Several things have happened since I started this series of articles about my learning and study of Schubert’s penultimate piano sonata. The first is that after a long period of reflection and time away from the piano following my disappointing Fellowship diploma result, I started playing the sonata again – and with a very different mindset from last year – and the second that I have been commissioned to write a series of articles about the sonata for ‘The Schubertian’, the journal of the Schubert Institute (UK). This allowed me spend more time analysing and studying the music away from the piano, in conjunction with some serious reading and listening, all of which has thrown new light on the music for me and enabled me to approach it differently, and (based on my teacher’s comments at my latest lesson), more successfully.

The following article on the first movement of the sonata combines simple analysis with some personal thoughts on practising, interpretation and musical narrative.

“The performer only has to follow Schubert on his journeys and recognize its various stations”

Andras Schiff

The first movement has a symphonic sweep in its generous breadth, and an appreciation of Schubert’s orchestral writing is essential in approaching this movement, in terms of its textures, implied instrumentation and narrative flow. Much is made of Schubert the spinner of beautiful lieder melodies in his piano music, as elsewhere, but in the later Piano Sonatas we find Schubert the composer of tautly textured string quartets and large-scale orchestral writing. To better appreciate and respond to these aspects of the sonata, my “further listening” on disc and in concert has included the ‘Great’ C major Symphony, D944, the String Quintet in C, D956 (which Schubert composed during the final months of his life), and the String Quartet in D minor, D810, as well as the late piano music (the Impromptus) and of course the other two sonatas which comprise the final triptych. Such listening has proved invaluable in my understanding of Schubert’s distinct soundworld and idioms, and incorporating these sounds and textures into my own interpretation of the piano sonata, alongside my personal “vision” of the work, has enabled me to create a performance which is, I feel, three-dimensional and rich in orchestral detail.

Autograph score of the first draft of the first movement in which the opening sentence is more simplified than the final version

The movement opens with a majestic six-bar sentence comprising declamatory chords in the treble which leaves us in no doubt that this music is in the key of A major: there are no less than 14 A’s in the top voice in this sequence. For me, this opening sentence has all the grandeur and poise of the introductory sequence in a Bach keyboard Partita, and its “stand alone” quality is made all the more impactful by what follows it.

Next a sequence of descending arpeggios, marked piano, which could have come straight out of an impromptu with its idiosyncratic intimacy. The contrast between this section and the opening is striking and is the first example, of many, of Schubert’s musical and emotional volte faces which pepper this work. In bar 8 another cyclic motif is introduced, the short-long “ta-tah” rhythmic gesture (here a crotchet followed by a minim) which feels like a musical intake of breath in surprise or wonder, almost an “ah ha!”. This motif will also appear in various reincarnations throughout the work. It requires precise articulation and little or no pedal so as not to blur the transition from the first note/chord to the second, to retain an element of surprise, and to ensure the upward harmonic movement in the bass is clear; this is particularly important when the motif appears again as a quaver and minim separated by a rest (for example, at bars 23 or 28/9). These apparently tiny details create remarkable breathing spaces and suspensions in the music and clarify the structural expansiveness and improvisatory character that pervade this movement (and also the finale). The suspension from bar 6 is further reiterated in bar 13 and is not fully resolved until the A major harmony of bar 16, where the opening sentence and successive arpeggiated figure interact in another new idea whose bass line reflects the opening sentence in its ascending chords.

In just 50 bars Schubert gives us so much material. Varied, dramatic and contrasting in both weight and pace, it is far more than one would expect to find in the exposition of a traditional Classical-era sonata, and here, as elsewhere throughout the sonata, we see Schubert’s rich inventiveness, his desire to explore new ideas and his use of the piano sonata form as a vehicle for vivid experimentation and wide-ranging emotional impact. The challenge is how to integrate all these ideas while also retaining the improvisatory/evolutionary character of the music. In fact, I prefer to follow Schiff’s suggestion – that one simply follows, responds to, and trusts Schubert’s wanderings, moment-by-moment: as mentioned previously, the cyclic motifs serve as unifying elements in the work, drawing these varied strands together.

The exposition’s second subject, introduced at bar 55, feels more like a traditional second subject: scored in the dominant (E major), it is a simple lyrical melody accompanied by string quartet textures. At the end of this section, one might expect a double-bar and an indication to return to the opening of the music to repeat the exposition, but instead Schubert introduces a turbulent extended chromatic passage leading to a climax of descending arpeggios which recall those from near the opening, followed by a declamatory, orchestral section (mm. 105-111). Despite the sforzando markings, I resist the temptation to give this passage a really full-bodied Beethovenian forte: this is, after all, Schubert not Beethoven, and I feel his dynamics are often psychological rather than purely physical, here suggesting an intensity of feeling rather than sheer volume. Greater emphasis in the bass helps to reinforce this. This section ends on a suspension: a whole-bar rest of complete silence before a passage based on the second subject. This pause needs to feel absolute, with a sense of “listening into silence” (Brendel), to create a magical contrast with the gentle lyricism of the passage which follows and the close of the exposition. The decision then is whether to repeat the exposition (which I do), or proceed straight to the development. Whatever the decision, there is no doubting the impact of the extraordinary modulation in the second-time bar (m 129) where the music moves into C major and the development is heralded by gentle pulsing quavers.

The development section, like the exposition, is not a development in the strict sense of the classical sonata structure: Schubert hardly develops the preceding material at all and instead a last-minute idea from the close of the exposition (mm 121-122) becomes the main motif. The section begins in C major but quickly oscillates between C and B major, which, together with the register in which it is played, creates an ethereal, almost hypnotically suspended atmosphere. The effect is further enhanced by moments of ambiguity in the modulations, where the music hovers momentarily in a minor key, as if passing, albeit fleetingly, into another realm entirely. The LH chords suggest a string accompaniment and should not be too “chugging”. Nor should this section be obscured by too much pedal. I aim for a Mozartian clarity here with little or no pedal: the overall effect should be “heavenly” and dreamlike.

A dramatic descent into the lower registers heralds the further development of this theme in the minor key. Now the atmosphere shifts again, to intimate and passionate, the pulsing quavers remaining as a unifying element. These continue as the music moves into the preparation for the recapitulation, now firmly in the dominant, as if the drama and darkness of the minor section is already long forgotten.

The recapitulation is traditional: it remains in the home key of A major, while the second subject is presented in C major. But at bar 219 the third motif from the opening is stated in A minor and an octave higher. This new variant echoes, momentarily, both musically and emotionally the minor-key sections from the dreamlike sequence of the development before the music moves into warm F major.

The coda restates the opening sentence, but in a much more hesitant manner: marked pianissimo, it is interrupted by whole-bar rests with fermatas, while the left hand imitates pizzicato strings. It feels like a nostalgic reminiscence of the opening sentence and to enhance this, I believe there is justification for broadening the tempo and lingering over certain elements, such as the appoggiaturas in bars 337 or 343, to create a wistful, hymn-like atmosphere. The movement closes with gentle ascending arpeggios, mirroring those from the opening section, the penultimate of which is in B flat major ending on an augmented sixth, which creates a sense of uncertainty, before the final gentle A major arpeggio closes the movement. The question of how to pedal these arpeggios is ambiguous. In both my Henle and Barenreiter scores, there is a pedal mark at bar 349 only. Any pedal I use here is for atmosphere: I like a slight wash of pedal, particularly with the B-flat major arpeggio, but too much will obscure the contours of this sequence. The softly-spoken, somewhat uncertain end to this expansive movement has the curious effect of setting the scene for the second movement without actually pre-empting it at all. When it comes, the Andantino seems distant and alien, so utterly different in character from what has gone before.

Such is the spell of your emotional world that it very nearly blinds us to the greatness of your craftsmanship.
Franz Liszt on Franz Peter Schubert


Select bibliography

Brendel, Alfred, ‘Schubert’s Last Sonatas’, in Music, Sense and Nonsense: Collected Essays and Lectures (London: The Robson Press, 2015)

Fisk, Charles, Returning Cycles: Contexts for the Interpretation of Schubert’s Impromptus and Last Sonatas (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 2015)

Montgomery, David, Franz Schubert’s Music in Performance. Compositional Ideals, Notational Intent, Historical Realities, Pedagogical Foundations (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2003)

Schiff, Andras, ‘Schubert’s Piano Sonatas: thoughts about interpretation and performance’, in Brian Newbould (ed.) Schubert Studies (Aldershot and Burlington: Ashgate, 1998)

xl1430177I missed Krystian Zimerman’s London concert last April when he stood in for the indisposed Mitsuko Uchida and gave what was by all accounts a remarkable performance of Schubert’s last two sonatas, works written in the dying embers of the young composer’s life yet imbued with nostalgia, warmth, an intoxicating bitter-sweetness and, ultimately, hope.

It’s rare for Zimerman to come to London; even rarer for him to release a new disc. He feels that high-quality digital recordings have created a homogeneous sound and style, robbing art music of spontaneity and leading audiences to expect perfection on disc and in concert (something I largely concur with, based on my regular concert-going). Thus, he’s very particular about what and when he records. This is his first recording of Schubert’s last two sonatas and his first solo album for a quarter of a century – and my goodness it was worth the wait! The recording was made in Japan using a Steinway with Zimerman’s own keyboard (which, incidentally, he made himself) inserted into the instrument (like the great pianists of the past, such as his mentor Arthur Rubinstein, he travels on the condition that his own instruments and/or separate, particularly-voiced keyboards accompany him, to suit the repertoire he is performing). The result is impressive, the bespoke action producing a sweetly singing tone and wonderful clarity. In the liner notes (which take the form of an interview) Zimerman explains that the special piano action “is designed to create qualities Schubert would have known in his instruments. Compared to a modern grand piano, the hammer strikes a different point of the string, enhancing the ability to sustain a singing sound…..

But of course it’s not just the bespoke action which makes Zimerman’s sound so special. No, there is more, much more to this performance. Overall, there is an immaculate sense of pacing, so sensitive and natural; the first movement of the final sonata, for example, unfolds like a great river plotting its final course, the hymn-like first subject theme imbued with joyful purpose which gives the music forward propulsion without ever sounding hurried (it’s a leisurely mässig). In the first movement of the D959, the grandeur of the opening sentence gives way to the wistfulness and intimacy of an impromptu  – and immediately Zimerman’s sense of phrasing is revelatory, shedding light on details hitherto skimmed over by others and demonstrating a complete understanding of Schubert’s architecture and narrative, both within movements and the works as a whole.

Throughout, there is subtle rubato in his contouring of phrases, thoughtful use of agogic accents to highlight intervallic relationships or strikingly piquant harmonies (so much a feature of Schubert’s late music), a Mozartian clarity in the passage work and repeated chords (for example in the development sections of both first movements) and an understanding of Schubert’s very specific rests and fermatas – attention to tiny details which create remarkable breathing spaces and enhance the structural expansiveness and improvisatory character and modernity of this music. Restrained use of the sustain pedal creates transparent textures, most notably in the slow movements: the Andantino of the D959, too often the subject of musical “psychobabble” and emotional wallowing, has a desolate gracefulness in its outer sections which contrast perfectly with the hysteria of the central “storm”. When they come, the Scherzi (both marked Allegro vivace) are light and ebullient, though Zimerman is always aware that Schubert is often more tragic when writing in the major key. In sum, every bar is carefully considered and insightful, yet at no point does this music sound fussy, overly precious or reverential. This is some of the most natural Schubert playing I have encountered and it suggests an artist with a long association with and deep affection for this music

As regular readers of this blog will know, I have spent the last three years studying and learning Schubert’s penultimate piano sonata, D959. It has become something of an obsession for me, initially forming the bulk of my programme for a Fellowship Performance Diploma and now a piece of music I simply can’t let go of. I have heard many recordings of the sonata from Schnabel and Cherkassy to Andsnes, Leonskaja and Barnatan, in addition to five live performances (including by Piers Lane, Andras Schiff, Richard Goode and mostly recently Paul Berkowitz). When one spends so much time with a single piece of music, one can grow fussy, pedantically so, about how this music is presented in concert and/or on disc – so much so that I have stopped seeking out the work in concert because I listen far too attentively and critically for my own good…..and talking of “Goode”, the one and only live performance I really enjoyed, the one which left me with the feeling that this was how Schubert would have wanted his music performed, was by the American pianist Richard Goode at the Royal Festival Hall in May 2016 (of which more here). In Krystian Zimerman I have found my new benchmark, not just for the D959 but as a demonstration of how Schubert’s piano music should be played.

Very highly recommended

Such is the spell of your emotional world that it very nearly blinds us to the greatness of your craftsmanship

– Franz Liszt on Franz Schubert


Franz Schubert/Krystian Zimerman/Piano Sonatas D 959 and D 960

Deutsche Grammophon


A personal journey through Schubert’s penultimate piano sonata

The journey continues…..

My nature tends towards the intellectual when studying and learning music, and my approach to the Sonata in A D959 was no different. After an initial sight-read through the entire work to gain a sense of the overall structure and narrative arc of the piece, I set about reading and listening around the music as far as possible to understand the context and background to this music before the serious note-learning process began. Here I share my reading list and “background listening” Spotify playlist. I have starred the books/articles I found most useful


Schubert’s Late Music: History, Theory, Style – Lorraine Byrne Bodley (ed) and Julian Horton (ed) (Cambridge: CUP, 2016)*

Music Sense and Nonsense – Alfred Brendel (London: The Robson Press, 2015)*

The Cambridge Companion to Schubert – Christopher H Gibbs, ed (Cambridge: CUP, 1997)

Franz Schubert: an essential guide to his life and works – Stephen Jackson (London: Pavilion Books/ClassicFM, 1996 )

Franz Schubert’s Music in Performance – David Montgomery (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2003)

Schubert Studies – Brian Newbould, ed (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 1998)*

Schubert: The Music and the Man – Brian Newbould (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999)

The Classical Style – Charles Rosen (London: Faber & Faber, 1997)


‘Schubert the Progressive: The Role of Resonance and Gesture in the Piano Sonata in A, D. 959’ – Robert S. Hatten Intégral Vol. 7 (1993), pp. 38-81

Schubert’s Dream’ – Peter Pesic, 19th-Century Music, Vol. 23, No. 2 (Autumn, 1999), pp. 136-144

‘Schubert’s Volcanic Temper’ – Hugh MacDonald, The Musical Times, Vol. 119, No. 1629, Schubert Anniversary Issue (Nov., 1978), pp. 949-952

In addition, various reviews of the sonata in performance, interviews with pianists, blogs and other resources, the internet proving a rich and varied source of reading material.

Alongside the reading, I undertook a lot of listening to immerse myself in Schubert’s distinct and very personal soundworld. This included some 15 recordings of the D959, from Arthur Schnabel and Shura Cherkassy to Inon Barnatan and Shai Wosner (whose recording of the sonata includes an interesting “take” on the andantino by Missy Mazzoli), and 5 live performances of the Sonata (including by Piers Lane, Andras Schiff and Richard Goode). This kind of listening is incredibly useful – one does not seek to copy or imitate these pianists in their interpretation of the work, but comparative listening and concert going offers useful context/insight into interpretative possibilities and how to present the work in performance. As the playlist below reveals, I have also listened to songs, chamber music, and symphonies. The idea that Schubert’s piano music is informed by his lieder writing is true up to a certain point, but the late piano sonatas are also rich in orchestral and string-quartet writing.


Part 1

In the autumn of 2014 I set myself the task of learning Schubert’s penultimate piano sonata, No 20 in A, D959. My intention was to learn and finesse the work to be performed in public, confidently and convincingly. I wanted the challenge of immersing myself in a large-scale work over a long period of time: it would test my ability to plan and use practise time intelligently, to set and fulfil goals during the process, and to reflect on learning outcomes. The work was to be included in the programme for a final performance qualification, for which a very high level of musical competency and professionalism was required. In this series of essays, I will explore my approach to learning this work, and what I have gained from the experience. I hope my reflections will offer useful resources to others and serve as a “travelogue” of my journey through this sonata.

So why this sonata and not the final sonata, D960? My reasons were twofold: 1) from the point of view of the professional assessment, I felt most people would select the D960 if choosing a late Schubert Sonata; 2) the Sonata in A has always been one of my favourites for its open-hearted warmth and nostalgia (notwithstanding the extraordinary slow movement).

Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828)
The Sonata in A always seems to provoke strong reactions: whenever I mention it online, a whole host of other pianists will comment, citing the slow movement in particular as a significant clue to Schubert’s mental state at the time of the work’s composition. Some commentators suggest that this movement, more than anything else that Schubert wrote, is the clearest indication of the effect of his illness (advanced syphilis) on his mental state and his music. This article offers some frank and disturbing insights into syphilis and its treatment in the early nineteenth century, specifically in relation to Franz Schubert. The side-effects of the illness and its treatment may well have had a detrimental effect on Schubert’s mental state, and it is thought he also suffered from cyclothymia, a form of manic depression (his friends reported periods of dark despair and violent rage). The traditional clichéd, sentimental image of Schubert as the cheery songster or  cherubic “little mushroom” is refuted by these accounts. Is the slow movement of the D959 a manifestation of both depression (the opening and closing sections) and mania (the middle storm)?

Another issue which merits consideration in relation to this sonata (and indeed the others which form the final triptych) is the notion of Schubert’s “late style”: whether a sense of his own mortality presaged a change in his compositional style in the works written in the final years of his life. In On Late Style (London: Bloomsbury, 2006, and LRB article here), Edward Said examines the concept of a distinct artistic/literary “late style” and highlights features such as a certain “insouciance” or self-confidence, which may stem from a sense of completion, serenity, acceptance, reconciliation – “fully conscious, full of memory, and also very (even preternaturally) aware of the present” (Edward Said). But rather than express acceptance or a sense of his own mortality, Schubert’s last works seem to communicate an “incompleteness”, that he had much more to say, and suggest “the triumph of artistic achievement over the degradation of death and disease, the permanent presence of death” (Lorraine Byrne Bodley, Schubert’s Late Music, Cambridge: CUP, 2016).

The Sonata in A, D959, certainly expresses these sentiments: it is joyous after the darkness of the C minor Sonata, D958, which precedes it, and its themes are springlike and lilting. In this respect it is related to Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony.  If ‘Winterreise’ is heartbreak, a study in unrelieved sorrow, this sonata, and other works from the last year of Schubert’s life, reveal, and revel in all of life – intoxicatingly bittersweet, nostalgic, and life-affirming, never unremittingly melancholy or heavy.


A programme note….

Schubert completed his final three piano sonatas in September 1828, just a few months before his death at the age of 31. These were the first works of the kind he had composed following the death of Beethoven, a composer whom Schubert much admired, and his last three piano sonatas pay tribute to Beethoven: indeed the first of the three is even cast in C minor, the key of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and the ‘Pathétique’ Sonata. Schubert numbered the three sonatas sequentially, perhaps envisioning them as a cycle. After his death, Schubert’s brother sold the manuscript to the publisher Diabelli, but the sonatas were not actually published until 1839, and they were dedicated to Robert Schumann, a keen advocate of Schubert’s music.

The final year of Schubert’s life was one of extraordinary productivity, marked by increasing public acclaim and declining health (he had been suffering from syphilis, and the debilitating effects of its treatment, since 1822/23). In addition to the three final piano sonatas, the last months of Schubert’s life saw the appearance of the Drei Klavierstücke D946, the Mass in E-flat D950, the String Quintet D956 and the posthumously published ‘Schwanengesang’ songs, amongst many other works, all of which  display a high level of artistic maturity.

The almost complete survival of the manuscripts of the final three piano sonatas suggests that they were written in two stages: a preliminary sketch, probably made in the Spring of 1828, and a full, final version, most likely notated in September 1828, which contains many remarkable transformations and changes. For example, in the working draft of the Sonata in A, D959, the initial theme is presented in the style of a chorale, without the octave leaps in the bass which give the final version its rhythmic propulsion, and the calm melody of the second subject has far less rhythmic tension and expansiveness. The final version is also particularly notable for its cyclic innovations.

Working draft of first movement of Sonata in A, D959 (source:
During the 1820s, Schubert had begun to experiment with cyclic devices, whereby motifs or themes established in the opening movement recur elsewhere, often subtly modified, to create an enhanced sense of “belonging” between the various sections and movements. For example, in the Sonata in A, D959, the majestic opening sequence of chords in the first movement re-emerges, much reimagined, towards the end of the slow movement, which then forms the melodic outline of the Scherzo and its Trio; the closing bars of the finale refer back to the opening of the first movement; and the arpeggiated ending of the slow movement anticipates the spread chords of the Scherzo. These simple cyclic motifs, and an innate sense of musical geometry which allows Schubert to draw the whole sonata together at its conclusion, represent his boldly experimental approach to traditional sonata form, further reinforced by a dramatic expansiveness, and the daring underlying harmonies which create contrasting and often startling musical hues and shifts of emotion.

The first movement opens with noble chords which give way to a gentler motif whose falling arpeggio figure could have come straight out of an impromptu. These two motifs form the melodic and rhythmic basis of the first movement and indeed the entire piece. The second subject, a lyrical theme in the dominant key of E major, leads into an intensely chromatic triplet passage culminating in a dramatic section built on descending arpeggios which recall those from the opening. The second subject returns briefly at the close of the exposition, fused with a quiet echo of the urgent triplets from earlier on.

Instead of developing the main thematic material from the exposition, as is traditional in classical sonata form, the development section deals entirely with new material and in the first section the harmony constantly oscillates between C major and B major. Later on, a passage first in C minor and then the tonic minor appears, based on the motif which opens the development.

The recapitulation is traditional: it remains in the tonic and emphasises the tonic minor and the flat submediant (F major) as subdominant tonalities, while the second subject is presented in C major. The coda restates the opening sentence, but in a much more hesitant manner: marked pianissimo, it is interrupted by whole bar rests with fermatas, while the left hand imitates pizzicato strings. The movement closes with gentle ascending arpeggios which mirror those from the opening. It is not until the close of the fourth movement that the opening theme is restated in its full-bodied guise.

The second movement, marked ‘Andantino’, is in F-sharp minor (the relative minor key of A major) and is in ternary (A–B–A) form. It opens with a poignant melody full of sighing gestures portrayed by descending seconds with a simple barcarolle-like accompaniment. The almost hypnotic main melody recalls several of the Heine songs and ‘Der Leiermann’ from Winterreise, while its expressive qualities and character relate to the song ‘Pilgerweise’, also in F-sharp minor. Schubert creates an almost static quality in the opening section through restrained melodic repetitions within a narrow register.

The middle section unfolds like a fantasia, improvisatory in character and growing ever more dramatic with extremely harsh modulations. The music continues to build with increasing savagery via extreme registers and the use of trills to sustain tension, eventually arriving at C-sharp minor and culminating in dramatic fortissimo chords. After this climax, a recitative section follows, repeatedly disrupted by sforzando chords. This leads to a serene phrase, redolent of the G-flat major Impromptu (D899/3), which leads back into the opening melody, now with a more intricate left-hand accompaniment and a haunting triplet figure in the treble.

The dark arpeggiated sonorities at the close of the Andantino are transformed into the brilliant arpeggiated chords which open the Scherzo, and a sense of levity is portrayed through staccato articulation and a lyrical dance-like figure, which is further developed in the second section. The tone here is distinctly bucolic, but the pastoral mood is disturbed by a dramatic descending scale which recalls the stormy middle section of the previous movement. A reference to the main melody of the Andantino is heard in the ensuing passage before the opening theme returns. In the contrasting Trio, Schubert reimagines the initial theme of the first movement with a serene choral quality.

The finale is a Rondo whose scheme is modeled on the finale (also a Rondo) of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata op. 31 no.1. In fact, the only truly imitative element is Schubert’s reworking of the slow movement theme from his Piano Sonata in A minor, D537, composed more than a decade earlier, to which he brings the lilting gentleness of ‘Im Fruhling’ (D882). Scored in sonata-rondo form (A–B–A–Development–A–B–A–Coda), this lyrical movement comprises an almost continuous triplet movement and a songful melody, replete with striking harmonic and emotional shifts. The development section culminates in a long passage in C-sharp minor which refers back to the dramatic middle section of the Andantino. The ensuing passage leads to a false recapitulation in F-sharp major, which then modulates to begin again with the second subject in the home key. In the coda, the main theme returns fragmented, which recalls the hesitancy of the coda in the first movement. The final section of the coda is marked Presto, and here agitated and exuberant arpeggios, redolent of those from the first movement, overlay fragments from the main theme in the bass before arriving at a dramatic false cadence of sforzando chords. Now a fragment of the main theme is heard again, this time marked pianissimo, before the closing statement of sforzando chords, based on the majestic chordal theme of the opening of the Sonata.

©Frances Wilson 2016