Schubert is famous for his remote modulations, especially his third relations. He therefore has a reputation for harbouring an aversion to the dominant, both in terms of its function as a harmonic preparation for new keys and as a structural pole to the tonic home key. I turn to the history of theory to reveal a more nuanced history of Schubert’s attitude towards the dominant. In a revision of ‘Geistes-Gruß’ (D. 142), a song he sent to Goethe in 1816, Schubert added a brief dominant-seventh chord to soften an abrupt modulation to a remote key. Such an insertion between remote keys was coined an ‘intermediate dominant’ by Schubert’s contemporary Anton Reicha and was understood to be a sufficient preparation for a new remote key. In four subsequent versions of ‘Geistes-Gruß’, Schubert strengthened, rather than weakened, this intermediate dominant – only to remove it altogether in the final published version. I scrutinize Schubert’s use of intermediate dominants that, together with other techniques such as the use of silence, act as a harmonic cushion between abrupt third relations in a range of early multi-sectional songs and in the medial caesura-fill in the Unfinished and Great Symphonies. I compare Schubert’s compositional strategies with the theories of modulation and harmonic juxtaposition by his contemporary music theorists Anton Reicha and Gottfried Weber, and I argue that they share a strikingly similar aesthetic of the power of the intermediate dominant.