Franz Schubert
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.

ID: 1080
Franz Schubert - Sonatas:

Sonata 21
D. 960

Key: B-flat Major
Year: 1828
Level: 8+
Period: Early Romantic
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Schubert's Farewell Address

The long lyrical themes of this sonata take time to unfold – the first movement of the B-flat major sonata averages about twenty minutes if the exposition repeat is taken, which is as long as many complete sonatas. It is calm and lyrical, and features an unusual and mysterious recurring trill in the low register. The second movement has a sad theme with a very special accompaniment figure covering a large part of the keyboard. The Scherzo is comparatively short and lightens the mood considerably. The last movement is again quite enigmatic and ambiguous, starting with a strong octave on G coming out of nowhere, and then alternating between a peaceful, easy going dance, singing melodies and shocking chordal eruptions.


This sonata is the last thing that Schubert composed for solo piano. He finished it in the fall of 1828, probably either the month he died or the previous month. Neither this nor the other two last sonatas were published until ten years after Schubert's death, and continued to be neglected during most of the 19th century. Now, Schubert's sonatas, and the last three in particular, are generally recognized as being among the most profound and important works of the genre.

Forum posts about this piece:

Schubert's B flat Sonata, in about 24 hours by robertus
I'm due to play this piece.....I played it years ago, and it went down well then. But now I'm worried that it will bore people to de...

Schubert's late sonatas by billym
Hi everyone, I am curious about Schubert's late sonatas. I have only listened to them a few times each and I am struggling to understan...

Schubert piano sonata in B flat by tinyhands
This Radio programme was on this morning, it’s a great programme about how pieces of music have shaped peoples’ lives. Today was Schuber...

Identifying these two pieces by xizaf
Can someone please help identify these pieces? Thanks!...

Question about Schubert Sonata d.960 by mishamalchik
So I'm (pending teacher approval) working on Schubert sonata d.960, and I checked out an edition in the student music library. This edi...

Schubert D960 Paul Badura-Skoda by irrational
I was wondering if anyone here has the recording where Badura-Skoda plays the D960 on the Conrad Graf fortepiano, Steinway and Bosendorfer (...

Schubert B-flat sonata help needed (Not urgent) by aewanko
Specifically the 2nd movement. The middle section, how do I deal with it in general? --------------------- If you don't help ...

Re: Music that has brought tears to your eyes by Motrax
The closest I've come to tears when listening to music (call me hard-hearted if you will  :P) was a live performance of Stravinsky...

Member's recordings of piece:

Schubert D960 clip by thalbergmad
After a cycling accident that ripped my rotator cuff, I start the long road to pianistic recovery. I thought I would destroy some Schubert a...

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Franz Schubert: Sonata 21 D. 960 in B-flat Major from Sonatas - piano sheet music to print instantly. This piece is level 8+ and was composed during the Early Romantic period.
This piece is composed by Franz Schubert and was published in 1828. Title: Sonata 21, D. 960 in B-flat Major from Sonatas. The difficulty level if graded by ABRSM would be approximately 8+ and it belongs to the Early Romantic period.