Mozartís spirit suffuses the three violin sonatas Schubert composed in March and April of 1816, designated, in the eighteenth-century fashion, ĎSonatas for piano, with violin accompanimentí. When the sonatas were published by the firm of Diabelli (of Beethoven variations fame) in 1836, eight years after Schubertís death, they were advertised as Ďsonatinasí, doubtless to lure the lucrative amateur market. While the diminutive is reasonable enough in the case of the three-movement, technically undemanding D major, D384, it unfairly miniaturizes the A minor and G minor sonatas, each in four movements and lasting as long as some of Beethovenís violin sonatas.
Consciously or not, Schubert seems to have modelled the main theme of the Sonata in D majorís opening Allegro molto, heard first in unison then in free imitation between violin and piano left hand, on Mozartís great E minor Sonata, K304. But Schubertís compact movement is far more amiable, even naive, not least in the jaunty second subject. The gracefully Mozartian outer sections of the A major Andante enclose a plaintive A minor song for violin, while the 6/8 finale alternates a blithe, bounding refrain with episodes featuring bouts of mock-severe imitative counterpoint.
from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2013