The first piece, in E flat minor, is breathlessly agitated, though its B major middle section unfolds a broad melody that stands in violent contrast. Schubert initially designed the piece as a five-part form, including a second slow episode. Although he eventually deleted this second episode, it is fully worked-out and clearly legible in the autograph, and it has been included in the present recording. The resulting five-part structure is one that is also found in the second panel of the triptych.; this second piece has a main section in the style of a barcarolle, and two fine episodes in the minor, the second of which brings with it a change of metre (though not of pulse). The set ends with an Allegro in Schuberts jubilant C major style. Here, too, there is a central episode in a contrasting metre. Its tempo relationship with the outer sections is less clear, though Schubert no doubt wanted this chorale-like passage to form a moment of calm between the flamboyant material that surrounds it.
from notes by Misha Donat © 1996