For the Love of the Fortepiano: Schubert - 3 Klavierstücke, D 946 Nr. 1 / Andreas Staier (fortepiano)

>> Thursday, March 18, 2010

For the next feature in my series on the fortepiano I wish to showcase a later, more developed fortepiano which was the type that Schubert used. The instrument featured in this recording is a replica of the Johann Fritz Hammerklavier. You will notice that the shape is more rounded and more like the pianos we are used to seeing, yet the sound is still a bit thinner at the top, although the lows are much deeper than in the earlier versions of the instrument. This Hammerklavier features a Viennese action, four pedals: una corda, moderator 1 and 2, forte. Triple-strung, except the last 4 tones. Length 245 cm. CC-g''''.

The Drei Klavierstücke D. 946, or "Three Piano Pieces", are solo pieces composed by Schubert in May 1828, just six months before his early death. They were conceived as a third set of four Impromptus, but only three were written. They were first published in 1868, edited by Johannes Brahms, although his name appears nowhere in the publication. In comparison with the D. 899 and D. 935 sets, these works are largely neglected and are not often heard in the concert hall or recorded.

No. 1 in E-flat minor

The main section (allegro assai) is in 2/4 time, though, as it is largely in triplets, the effect is like 6/8 for much of the time. It soon moves to E-flat major. As originally written, the piece had two trios, the first in B major, andante in alla breve time, and the second in A-flat major, andantino in 2/4. Schubert crossed out the second, but it is not infrequently played also, as heard in the recordings by Uchida and Pires.


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