Performance Tuesday, March 10, 2015 | 8 PM

Sir András Schiff

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Sir András Schiff explores the fascinating final sonatas of four great masters. Haydn’s C-Major Sonata, an extraordinarily playful work written during his second visit to London, takes advantage of the innovations that English piano makers achieved by extending the range of the instrument. Mozart’s C-Major Sonata, featuring the delicate “In an 18th-Century Drawing Room” theme, is an enduring favorite. But Beethoven slammed the door on the drawing room with late piano sonatas like his daring Sonata No. 30, while Schubert’s C-Minor Sonata is one of his most dramatic works.


  • Sir András Schiff, Piano


  • HAYDN Piano Sonata in C Major, Hob. XVI: 50
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109
  • MOZART Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 545
  • SCHUBERT Piano Sonata in C Minor, D. 958

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


Haydn's Piano Sonata No. 60 in C Major (Allegro molto)
András Schiff, Piano

At a Glance

JOSEPH HAYDN  Piano Sonata in C Major, Hob. XVI: 50

Although most concertgoers more readily associate Haydn with symphonies and string quartets than with keyboard music, he composed dozens of masterful sonatas and other works for both harpsichord and piano throughout his career. Written in the mid-1790s, this exuberant showpiece—one of Haydn’s last keyboard sonatas—highlights the bold sonorities of the Broadwood pianos that Haydn heard in London.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109

Beethoven’s earliest piano sonatas followed hard on the heels of his Op. 1 piano trios, in which the 26-year-old composer declared his artistic independence from his mentor Haydn. By the time he wrote the last of his 32 sonatas in the early 1820s, he was no longer a young lion but a battle-scarred warrior; his indomitable spirit shines through in the incandescent slow movement of the E-Major Sonata.

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 545

Mozart described this lighthearted and deceptively simple work as “a little piano sonata for beginners.” Eschewing the virtuosity that characterizes the many piano concertos he wrote in the 1780s, he adopted a more straightforward and transparently textured style of expression that makes comparatively modest demands on the performer, but yields rich pleasures for the listener.

FRANZ SCHUBERT  Piano Sonata in C Minor, D. 958

Schubert’s last three piano sonatas, composed in the months leading up to his untimely death, are notable for the grandeur of their conception, the richness and complexity of their tonal relationships, and the intricate interweaving of lyricism and drama. The powerful and highly virtuosic C-Minor Sonata exploits the rich, clear, evenly balanced sound characteristic of the Viennese pianos that Schubert played.

Funding for the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast series is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Public support for Carnegie Hall Live is made possible, in part, by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Artworks NEA 32x56
This performance is part of Great Artists I, and Midweek Piano Trio.

Part of