Home Alone and Music – Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in A Major, D 664 Op. posth 120 4/15/20

April 15, 2020

I have been a great friend of “music” and “books” since my childhood. I love my human (!) friendship, but also I love solitude. I appreciate to my friends, books and music, especially in this quarantine period. I can entertain myself! I have been revisiting piano pieces I have learned before, and it is quite fun to see them again. It gives me a smile to see the sloppy notes on the pages. I was very diligent to analyze Bach’s fugues with color pencils  and some obscure signs when I was young! My childhood piano teacher was obsessed by the correct fingerings. She wrote “Correct Fingering” for 2 or 3 times on one page! I have been going through Well Tempered Clavier, Beethoven Sonatas, Schubert Sonatas…

I rekindled with Schubert: Piano Sonata in A Major, D 664. What a Delight! I suppose I studied hard on this piece when I was young. The pages have full of writings. I even can’t see some notes because of corrections. It was very common to use this Japanese edition which my teacher’s teacher edited.  We believed it was the best one, but I ordered Henle edition yesterday! Young Schubert was vacationing with a close friend during the summer of 1819 in Steyr, few hundreds miles to the west of Vienna. He was happy. This sonata was a production from this summer. Schubert talked about “pretty ladies”. From the first note, it is Schubert, beautiful melodies woven into his signature rich harmonies, simple, yet innocent and sincere. Schubert’s hero, Beethoven, is quoted in the second theme of the first movement. But even this quote is not spoken loudly. I can see Schubert is smiling in this quote! The second movement has only one motive, but with Schubert’s genius mind, it tells a full story, beautiful nature he was walking everyday. The last movement is very charming and witty, dancy and chatty.

I don’t have Vienna’s nature, but I have blue sky and palm trees, and mockingbird singing all day long. My quarantine time is filled with Schubert’s wonderful mind. I am sure everyone will smile hearing or playing D 664. I have been reading C. P. E. Bach’s “Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments”. He was a true human and I can’t wait to give a report on this book!