logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Classical Music Site

BellaOnline's Classical Music Editor

g

Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata D.821

Guest Author - Gillian Buchanan

Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata in A Minor, D. 821, was composed in 1824. Vincent Schuster, who is thought to have commissioned the work from Schubert, was a virtuoso of the arpeggione, which had been invented only in 1823, but its use quickly died out and by the time the sonata was published in 1871 the instrument for which it had been written was extinct.

The Arpeggione Sonata is in three movements, Allegro Moderato, Adagio and Allegretto but as the second and third movements are linked together through the music in a similar manner to Liszt's much later Piano Sonata in B Minor, the work is usually played through in one go. It only lasts about 20 minutes so this is not a hardship to most audiences!

The arpeggione was a strange instrument which looked something like a cello, but which had five strings. These were in a shallower formation than the four strings of the more familiar violin, viola, cello and double bass seen in the string orchestra, and the instrument was therefore difficult to play. Reproductions have been made, and an extract of a performance can be seen on Youtube with a reconstructed arpeggione and fortepiano, though sadly the film is incomplete. It is however a most interesting performance, and it can be viewed here. I so love the growly sound of that fortepiano but it is a pity we don't get a close-up of the string formation so that we can see the difference in appearance of an arpeggione fingerboard and string layout from a normal modern stringed instrument.

Nowadays the Arpeggione sonata is usually played on a cello and is viewed with respect by most performers because of its difficulty on that instrument. The player has to be able to use very difficult fingering positionings high up on the fingerboard and the music swings from the singing melodies of the slow movement to the dramatic virtuosic writing in the first and third movements. It's a wonderfully beautiful piece to listen to and no matter how many times you listen to it it's always different.

As to performances, there aren't actually that many around compared to some of the other major Schubert works of the 1820s. There's another very interesting film, also on Youtube, by the schoolboy prodigy Oliver Aldort, which I do recommend listening to. There are major faults in the filming but it's an extremely interesting and perfectly valid performance by a gifted child of twelve years old. For a really great performance though, I recommend hopping over to Amazon and buying a copy of theBritten and Rostropovich Arpeggione Sonata, Schumann and Debussy disk which has a superb recording of the sonata on it that you will listen to again and again.

This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Schubert%27s+Arpeggione+Sonata+D%2E821 to Twitter Add Schubert%27s+Arpeggione+Sonata+D%2E821 to Facebook Add Schubert%27s+Arpeggione+Sonata+D%2E821 to MySpace Add Schubert%27s+Arpeggione+Sonata+D%2E821 to Del.icio.us Digg Schubert%27s+Arpeggione+Sonata+D%2E821 Add Schubert%27s+Arpeggione+Sonata+D%2E821 to Yahoo My Web Add Schubert%27s+Arpeggione+Sonata+D%2E821 to Google Bookmarks Add Schubert%27s+Arpeggione+Sonata+D%2E821 to Stumbleupon Add Schubert%27s+Arpeggione+Sonata+D%2E821 to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Classical Music Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Gillian Buchanan. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Gillian Buchanan. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

g


g features
Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor