Piano Sonata in A major, D 664 (Schubert)

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Piano Sonata in A Major
No. 13
by Franz Schubert
Portrait of the composer in 1819
KeyA major
CatalogueD. 664
Duration23 minutes

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.


  1. Allegro moderato
  2. Andante (in D major)
  3. Allegro

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}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Garrett, David (2008). "Schubert Piano Sonata in A, D664". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Deutsch, Otto Erich (1995). "The Schubert Thematic Catalogue". Dover Publications, Inc. {{cite journal}}: 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.
  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 AGA, Series 10 (15 sonatas)
No. 10
Succeeded by
Preceded by Wiener Urtext Edition (21 Sonatas)
No. 13
Succeeded by
Preceded by 21 Sonatas numbering system
No. 13
23 Sonatas numbering system
No. 15