The Drei Klavierstücke D. 946, or "Three Piano Pieces", are solo pieces composed by Schubert in May 1828, just six months before his early death. They were conceived as a third set of four Impromptus, but only three were written. They were first published in 1868, edited by Johannes Brahms, although his name appears nowhere in the publication.
Pianists who have recorded the pieces include Imogen Cooper on Ottavo and Avie; Noël Lee on Disques Valois; András Schiff on Decca; Claudio Arrau, Alfred Brendel, and Mitsuko Uchida on Philips; Wilhelm Kempff, Maria João Pires, Maurizio Pollini, and Grigory Sokolov on Deutsche Grammophon; Steven Osborne on Hyperion; Sviatoslav Richter on Melodiya; and Eliso Virsaladze on Live Classics. The British performer Peter Katin and also the Belgian pianist Jos Van Immerseel have recorded them on a period (early-nineteenth-century) instrument.
No. 1 in E-flat minor
The main section (allegro assai) is in 2
4 time, though, as it is largely in triplets, the effect is like 6
8 for much of the time. It soon moves to E-flat major. As originally written, the piece had two trios, the first in B major, andante in alla breve time, and the second in A-flat major, andantino in 2
4. Schubert crossed out the second, but it is not infrequently played also, as heard in the recordings by Arrau, Pires and Uchida.
No. 2 in E-flat major
This is the most commonly heard of the set and is a highly lyrical piece and very long if all repeats are observed. The first appearance of the main section and both trios are each in two sections, each repeated. The main section is an allegretto in 6
8 time. The first trio is in C minor and major (no change in meter or time signature). The second one is in A-flat minor (l'istesso tempo in alla breve time), with modulations to B minor halfway.
No. 3 in C major
By far the shortest of the three, as it only includes one trio instead of two, this is a lively piece (allegro) in 2
4. The main section exhibits a great deal of syncopation. The trio is in two sections with repeats written out in a varied form. It is in D-flat major and 3
2 time with no change in tempo indication. There is a substantial coda, again with syncopation.