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Composed when he was twenty-two, D664 marks the threshold of his final years and anticipates the transcendent works of his maturity. It was conceived amid the idyllic surroundings of the Alpine resort of Steyr in Upper Austria in July 1819 while the composer was on a walking tour with the baritone Michel Vogl. That the holiday had a reviving effect on Schubert is clear from the completion, the same summer, of his 'Trout' Quintet, one of his most overtly cheerful works. There’s little doubt of Schubert’s carefree vigour in this sonata’s blithe opening movement and its song-like main theme seems to breathe fresh mountain air, its serenity only briefly broken in the vigorous scales that animate the central development. A gentle melancholy unfolds in the harmonically ambiguous Andante (nominally in D major), notable for its persistent rhythmic scheme and a magical key change to G major. Wistfulness is swept aside in the trouble-free Allegro, bringing this finely crafted work to an emphatic close.
from notes by David Truslove © 2020
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