Sonata in A major, D.959 - Franz Schubert

Immerse yourself in the intriguing world of Franz Schubert's Sonata in A major, D. 959. This masterfully crafted solo piano piece is hailed as one of the most loved by piano enthusiasts and classical audiophiles alike.

Origins and Release

The enticingly enchanting Sonata in A major, D.959 was composed during Schubert's final period in 1828. At a time when Franz had just received his devastating health diagnosis, this piece emerged as an embodiment of the composer's sonic contemplation on life.

The D.959 was, however, not published until a decade after Schubert's death, in 1839. The piece was released in a time bursting with romanticism, providing a suitable landscape for the profound themes within this composition to be fully appreciated.

Yet the story of its creation and eventual release is one that, like all artistic ventures of the era, was seasoned with struggle and resilience, a testament to Schubert's unyielding determination to leave a lasting musical legacy.

Music Theory Perspective

To appreciate the prowess with which Schubert addresses the keys, melody, harmony, and scales in the Sonata, one has to delve into an intricate analysis of the piece from a music theory perspective.

Firstly, the piece is in sonata form, common during the classical era. It starts in the major key, underscoring Schubert's fondness for luminous, hopeful openings, yet it transitions to the minor key, which, in true Schubert fashion, dominates the tonal narrative.

The emotional scope of the Sonata is further inflated by Schubert's judicious use of the A major scale, with the second movement being written entirely in A flat major. The breathtaking extent of Schubert's harmonic exploration presents him as a defiant trailblazer in a deeply classical genre.

The Sonata's Popularity

The contagious love for Schubert's Sonata in A major, D. 959, isn't merely about its grand construction but also about the feelings it has been able to invoke in its listeners over the years.

This piece has been universally adored for its uncanny ability to showcase all the emotional depth and technical prowess that a piano can deliver. It carries a message that resonates with human optimism and the inherent will to transcend struggle.

Perhaps the most loved characteristic of the Sonata is its stimulating melodic variety. Schubert uses a fascinating blend of major and minor keys, and this, combined with the emotional exposure granted by his use of the A major scale, has secured D. 959's immortality in the annals of solo piano compositions.


Intense yet serene, Schubert's Sonata in A major, D. 959, captures a vivid snapshot of the composer's life and era, nestled deep within its chords and harmonies. In its durations, it travels sorrow, joy, and a lover's longing— leaving its listeners in an intense contemplation of life's beautiful tragedies.

This masterpiece serves as an enduring reminder of the music's capacity to travel across time and space, touching lives in ways unimaginable, ultimately reaffirming Schubert's ineradable legacy.

Publication date: 03. 12. 2023