Some of the most important music by Schubert is found in his late piano sonatas. Like the symphonies, his earlier works were imitative of his models--not surprising for a young composer. But in both his later symphonies and piano sonatas he touched on ground that no-one else has. If you are familiar with the Beethoven piano sonatas, as I am, the late ones by Schubert will strike you as strangely unusual. The last three sonatas were all written in the last year of his life, 1828. They were begun in March, complete by September (when he played all three in a private gathering) and by November, Schubert was dead. They did not see publication for a decade.
I am still getting to know these three great (in length as well as quality) works, but I will begin with the last of the three as I have been listening quite a lot to it lately. Here is how it begins:
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The first phrase of the recapitulation, of course, ends with a half cadence followed by the trill, so it comes twice in ten measures. It comes again at the very end of the movement with that same phrase, ending with a half cadence, then the trill. The movement ends with the simplest of V - I cadences:
The trill is a kind of fulcrum around which the movement turns.
There is a lot more one could talk about in this movement, not to mention the other three, but I think I will stop here for today. Let's listen to the Piano Sonata in B flat, D. 960 by Schubert. This is Andras Schiff: