Five essential works by Schubert

We choose the best pieces by the legendary musical prodigy, Schubert

Schubert best songs and works

The Trout Quintet

Hear the 22-year-old Schubert in convivial form in this effervescent quintet for piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass.

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Recommended recording:
Christian Tetzlaff, Antoine Tamestit, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Alois Posch and Martin Helmchen
PentaTone PTC 5186 334

Die Schöne Müllerin

As with ‘The Trout’, Schubert cleverly uses the piano here to portray the effect of rippling water. But this song cycle is all about the frustrations of unrequited love.

Recommended recording:
Fritz Wunderlich (tenor), Hubert Giesen (piano)
DG 447 4522

Die Winterreise

A bleak journey for voice and piano, as this song cycle leads us through the brilliantly observed emotions of a spurned lover making his way through the winter landscape towards a life of loneliness.

Recommended recording:
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Gerald Moore (piano)
EMI 567 9272

Symphony No. 9

Nicknamed ‘The Great C major’, this innovative, uplifting work sounds years ahead of its time and gives a starring role to the brass.

Recommended recording:
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Elatus 0927467502

Piano Sonata D960

The last and greatest of Schubert’s 21 piano sonatas, D960’s sombre – but extraordinarily moving – Andante second movement shows us a terminally ill composer looking directly into the abyss.

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Recommended recording:
Paul Lewis (piano)
Harmonia Mundi HMC901800