Due to his special habit of composing and the fact that most of his sonatas were published after his death, (only three sonatas were published while he was alive), the collecting and publishing work of Schubert’s Sonatas was more difficult and complicated compared with that of Beethoven’s completed suit of sonatas. As a result, with respect to the total number of his works and the exact creation time of some works, we have not got a unanimous answer even till today. In September 1828, just two months before his death, Schubert completed a composition of three large-scale piano sonatas (in C minor, D958; A major, D959; and B flat, D960) at the age of 31.
Each of them contains reminiscences of Beethoven who died in March 1827. He intended to dedicate it to Hummel but was unsuccessful. Finally, it was published in 1838 by Diabelli as “Schubert’s last compositions”, with a dedication to Schumann. But actually, this work is not his last work as a piano composer and he has last said in short pieces in his last year. It used to be thought that Schubert had composed them at white heat, within a few weeks; but the discovery of detailed sketch has shown that he must have been working on them, at least intermittently, for several months. Three sonatas are seen in the three main chapters of Schubert’s autobiography. It is the past, present and future according to the description of the composer.
D959 is a mostly open-hearted and lyrical piece. It is not as impetuous as the C minor, or ethereal as the B flat sonata, it occupies a kind of ‘middle ground’ where Schubert seems to be very confident. This piece is between grand orchestral gesture and intimate song-like phrase. This eclectic mix of the elements is what has made the piece to be interesting and it essentially transports the audiences to a different narrative reality. The strong narrative theme and the interesting rendition of the music make the musical works by Schubert to be truly entertaining and also cause to invoke a lot of emotions. The audiences who are in the concert are able to feel wide range emotions that have been effectively elucidated by the pianist.