Masterclass: Paul Neubauer on Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata - second and third movements

Emiliano Loconsolo

Violist Paul Neubauer considers the merits of a more Classical interpretation for this often over-romanticised work

This beautiful sonata has become one of the mainstays of the viola repertoire and with good reason: its singing melodies and dramatic passages suit the sound and the soul of the viola in a ravishing way. I see the second movement as a song without words – the closing section, from bars 49 to 67, seems to delve into another world. The third movement’s main lilting melody contrasts with more agitated sections, including the folk-like music from bar 212, which reminds me of yodelling. But for all the sweet melodies that pervade this sonata, there is also a feeling of melancholy, and players must come to terms with a character that is bittersweet…

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