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Rethinking Schubert$
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Lorraine Byrne Bodley and Julian Horton

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190200107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190200107.001.0001

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Musical Causality and Schubert’s Piano Sonata in A Major, D 959, First Movement

Musical Causality and Schubert’s Piano Sonata in A Major, D 959, First Movement

(p.207) 10 Musical Causality and Schubert’s Piano Sonata in A Major, D 959, First Movement
Rethinking Schubert

Julian Caskel

Oxford University Press

The first movement of Schubert’s A major Sonata could be connected to Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 31 No. 2, on account of Schubert’s formal intention to mediate between improvisatory structural moments and a genuine ordering of events in sonata form. This parallelisation provides a clue to why Schubert’s final sonatas can—on the grounds of stylistic typology—be accepted as works written in a ‘late style’. In historical discussions the parameters which define the concept ‘late style’ are derived from Beethovenian models and are conceptualised as a departure from his ‘heroic style’. But in the first movement of D 959 Schubert composed precisely a departure from that model. Adorno’s dichotomy between extensive and intensive types of musical time helps to define Schubert’s specific modes of departure: the first movement of the Sonata D 959 composes a metamorphosis of the intensive into the extensive type, the realisation of which lends the movement a narrative dimension.

Keywords:   ‘late’ style, narrativity, Schubert’s departure from Beethoven’s influence, Heroic style, Adorno

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