Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in A minor, D.537
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in A, D.664
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in A, D.959

Daniel Barenboim opens his Schubert cycle with three works rooted in the same key, but with startlingly different moods.

D.537 is the earliest of the sonatas to have survived complete and finds the 20-year-old genius exploring the dark recesses of his creative imagination, anticipating the harrowing intensity of his later minor-key masterpieces.

Alfred Brendel once observed with regard to Schubert that 'more often than not, happiness is but the surface of despair', and in D.664, dedicated to the gifted and pretty daughter of a local ironmaster, one indeed senses that behind its sublime lyrical contentment lies the anguished pain of unrequited love.

Rarely has the major key felt so profoundly sad as in D.959, one of Schubert's last completed works which seems to encapsulate a lifetime's experience - he was just 31 years of age.


Daniel Barenboim piano