Hyperion Records

Violin Sonata in A major 'Duo', D574
composer
August 1817; published by Diabelli in 1851

Recordings
'Schubert: Complete works for violin and piano' (CDA67911/2)
Schubert: Complete works for violin and piano
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Details
Movement 1: Allegro moderato
Movement 2: Scherzo: Presto
Movement 3: Andantino
Movement 4: Allegro vivace

Violin Sonata in A major 'Duo', D574
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In 1817 Vienna became infected by Rossini fever. Schubert himself was not immune, as can be heard in the Sixth Symphony, begun that autumn, and the two exuberant Overtures in the Italian Style. But there is no trace of Rossini, and little of Mozart, in the Sonata in A major composed during August and published by Diabelli in 1851 as Duo (en la) pour piano et violon. While the Sonata’s mood is predominantly relaxed and genial, the violin writing is more challenging than in the three sonatas of 1816. Schubert’s opening is gloriously memorable: a free-soaring violin melody counterpointed by a lolloping rhythm in the keyboard bass. Despite moments of energetic dialogue for the two instruments, the movement is in essence a leisurely song without words for the violin that slips into all sorts of unexpected keys en route.

The Presto second movement is an exuberant take on the Beethovenian scherzo, full of teasingly irregular phrases, abrupt changes of dynamics and vertiginous leaps for the violin. In the second half Schubert spirits us to remote tonal regions with nonchalant sleight-of-hand. The C major Andantino begins with one of Schubert’s most guileless tunes. But initial impressions are belied by the music’s harmonic adventure, both in the opening section, which quickly drifts to a far-flung D flat major, and in the central episode. After a condensed reprise of the opening (with the tune underpinned by a little rhythmic figure from the central section), the major-minor equivocation of the very last bars is a touching and characteristic Schubertian effect. Opening with a faint reminiscence of the scherzo, the finale is a movement of irresistible verve that combines the melodic generosity of the first movement with the scherzo’s ebullience and tonal caprice.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2013

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67911/2 disc 2 track 2
Scherzo: Presto
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-13-91202
Duration
4'09
Recording date
4 August 2012
Recording venue
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
Hyperion usage
  1. Schubert: Complete works for violin and piano (CDA67911/2)
    Disc 2 Track 2
    Release date: August 2013
    2CDs
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