Sonatas for Schubert's Piano
Franz Schubert is a famous Austrian composer who is the founder of romanticism in music. The main place in his creative career took song motifs that were previously considered a secondary genre. His music surprisingly reflects the attitude of the people of that era. Schubert's lyrics, despite their subtlety and grace, are surprisingly simple and understandable to the listener. Tension, trembling, emotional depth of the musician's works is perfectly combined with emotional balance.
History of creation
The principle of creating the legendary Schubert s Sonatas was recreated according to the surviving drafts. Sonatas were written in two steps - the initial version and the final version.
Sonatas in A minor, D major and G major, created in the period 1825-1826, proved that the musician perfectly understands the sonata principle. In the works of the maestro was able to combine dance and song form with classical musical techniques. In the last three sonatas, Schubert presented dance-song parts in a stilted, spiritual form. The emotional component of later opuses has become much richer and richer than in his earlier works. In the last sonata in B-flat major, it is vividly felt that the author has worked hard on the subject and form of the cycle.
Unfortunately, out of a large number of piano cycles, only three were printed during Schubert’s lifetime. The composer’s creations in depth and meaning are inferior except to Beethoven’s sonatas. The six sonatas that Schubert wrote in his youth are popular only in narrow circles, the rest are known all over the world.
Many music critics of the 19th century highly appreciated the composer’s mastery, but Schubert’s sonatas were abandoned for a long time. Only in the next century did the listener become interested in the work of the musician, which was promoted by the performance of sonatas by popular pianists. In the future, interest in Schubert's piano works grew day by day, and at the end of the 20th century they became classics of the repertoire and were often performed at concerts.
Piano plays consisting of improvisations are rightfully considered to be the greatest works of the composer. Although Schubert did not come close to concert pianism, all his life he was passionate about piano works. His piano music is compared to endless and unique improvisation.
The unique musical style of the composer was greatly influenced by the works of Beethoven, the Czech school and everyday dance motifs from Vienna. But the main role in the composer's piano works was played by the lyric song and the rules of song in general.
Schubert always tried to democratize music, a waltz is a prime example of this. During his career, Schubert wrote about 250 waltzes, each of which is a recognized miniature chamber. Schubert's waltzes are true lyrical poems with an inimitable and captivating melody that are not deprived of simplicity and immediacy.
Before Schubert, no great composer paid so much effort and attention to four-handed piano literature. Mozart composed stunning piano duets, but it was Schubert who created the genre that was perfectly suited for family non-professional performance.
The composer's f-minor fantasy, which he wrote shortly before his death, brings Franz's work to a new level. She certainly is the best piano fantasy musician. The composition includes four parts, very similar to the sequence of sections of the sonata-symphonic cycle.
The composer selected unusual and unusual names for his works, which fully reflected the idea of the author. The musical moments of the works are very diverse: from pacified lyricism to tragic melodies.
- The composer created 5-8 essays per day. Many critics still wonder how he found so much time for work.
- Schubert began composing piano sonatas from 1815. Fifteen of them were completed completely and became widely known in the music world.
- Franz was born in a poor family of a school teacher. His parents loved music and often organized themed evenings, so from childhood, the boy was taught how to play musical instruments.
- The works of the composer differed from the classical piano music of the XIX century, so they had no particular popularity for a long time and were even forgotten.
- In 1928, after 100 years since the death of the musician, pianist Arthur Schnabel performed almost all his piano creations at a concert. The brilliant Russian musician Sergey Rakhmaninov in the same year made a statement that he had not previously been acquainted with the works of Schubert.
- The composer was a very timid, shy and unassuming man, did not know how to ask for help, and did not want to be humiliated before influential people. That is why due to material difficulties a genius often did not have the opportunity to publish his masterpieces.
- After death, Schubert left many unpublished works (masses, symphonies, operas, etc.). Many manuscripts have long been with his relatives, friends and publishers.
- The brilliant composer during his lifetime would have to live in limited means, although from the age of 13 he wrote an incredible number of musical works.
- Schubert had an interesting habit of signing on the notes the date of the beginning of the writing of the composition and the date of the end of the work on it.
- During his 32-year life, a man never married. In 1814, he proposed to Teresa Thunder, who sang in the church choir. However, the girl's mother was against the poor groom, and the engagement was broken.
- Fame came to Schubert only in 1821. Then the composer was a welcome guest at the meetings of Biedermeier Vienna, where he sang and played the piano.
- In the year of the composer's death, friends were able to organize for him the only solo concert during his lifetime. The performance was a great success, and Franz was incredibly happy.
- The musician had a short stature and dense physique, suffered myopia. At the same time he was an incredibly charming, shy and kind person. Gentle complexion and wavy chestnut curls made a man especially attractive.
- Schubert was one of the first to use piano duets and was able to bring characteristic artistic elements into this genre.
The greatest achievement of the composer - the last three sonatas
In the last years of his life, Schubert worked hard on three amazing sonatas, which are even combined into a trilogy. The first sketches were written by the composer in the middle of 1828. Sketches consist of different elements that are randomly scattered on a single sheet. This suggests that two final essays were created simultaneously. The author finished the farewell sonata at the end of September; in a couple of days she was performed at a concert in Vienna.
At the same time, Schubert wrote to the publisher Probst a letter asking him to publish fresh creations. However, the man ignored this request, and on November 19, the composer dies from an intestinal infection, without waiting for the publication of the sonatas. A year later, the brother of a genius sells manuscripts to another publisher, but they will be published only a decade later, in 1839.
In recognition of Schubert, he dreamed of devoting his works to composer and pianist Johann Gummel (a student of Mozart), whom he genuinely admired. But the sonatas were released by Anton Diabelli, when Hummel was no longer alive, so the publisher dedicated sonatas to Schumann, who repeatedly praised the talent of the composer. Interestingly, Schumann did not like sonatas, he considered them to be too simple and absolutely out-of-date. However, this did not prevent him from admiring their sound, conveying the finest feelings. Brahms and Rubinstein were also fascinated by the melodiousness of the sonatas.
In the last creation of Schubert - Sonata in B flat major, three main ideas are clearly visible: prayer, song and play, which are characteristic of the composer’s entire piano work. The initial melodies of the sonata are truly amazing, absolutely simple and easy to remember. The song seems to live inside the listener, sanctifying his soul with a warm light. It is similar to prayers, which are filled with gratitude to the Lord, while through all their grace tragedy is peeking, as if the other side of goodness.
The main parties express completely different emotions, the author as if realized the scale of universal grief, which lives in every person. Most critics believe that in this way Franz tried to convey the sadness of his illness, which unshakably led him to another world.
At the very end, the melody sounds so light and dazzling that it can be compared to the sun that appeared from behind the clouds. This technique is called the famous Schubert game, which consists in wondrous humor and childish naivete of music. It is surprising that in the subject of the final the signs of the musician are encrypted: S (es - e-flat), s - to, h - si (three initial letters of his last name). The monogram acts as a branded seal, which the composer designates his creation.
While working on the last sonatas, Schubert already knew that he would soon die. Terrible expectations were met - a man died a couple of months after the last job. Thanks to his latest greatest works, Schubert became a respected representative of world music classics, along with other brilliant composers.
Schubert has created fantastic piano cycles that can not leave anyone indifferent listeners. His sonatas are completely different from Beethoven's sonatas, in which the tension between the parts prevails. Schubert's works are characterized by continuous movement forward, the composer’s entire attention is focused on individual elements, and not on a solid architectural form.
The composer's piano sonatas are notable for their incredible richness of images. Each cycle is different, and there are inspirational poetic episodes in each of them. The composer opened to the listener a world of magnificent lyrical themes that fill the soul with light and incredible emotions.