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Mastering Schubert’s A-major Duo Sonata, Op. 162

A giant leap in compositional technique and melodic and harmonic inventiveness

“I was born to do nothing but compose,” Schubert once said to one of his friends. No wonder he felt so burdened by his teaching position that, in 1816, he abandoned it to devote himself to his true calling. Leaving the family home, he moved in with his friend Franz von Schober, in Vienna, giving up middle-class life and a regular income over his father’s vehement objections. He must have relished his newfound freedom, for he composed prolifically during 1816 and 1817, and mostly in bright or warm major keys. One of the sunniest, most cheerful works of that period is the A-major Duo Sonata for violin and piano, Op. 162, D. 574.

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