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I'm not totally sure why Schubert's sonatas weren't as popular in earlier days, although I am sure glad they are now! The B flat is tremendous, and all the others are wonderful, too. I cannot say I like them more than the Beethoven sonatas, but I also cannot say vice versa... Not because of how standard Beethoven's sonatas are, but because and only because of how they appeal to me. Sure, Op. 53 is played a lot, but it is really beautiful and wonderful, is it not?

However, Schubert may now be my favorite composer, and listening to his lieder and chamber music really has helped me to understand his piano sonatas (and listening to songs and chamber music has helped me to understand solo piano music in general).
 
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