-hand triplets scurrying up and down the keyboard are so much fun, while the middle section and coda offer dark and dramatic contrast.

Impromptu in G-flat Major, Op. 90 No. 3

This extraordinarily beautiful, song-like piece - the ultimate example of Schubert's overflowing Romantic melodiousness - demands great cantabile technique and control of different layers of sound.

Impromptu in A-flat Major, Op. 142 No. 2

The peaceful serenity of this Impromptu seems to point back to Schubert's greatest idol Beethoven and the first movements of two of the latter's more lyrical Sonatas, both in A flat major: opp. 26 and 110.

Sonata 21 in B-flat Major, D. 960

Written only months before Schubert's death, the B-Flat Sonata is a work of vast dimensions and vertiginous depths, that easily strikes the listener as a kind of communication from the beyond, both melancholy and comforting.


From the start, Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was an exceptionally prolific composer. At seventeen years of age, having already written several songs, piano pieces, string quartets, his first symphony and a three-act opera, he increased his creative pace even further: the huge output of 1814-15 includes 144 songs, among them Gretchen am Spinnrade and Erlkönig, two more symphonies, three masses and four stage works. From this time he began to attract a large circle of friends, frequently gathering in homes or coffee-houses for evenings of Schubert´s music called Schubertiads: this gave Schubert an appreciative audience and influential contacts as well as the confidence to stop teaching, which he had been pressured to do by his father who was a schoolmaster.

He lived with one or other of his friends, the closest of whom were the poet Johann Mayrhofer and the law student Franz von Schober. Schubert also met at this time the barytone Michael Vogl, one of the outstanding opera singers of the day, who became the foremost interpreter of his songs, often accompanied by the composer. In 1821 Schubert’s music appeared in print for the first time, as his admirers issued issued 20 of his songs by private subscription. Schubert, an enthusiastic opera-goer since childhood, in the early 1820s worked on several stage projects such as the opera Alfonso und Estrella and incidental music to the play Rosamunde. The rejection of most of these works, financial strain and the beginning of serious health problems made this a dark period, which nevertheless yielded some of Schubert’s best works, such as the epic "Wanderer" Fantasy for piano, the two movement Eighth Symphony ("Unfinished"), and the exquisite Schöne Müllerin song cycle.

Although appreciation remained limited, his reputation in Vienna was steadily growing (above all, his concerts with Vogl were renowned), and Schubert little by little entered a more assured phase. 1825 was something of a high point when the setbacks of previous years were compensated by relative prosperity and happiness. Unfortunately, over the next three years his fortune, his finances and his health would wane steadily, yet during this time he would produce an astonishing string of masterworks. In 1827 Schubert wrote among other works the song cycle Winterreise, the Fantasia for piano and violin in C, the Impromptus for piano, and the two piano trios; in 1828 the String Quintet in C, the last three piano sonatas, and the collection of songs published posthumously as Schwanengesang.

Quotes by Schubert

"When I wished to sing of love, it turned to sorrow. And when I wished to sing of sorrow, it was transformed for me into love."

Quotes about Schubert

"Where other people keep diaries in which they record their momentary feelings, etc, Schubert simply kept sheets of music by him and confided his changing moods to them; and his soul being steeped in music, he put down notes when another man would resort to words." (Schumann)

"Such is the spell of your emotional world that it very nearly blinds us to the greatness of your craftsmanship." (Liszt)

Schubert Piano Sheet Music

for digital devices or to download & print

Total pieces by Schubert: 111

TitleKey YearLevel

Most popular pieces:

Moment Musical Op. 94 D. 780 No. 3F Minor 18287
Impromptu Op. 90 No. 2E-flat Major 18277
Impromptu Op. 90 No. 3G-flat Major 18278
Impromptu Op. 142 No. 2A-flat Major 18277
Sonata 21 D. 960B-flat Major 18288+

All pieces:


Sonata 1 D. 157E Major 18158+
Sonata 2 D. 279C Major 18158+
Sonata 3 (5 Piano Pieces) D. 459E Major 18168
Sonata 4 Op. 164 D. 537A Minor 18178+
Sonata 5 D. 557A-flat Major 18178+
Sonata 6 D. 566E Minor 18178+
Sonata 7 Op. 122 D. 568E-flat Major 18178+
Sonata 8 D. 571F-sharp Minor 18178+
Sonata 9 Op. 147 D. 575B Major 18178+
Sonata 10 D. 613C Major 18188
Sonata 11 D. 625F Minor 18188+
Sonata 12 - fragment D. 655C-sharp Minor 18198
Sonata 13 Op. 120 D. 664A Major 18198+
Sonata 14 Op. 143 D. 784A Minor 18238+
Sonata 15 D. 840C Major 18258+
Sonata 16 Op. 42 D. 845A Minor 18258+
Sonata 17 Op. 53 D. 850D Major 18258+
Sonata 18 Op. 78 D. 894G Major 18258+
Sonata 19 D. 958C Minor 18288+
Sonata 20 D. 959A Major 18288+
Sonata 21 D. 960B-flat Major 18288+


Impromptu Op. 90 No. 1C Minor 18278
Impromptu Op. 90 No. 2E-flat Major 18277
Impromptu Op. 90 No. 3G-flat Major 18278
Impromptu Op. 90 No. 4A-flat Major 18277
Impromptu Op. 142 No. 1F Minor 18278+
Impromptu Op. 142 No. 2A-flat Major 18277
Impromptu Op. 142 No. 3B-flat Major 18278
Impromptu Op. 142 No. 4F Minor 18278+

Moments Musicaux D. 780

1. Moment Musical C Major 18287
2. Moment Musical A-flat Major 18287
3. Moment Musical F Minor 18287
4. Moment Musical C-sharp Minor 18287
5. Moment Musical F Minor 18287
6. Moment Musical A-flat Major 18287

Three Piano Pieces D. 946

1. Allegro assai E-flat Minor 18288
2. Allegretto E-flat Major 18288
3. Allegro C Major 18288

Pieces for piano four hands

Fantasie - for four hands Op. 103 D. 940F Minor 18288


12 German Dances D. 420N/A -7
3 German Dances D. 972N/A -5
6 German Dances D. 970N/A -5
Minuet D Major -5
12 Viennese German Dances D. 128N/A 18126
20 Minuets D. 41N/A 18135
Minuet D. 600C-sharp Minor 18146
8 Ecossaises D. 299N/A 18155
Ecossaise D. 158D Minor 18155
Minuet D. 334A Major 18156
2 Minuets D. 380N/A 18165
6 Ecossaises D. 421N/A 18166
8 Ecossaises D. 977N/A 18166
8 Ländler D. 378B-flat Major 18164
8 Ecossaises D. 529N/A 18175
Trio D. 610E Major 18187
German Dance and Ecossaise D. 643N/A 18198
5 Ecossaises D. 697A-flat Major 18206
12 Waltzes, 17 Ländler and 9 Ecossaises D. 145N/A 18218
36 Original Dances D. 365N/A 18217
German Dance D. 722G-flat Major 18215
2 German Dances D. 974N/A 18226
11 Ecossaises D. 781N/A 18235
2 German Dances D. 769N/A 18235
20 Waltzes D. 146N/A 18237
3 German Dances D. 973N/A 18236
3 German Dances D. 971N/A 18238
34 Valses Sentimentales D. 779N/A 18235
17 Ländler D. 366N/A 18246
German Dance D. 975D Major 18245
16 German Dances and 2 Ecossaises D. 783N/A 18257
Cotillon D. 976E-flat Major 18255
Galop and 8 Ecossaises D. 735N/A 18258
Waltz D. 844G Major 18255
16 Ländler and 2 Ecossaises D. 734N/A 18266
12 Grazer Waltzes D. 924N/A 18278
12 Valses Nobles D. 969N/A 18278
Grazer Galopp D. 925C Major 18278
12 Ländler Op. 171 D. 790N/A -7


Ten Variations D. 156F Major 18158+
13 Variations on a Theme by Hüttenbrenner D. 576A Minor 18178
Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli D. 718C Minor 18215


Ständchen - solo piano version D. 889C Major -8+
Erlkönig - solo piano version Op. 1G Minor -8+
Gretchen am spinnrade - solo piano version Op. 2D Minor -8+
Schäfers Klagelied - solo piano version Op. 3 No. 1C Minor -8+
Heidenröslein - solo piano version Op. 3 No. 3G Major -8+
Jägers Abendlied - solo piano version Op. 3 No. 4D-flat Major -8+
Der Wanderer - solo piano version Op. 4 No. 1C-sharp Minor -8+
Rastlose Liebe - solo piano version Op. 5 No. 1E Major -8+
Der Tod und das Mädchen - solo piano version Op. 7 No. 3D Minor -8+
Lob der Tränen - solo piano version Op. 13 No. 2D Major -8+
Geheimes - solo piano version Op. 14 No. 2A-flat Major -8+
Sei mir gegrüsst - solo piano version Op. 20 No. 1B-flat Major -8
Romanze - solo piano version Op. 26F Minor -8+
Die Forelle - solo piano version Op. 32D-flat Major -8+
Die junge Nonne - solo piano version Op. 43 No. 1F Minor -8+
Ave Maria - solo piano version Op. 52 No. 4B-flat Major -8+
Du bist die Ruh - solo piano version Op. 59 No. 3E-flat Major -8+
Lied der Mignon - solo piano version Op. 62 No. 4A Minor -8+
Auf dem Wasser zu singen - solo piano version Op. 72A-flat Major -8+
Wanderers Nachtlied - solo piano version Op. 96 No. 3B-flat Major -8+

Miscellaneous pieces

March and trio E Major -8+
Piano Piece A Major -7
Andante D. 29C Major 18126
Adagio D. 612E Major 18187
Allegretto D. 915C Minor 18277
Fantasy (Wanderer) Op. 15C Major 18228+
Frühlingsglaube - solo piano version Op. 20 No. 2A-flat Major -8
Adagio and Rondo Op. 145E Major -8+
Scherzo 1 D. 593 No. 1B-flat Major -8+
Scherzo 2 D. 593 No. 2D-flat Major -8

Forum posts about Franz Schubert

Composers born or who lived in Viena by chechig
Hi everyone. Many great composers through history were born or lived in Viena, like Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Bortkiewicz, Chopin...

Re: schubert by ramseytheii
Since you're asking about classification for school auditoins or competitions or whatever, Schubert would go squarely into the Classica...

Re: Next Schubert Piece by mikey6
Does it have to be an impromptu? why not tackle a sonata - the 'little' amaj is gorgeous. There's always the 300 odd dance se...

Schubert Dotted Rhythm question by EHpianist
Ok, this is something I should know and I thought I did, until I came across this piece. In notation, Schubert only wrote a dotted eighth w...

Did Beethoven and Schubert ever meet? by stormx
Hi !! Recently, i have been listening to many Schubert piano pieces (interpreted by Schiff and Perahia), and i really like them !!  :)...