Piano Sonata in A-flat major, D 557 (Schubert)

Franz Schubert's Piano Sonata in A-flat major D 557 was composed in May 1817.


The work is relatively short and a performance takes somewhat between 10 and 15 minutes. The sonata is cheerful and uncomplicated, and carries remembrances of Mozart and the Baroque era.[1]

I. Allegro moderato 
A-flat major
The beginning resembles the opening of the menuetto, D. 380, Nr. 3.[2]
II. Andante 
E-flat major
III. Allegro 
E-flat major
This movement has a dance-like character.[1]

The fact that the last movement is in the key of E-flat major rather than the tonic key of A-flat major is evidence in favor of Schubert possibly intending to add a fourth movement, although the extant third movement has much of the character of a finale. At the time this was written it was quite unusual to end a composition in another key than its tonic, however Schubert did do this in some of his early works, e.g. D. 553 ("Auf der Donau", beginning in E-flat major and ending in F-sharp minor).[3]


The sonata was first published in 1888, in the Breitkopf & Härtel complete edition.


The autograph of the sonata, dated May 1817, is incomplete — it stops at the 28th measure of the third movement, but there is a contemporary complete manuscript.[2]

First publication — Alte Gesammtausgabe (AGA)

D. 557 was first published in 1888 as No. 3 of the Piano Sonatas volume (Series X) of the Kritisch durchgesehene Gesammtausgabe.[2]

Urtext Editions

Both Paul Badura-Skoda (Henle) and Martino Tirimo (Wiener Urtext) published an Urtext edition in 1997.[3][4]

Neue Schubert-Ausgabe (NSA)

In the New Schubert Edition D. 557 is given in VII/2/1.[5]


  1. ^ a b David Doughty in album notes of Brilliant Classics Nr. 99678/4 (2001)
  2. ^ a b c Deutsch 1978, pp 323-324
  3. ^ a b Badura-Skoda 1997, p VII
  4. ^ Tirimo 1997
  5. ^ Litschauer 2000


External linksEdit

Piano sonatas (2 hands) by Franz Schubert
Preceded by
Sonata in C major (D. 279)
AGA, Series 10 (15 sonatas)
No. 3
Succeeded by
Sonata in E minor (D. 566)
Preceded by
Sonata in A minor (D. 537)
21 Sonatas numbering system
No. 5
23 Sonatas numbering system
No. 6