The devil’s(?) trill

trill1

or, to move it into a more easily readable range:

trill2

This is what happens near the opening of the Schubert B-flat Sonata D. 960; firstly, the opening melody – beautiful, serene – comes to rest on a chord of F when suddenly, from the bottom left hand of the keyboard, comes a long grumbling growl (see above). Everything stops.  The serene melody tries to continue as if nothing had happened (‘grumbling growl? what grumbling growl??’) but we can tell it’s been unnerved. And then it happens again!…

The G-flat trill (for such is the nature of the grumbling growl) portends all sorts of strange, dark and wonderful events (and not just in the first movement)

Schubert: Piano Sonata D.960, Mitsuko Uchida

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