FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797 - 1828)
Impromptu Op. 142 No.3 in B flat major
The period of Schubert's active composing spanned barely seventeen years and he was known in Viennese musical circles for not much more than ten of them. The period of his "late works" coincided, perhaps significantly, with the time between Beethoven's death and Schubert's own at age thirty-one.
The magisterial works from this brief but prolific period comprise the song cycles Winterreise and Schwanengesang; the three late piano sonatas; the Impromptus, Op. 90 and 142; the piano trios; and the String Quintet in C. Schubert also composed his finest works for piano duet, including the F minor Fantasy, D. 940.
The two sets of four Impromptus-carefully
written out, not composed spontaneously as the name implies-were written
in 1827. The third piece of the later set, heard tonight, is a theme
with variations, known as the "Rosamunde" impromptu (the theme derives
from the incidental music Schubert composed for the play with the same
name; Schubert had already re-used this theme in his string quartet in A
minor D. 804, equally nicknamed "Rosamunde").