Piano Sonata in A major, D 664 (Schubert)

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The Piano Sonata in A major D. 664, Op. posth. 120 is a sonata for solo piano composed by Franz Schubert in the summer of 1819.


I. Allegro moderato

A major

II. Andante

D major

III. Allegro

A major

Well regarded among pianists, the "Little" A major sonata is so called to distinguish it from the hefty 1828 sonata in the same key.[citation needed] It is the shortest among Schubert's complete sonatas.[1] The manuscript, completed in July 1819, was dedicated to Josephine von Koller of Steyr in Upper Austria, whom he considered to be "very pretty" and "a good pianist". The lyrical, buoyant, in spots typically poignant nature of this sonata fits the image of a young Schubert in love, living in a summery Austrian countryside, which he also considered to be "unimaginably lovely".[2]

The A major sonata is straightforward, with a dulcet melodic opening. It was the first of Schubert's piano sonatas where the sonata form as perfected by his idol, Beethoven, does not seem wrestled with; rather, it is a "joyous breakthrough", a carefree triumph over strict rules of construction.[3]

The original manuscript to this "little" sonata has been lost.[4]

Further reading[edit]

James Webster noted the particular A B A form of the first movement's first thematic group.[5] Daniel Coren summarised the nature of the recapitulations in the first and third movements.[6] Leo Black noted Schubert's reworking of the opening theme from the sonata's slow movement into his song "Der Unglückliche".[7]


  1. ^ Newbould, Brian (1999). Schubert: The Music and the Man. University of California Press. p. 318. ISBN 9780520219571.
  2. ^ Schubert, Franz Peter (July 15, 1819). "Personal letter to brother Ferdinand". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Garrett, David (2008). "Schubert Piano Sonata in A, D664". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Deutsch, Otto Erich (1995). "The Schubert Thematic Catalogue". Dover Publications, Inc. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Webster, James (July 1978). "Schubert's Sonata Form and Brahms's First Maturity". 19th-Century Music. 2 (1): 18–35. doi:10.1525/ncm.1978.2.1.02a00020. JSTOR 746189.
  6. ^ Coren, Daniel (1974). "Ambiguity in Schubert's Recapitulations". The Musical Quarterly. LX (4): 568–582. doi:10.1093/mq/LX.4.568. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  7. ^ Black, Leo (June 1997). "Oaks and Osmosis". The Musical Times. Musical Times Publications Ltd. 138 (1852): 4–15. doi:10.2307/1003664. JSTOR 1003664.

External links[edit]

Piano sonatas (2 hands) by Franz Schubert
Preceded by
Sonata in A minor (D. 845)
AGA, Series 10 (15 sonatas)
No. 10
Succeeded by
Sonata in D major (D. 850)
Preceded by
Sonata in F minor (D. 625)
Wiener Urtext Edition (21 Sonatas)
No. 13
Succeeded by
Sonata in A minor (D. 784)
Preceded by
Sonata in C-sharp minor (D. 655)
21 Sonatas numbering system
No. 13
23 Sonatas numbering system
No. 15