The Fantasie in C major, Op. 15 (D. 760), popularly known as the Wanderer Fantasy, is a four-movement fantasy for solo piano composed by Franz Schubert in November 1822. It is considered Schubert's most technically demanding composition for the piano. Schubert himself said "the devil may play it", in reference to his own inability to do so properly.
The whole work is based on one single basic motive, from which all themes are developed. This motive is distilled from the theme of the second movement, which is set in C-sharp minor and is a sequence of variations on a melody taken from the lied Der Wanderer, which Schubert wrote in 1816. It is this set of variations from which the work's popular name is derived.
The four movements are played without a break. After the first movement Allegro con fuoco ma non troppo in C major and the second movement Adagio, follow a scherzo presto in A flat major and the finale, which returns to the key of C major. This finale starts out as a fugue but later breaks into a virtuoso piece.
Richter recording of it is legendary.. It is very virtuosic but he successfully combined Schubert lyricism and technical difficulty.
What do you think of this piece? Do you have any favorite recordings?