Movement 1: Allegro moderato
Movement 2: Andante
Movement 3: Minuetto: Allegretto
Movement 4: Rondo: Allegretto
Both the slow movement’s siciliano-like main theme and its mysterious minor-mode episode originally had a single-note upbeat, but Schubert removed this— perhaps because the manner in which the theme’s return was approached during the course of the piece rendered its subsequent inclusion impracticable in any case. As for the minuet, Schubert altered the shape of its opening melody to render it less repetitious; and he interpolated a pause before the final reprise of the theme of the trio—essentially an accompanied viola solo—in order to allow the music a moment’s breathing-space.
The gently ‘trotting’ theme of the rondo finale originally had a rather inelegant second phrase, which had the music turning back squarely onto the tonic. Schubert’s revised version substitutes an answering phrase that mirrors the opening bars more closely, while at the same time lending the theme a more graceful lilt. If the work as a whole hardly belongs among Schubert’s profoundest utterances it has an undeniable charm all of its own, and in the adventurousness of its sudden switches of key it shows him beginning to find his own distinctive voice.
from notes by Misha Donat © 2006