Franz Schubert

German Dances (6) for piano, D. 820

    Description by Robert Cummings

    The prolific Schubert wrote these six dances in October 1824, shortly after writing the 3 Ecossaises for piano, D. 816. The Six German Dances are short, their duration typically coming in just under six minutes. The first three are in A flat major, and the last three in B flat major.

    The six dances are played without pause, the whole group sounding more like one work with several episodic sections rather than a collection of six distinct pieces. The opening is lively but wistful in its simple but stately main theme, a theme played by cascades of angelic-sounding chords, mostly in the upper register. The second subject is gentler and somewhat reflective, but it eventually yields back to the opening theme. There follows a chipper, bouncy variation on the main theme, whose short-winded nature comes across as a sort of transition back to the opening material. A hearty, boisterous variant is then presented, its music percussive and emanating largely from the bass register. Here the music exudes a festive air, but soon an elegant mood settles in, which thereafter alternates with the increasingly insistent festive music. A stately, typically Schubertian variant is then given, but the domineering festive music cannot be pushed aside for long, as it returns to close out the piece colorfully.

    Parts/Movements

    1. German Dance No. 1
    2. German Dance No. 2
    3. German Dance No. 3
    4. German Dance No. 4
    5. German Dance No. 5
    6. German Dance No. 6

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Hänssler Classic HC 16062
    2016 Ondine ODE 12852
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795545
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 002894794261
    2013 Haenssler / Hänssler Classic HAEN 98571
    2012 Music@Menlo LIVE 201201
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 Capriccio Records C 7125
    2011 Onyx ONYX 4073
    2011 Decca
    2011 Decca 4783018
    2011 RPO RPM 29200
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 4776656
    2007 MDG 3401440
    2007 MDG 9401440
    2007 Universal Classics & Jazz
    2007 Philips 4758510
    2006 Brilliant Classics 99798
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 000764972
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 000731602
    2006 Sony Music Distribution 78746
    2005 Decca
    2005 Cascavelle 3009
    2004 Philips 000410402
    2004 Brilliant 92394
    2003 Eroica Distribution 204
    2002 Philips 470265
    2002 Capriccio Records 49242
    2000 Tring 067
    1998 London 458139
    1995 Koch International Classics 7307
    1995 Doron Music 3005
    1991 Delos 3067
    Brilliant 92394/27
    Brilliant Classics 99798/11
    Carlton Classics 01742
    Divox 25211