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Of the 100 or so Deutsche Tänze (variously combining the character of the minuet, the ländler, and the waltz), these Sechzehn Deutsche Tänze, D783 were mainly composed in 1823 and 1824 and subsequently published in Vienna on 8 January 1825 under the title 'Deutsche Tänze und Ecossaises für das Pianoforte'. With two exceptions (Nos 1 and 10) they are laid out in the identical format of two eight-bar phrases, each repeated. The sturdy first gives way to tenderness in the second, while the winsome third yields to the whirling energy of the fourth. Flowing rhythms bring calm to the minor-key fifth and the sixth recalls the earthy manner of the first. A dream-like seventh is followed by the irregular accents of the eighth and stamping rhythms add a rustic flavour to its successor. Pre-echoes of Chopin might be detected in the gentle tenth, and to the eleventh Schubert generates sparkle. The next two (both in C major) are agreeably good-humoured, while two consecutive appearances of F minor introduce sobriety and the final dance (in F major) rounds off the set to match the mood of the opening. With perfectly judged contrasts of mood, texture and tonality, Schubert succeeds in creating a cohesive entity of otherwise disparate miniatures.
from notes by David Truslove © 2020
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