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16 Deutsche Tänze, D783

Op 33

Liszt was one of several composers who brought Schubert’s music to a wider public through editions of selected sonatas and dozens of transcriptions (mostly lieder) including the incorporation of nine waltzes into his Soirées de Vienne, S427. Dances occupied Schubert across his entire career and despite their neglect in concert performance his numerous collections contain a wealth of delightful music. According to Josef von Spaun, Schubert was in the habit of surprising his friends 'with the most beautiful German Dances and Ecossaises', while another member of the composer’s circle observed he would 'sit down at the piano where for hours he would improvise the loveliest waltzes; repeating those he remembered and then write them down'.

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


Schubert: A Schubert Journey
Studio Master: SIGCD645Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Schubert: Piano Music, Vol. 7
Studio Master: SIGCD837Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 8 on SIGCD645 CD7 [10'58] Download only
Track 8 on SIGCD837 [10'58] Download only

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