Arpeggione Sonata by Franz Schubert

The arpeggione was an instrument – something like the wedding of a guitar and a small cello – invented in the early 1800s that had a brief flash of popularity before fading out of the cultural zeitgeist.  While it was in vogue, however, Schubert composed a sonata for it and piano.

Though the arpeggione no longer exists en masse, Schubert’s sonata has been transcribed for cello and/or viola most commonly, although arrangements can also be found for violin.  The sonata on the whole is alternatively lighthearted and playful and warm and sensual – characteristics which Yo-Yo Ma conveys well in his performance selected below.