Schubert completed his two piano trios between November 1827 and November 1828, the last year of his life. Despite his ill health, he still managed to write an incredible amount of compositions, and one masterpiece after the other flowed from his pen. Apart from the trios, within a few months’ time he wrote the great Symphony in C, the three last piano sonatas, the string quintet, the Lieder cycle Schwanengesang, the Fantasie for piano duet and the Mass in E flat.
Partially due to his awareness of his position as Vienna’s most prominent living composer, Schubert worked with confidence. His distinguished fellow citizen, Beethoven, had died on March 26, 1827; and Schubert had paid his respects to him by acting as torch-bearer at his funeral. After receiving a couple of requests in February 1828 from the music publishers Schott from Mainz and Probst from Leipzig to write some new works, Schubert happily offered them a series of new and substantial compositions two months later. However, the reactions must have disappointed him.