A versatile, passionate musician, Mathieu Gaudet has pursued a remarkable career as a soloist, chamber musician, and conductor for the past 20 years. He commands a vast repertoire of works and has [...]
They spoke about it
Sonata No. 3 in E Major, D. 459 (1816)
Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828) composed his Sonata No. 3 in E Major, D. 459 in 1816, published posthumously under the title Fünf Clavierstücke (sic) (Five Piano Pieces) in 1843, when brief character pieces were far more lucrative than lengthy sonatas. Cohesive, optimistic and bright, it constitutes Schubert’s first major piano work, since his first two sonatas remained unfinished. The composer was only 19 years old when he completed it.
The first movement is marked “Allegro moderato,” typically used by Schubert to signal intimate lyricism, harmonic richness, and contrapuntal detail. The first “Scherzo” conveys radiant joy in broken octaves in the right hand and reassuring harmonies. The central “Adagio” is a masterpiece of expression in which a homophonic, chorale-style opening is set in contrast with a second lyrical, Italianate theme. This is followed by another “Scherzo & trio,” whose grace emulates Viennese folklore. Finally, in the last movement, “Allegro patetico” (from the German pathetisch, meaning “noble, solemn, rhetorical”), Schubert alternates rolling arpeggios, rests, and broken scales to evoke a mythical world, devices that are perfectly representative of early 19th-century style.
Ungarische Melodie (Hungarian Melody) in B Minor, D. 817 (1824)
The Ungarische Melodie (Hungarian Melody) in B Minor, D. 817 follows a march-like structure with dotted rhythms, evoking folk music prevalent at the time. Conciseness and poignant harmonies, and a coda with eloquent Roma-style vocalises and delights. Schubert revisited the piece almost in its entirety in the third part of his magnificent Divertimento à la hongroise, D. 818, for piano four hands.
Drei Klavierstücke , D. 946 (Three Piano Pieces, 1828)
Like Schubert’s last three sonatas, the cycle Drei Klavierstücke (Three Piano Pieces), D. 946 is part of a pianistic legacy produced in the summer of 1828. It is considered as his third cycle of impromptus, simple in form, structurally akin to the lied (ABA or ABACA form), and emotionally impactful. The first stück, an “Allegro assai” in the rarely used key of E-fl at minor, teems with lengthy, forward-fleeing melodies perfectly representative of the Romantic style that opened the way for Robert Schumann. The second piece, “Andante,” is a nocturne and barcarolle rolled up into one, reaching to heights of expressiveness and pain, especially in the two central episodes. The concluding piece of this triptych, “Allegro,” brings the cycle to a brilliantly virtuosic end. Unfiltered, uncomplicated, and even without great ambition, Schubert aspired with these works to plumb the depths and complexity of the human condition through the expression of love, suffering, and the quest for the absolute.
© Mathieu Gaudet
Translation: Rachelle Taylor