Piano Sonata in C major, D 279 (Schubert)

The Piano Sonata in C major, D 279 is a piano sonata composed by Franz Schubert in September 1815. The sonata has three movements and is regarded as incomplete for lacking a fourth movement.[1] D. 346, an unfinished Allegretto in C major, has been suggested as its final movement.[2]


The piano sonata D. 279, composed in September 1815, has three completed movements:

I. Allegro Moderato 
C major, with the recapitulation in the subdominant key of F major.
II. Andante 
F major.
III. Menuetto (Allegro vivace) - Trio 
A minor, with the trio in A major.
D. 277A is a slightly different version of the same Minuet, with a different Trio in F major. D. 277A probably predates the D. 279 Sonata.[3]

Since 1928 several scholars, the first being Walter Rehberg, have suggested D. 346 to be the finale of the sonata D. 279:[2][4]

(IV. Allegretto D. 346) 
Fragment in C major ending at measure 231, where the second theme ends in F minor.
Both Martino Tirimo and Paul Badura-Skoda published a completion of this Allegretto, as fourth movement to D. 279, in 1997.[1][5]
The time of composition of this Allegretto is uncertain, probably 1815[6] or 1816.[1][7]

An abandoned start of a Rondo in C major, D. 309A (mentioned p. 173 in the 1978 version of the Deutsch catalogue however without a catalogue number being assigned to it at the time, so in several publications mentioned as D deest), dated 16 October 1815, is another candidate for what Schubert might have intended as last movement for this sonata.[2][8]


There were no publications of this work before the Breitkopf & Härtel Alte Gesammtausgabe (AGA) edition of the end of the 19th Century.


The autograph of D. 279 is titled Sonate I, and has September 1815 indicated as time of composition.[2] The autograph of D. 346 has no date.[7] Both autographs are in the city library of Vienna, and can be consulted online via the Schubert-Autographs website.[6]

The autograph of D. 277A has disappeared, but there is a manuscript copy by Eusebius Mandyczewski.[3][9] The autograph of the D. 309A fragment has only six bars, and was later completely crossed out by Schubert.[8] This autograph, above the second autograph version of D. 310, is in the Austrian National Library, and has been made available on-line.[6]

First publicationEdit

D. 279 was first published in 1888 as No. 2 of the Piano Sonatas volume (Series X) of the Kritisch durchgesehene Gesammtausgabe.[2] The second volume of the Supplement (Series XXI) contained the D. 346 fragment.[7] D.277A was first published by Otto Erich Deutsch in 1925.[3]

Urtext EditionsEdit

Two Urtext editions were published in 1997: Paul Badura-Skoda (Henle) completes the Sonata in C major D. 279 with the Allegretto D. 346, and gives D. 277A in an appendix.[9] The other publication of the same year is by Martino Tirimo (Wiener Urtext).[4]

Neue Schubert-Ausgabe (NSA)Edit

The New Schubert Edition has D. 279 in VII/2/1.[10] The Rondo D. 309A fragment is given in an appendix of that publication.[8] D. 277A and D. 346 are contained in VII/2/4[11]


The work, including the D. 346 finale, takes approximately 20 minutes to perform.

Performances of the sonata with the D. 346 Allegretto as finale include the December 2000 recording played by Tamara Rumiantsev.[12] Bart Berman recorded a completion of the D. 279 sonata.[5][13]


  1. ^ a b c Badura-Skoda 1997, p 242
  2. ^ a b c d e Deutsch 1978, pp 172-173
  3. ^ a b c Deutsch 1978, pp 171-172
  4. ^ a b Tirimo 1997
  5. ^ a b Benson 2008, p 23
  6. ^ a b c OAW
  7. ^ a b c Deutsch 1978, p 205
  8. ^ a b c Litschauer 2000, p XVI
  9. ^ a b Badura-Skoda 1997, p 243
  10. ^ Litschauer 2000
  11. ^ Goldberger 1988
  12. ^ Brilliant Classics No. 99678/9 (2001)
  13. ^ Bart Berman. (Un)finished piano sonatas Rotterdam, the Netherlands : Erasmus, 1997 (recorded December 1996). OCLC 39213022


External linksEdit

Piano sonatas (2 hands) by Franz Schubert
Preceded by
Sonata in E major (D. 157)
AGA, Series 10 (15 sonatas)
No. 2
Succeeded by
Sonata in A-flat major (D. 557)
21 Sonatas numbering system
No. 2
Succeeded by
Sonata in E major (D. 459)
23 Sonatas numbering system
No. 2