Franz Schubert

Impromptu for piano in A flat major, D. 899/4 (Op. 90/4)

    Description by James Leonard

    The fourth and final of Schubert's first set of Impromptus, in A flat major, Op. 90, No. 4 (D. 899/4), recalls the texture of the second impromptu with its rapid passagework in the right hand above a more placid left-hand accompaniment. The fourth impromptu, however, begins in the tonic minor, making it seem, at least at the start, darker than the smoothly serene second impromptu. And although the outer section of the piece closes in the tonic major with a sweetly surging theme in the left hand, the central trio's dark melody in C sharp minor over pulsing chords in the left hand intensifies the work's feeling of desperation and despair. But the second half of the central section sings of faith and serenity in C sharp minor's dominant major: that is, in the impromptu's tonic major (G sharp major being the enharmonic equivalent of A flat major). Schubert returns to the outer section over a long sustained dominant, and although this dominant eventually resolves to the tonic minor of A flat, like the first outer section, the closing section is once again in the tonic major, bringing peace to the music at its end.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2019 BSX Records / JP Music JPMUSIC 01
    2018 Menuetto Classics
    2018 Menuetto Classics
    2018 ABC Classics
    2018 ABC Classics
    2018 APR (Appian) APR 7309
    2017 ICA Classics ICAB 5141
    2017 Decca Gold
    2017 Decca / Eloquence ELQ 4826291
    2017 Sony Classical 88985395212
    2016 Thorofon CTH 2627
    2016 Decca / Philips 4788977
    2016 Musical Concepts MCS 3202
    2016 Ergodos ER 22CD
    2016 Melodiya MELCD 1002312
    2015 Sony Classical 88843014702
    2015 ABC Classics ABC 4812222
    2015 ABC Classics ABC 4812226
    2014 APR (Appian) 6014
    2014 Decca
    2014 Melodiya MELCD 1002231
    2014 Ancalagon ANCSACD 141
    2014 Oehms Classics OC 435
    2013 Decca
    2012 Entertainment Group 12704
    2012 Entertainment Group 1148
    2012 Entertainment Group 1148A
    2012 Brilliant Classics 94398
    2012 Deutsche Grammophon 4783370
    2012 RCA Red Seal 1963182
    2012 Regis Records RRC 1390
    2012 Dorian Sono Luminus DSL 92148
    2011 DM Digital TXAT 128
    2011 RCA Red Seal 886919369120
    2011 TGG Direct 60260
    2011 Helicon Classics 9636
    2011 K-Tel 51701
    2011 Divox 25255
    2010 Naxos 8578099-101
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099962792
    2010 Decca
    2010 ABC Classics 4764059
    2010 Avie 2158
    2010 Bridge 9327
    2010 Alto 1081
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
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    2009 Deutsche Grammophon 001340802
    2009 Colosseum / Zebralution
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    2009 EMI Classics 13251
    2009 Appian 7302
    2009 Brilliant Classics 8909
    2009 First Hand Records 4
    2009 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon 001341102
    2009 Doremi Records 7959
    2009 Sony Music Distribution 88697575002
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 0734445
    2008 Naxos 8572179
    2008 Brilliant 93163
    2008 Urania 4262
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 4776656
    2008 BigHelium Records 4
    2008 Doremi Records 7940
    2008 Madacy 52955
    2008 Preiser Records 90745
    2007 Deutsche Grammophon 4776676
    2007 Classic Mania 93320
    2007 EMI Classics DVB38846192
    2007 Guild 7310
    2007 Deutsche Grammophon 00289 477 6555 4
    2007 Avanti Records 10252
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    2007 Philips 4758510
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    2007 Brilliant 93180
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    2006 The Gift of Music 1153
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    2005 Cascavelle 3008
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    2004 Platinum Disc / Platinum Entertainment 1709
    2004 EMI / EMI Music Distribution 585340
    2004 The Gift of Music CDG1104
    2003 Musicians Showcase 1072
    2003 BMG / RCA 50753
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    2003 Deutsche Grammophon 000120102
    2003 Laserlight 15694
    2003 Delta Distribution 40021
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    2003 BBC Legends / BBC Music 41302
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    2003 Decca 000018002
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    2002 Praga 356020-34
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    2001 BBC Music 4078
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    2001 Brilliant Classics 99382
    2001 BCI-Eclipse Distribution 40027
    2001 Laserlight 14847
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    2001 Aura Classics 0193
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    2000 Amadis 7023
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    2000 Deutsche Grammophon 469 632-2GEQ
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    2000 Platinum Entertainment 10492
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    2000 T-Rax 32
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    2000 Naxos 6804
    2000 Varese 5982
    1999 Telarc Distribution 80491
    1999 Madacy 9507
    1999 Platinum Entertainment 2009
    1999 Platinum Disc / Platinum Entertainment 1714
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    1999 EMI Music Distribution 67017
    1999 Upbeat 151
    1999 Naxos 505029
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    1999 London 443570
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 453672
    1999 Berlin Classics 0011902
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    1999 RCA Red Seal 63000
    1999 Laserlight 14223
    1998 Intersound 1739
    1998 Deutsche Grammophon 4579372
    1998 Hyperion 22024
    1998 Dante 059
    1997 Sony Music Distribution 63380
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    1997 Classical Heritage 1221
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    1997 Polygram 455011
    1996 APR (Appian) 5515
    1996 Decca 448718
    1995 Madacy Distribution / GMS Records / Madacy LPC-7610
    1995 Athene 3
    1995 Vanguard 8200
    1995 APR (Appian) 7022
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    1994 Praga 254032
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    1994 Praga 254026
    1994 Naxos 550215
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    1991 Laserlight 15835
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    Allen Barton
    BBC Music Magazine 99
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    Classic CD 3
    Laserlight 14625
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    Hanna Song
    London 433086
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    Duet 40
    Brilliant 93180/7
    Madacy 52956
    Decca 467439