Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Fisk, Charles. "Schubert Recollects Himself: The Piano Sonata in C Minor, D. 958." The Musical Quarterly 84 (Winter 2000): 635-54.

While Franz Schubert's Piano Sonata in C Minor, D. 958 (1828) clearly quotes the theme from Beethoven's Variations in C Minor, WoO 80, Schubert inserts music that disrupts the momentum in a very un-Beethovenian manner. These disruptive passages seem to suggest a musical memory, recalling numerous earlier works by Schubert including several allusions to songs from his song cycle Winterreise. The theme of death in the songs might be one reason for the allusion to Beethoven, who had died the previous year. Ghostly echoes of Winterreise themes from "Erstarrung" and "Der Lindenbaum" might suggest the ghost of Beethoven haunting Schubert. Yet the theme of exile in Winterreise resonates more with Schubert's personal life at the time he wrote this sonata. The chromatically distant B section, which echoes many previous works of Schubert including his Moment Musical in A-flat, supports this reading by equating harmonic distance and emotional or physical exile.

Works: Schubert: Piano Sonata in C Minor, D. 958 (635-53).

Sources: Beethoven: Variations in C Minor, WoO 80 (635-36), Piano Sonata in C Minor, Op. 13 (Pathétique) (641-42); Schubert: Winterreise (639-43, 647, 652), Moment Musical No. 2 in A-flat Major, D. 780 (645-46).

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Mark Chilla

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