Saturday, 3 January 2009

222. Franz Schubert - Piano Quintet in A major, "Trout" (1819)


Title: Trout Quintet, Death and the Maiden
Performer: Clifford Curzon, Members of the Vienna Octet
Year: 1958
Length: 35 minutes


This is probably my favourite chamber music piece with more than two instruments and again we get happy Schubert. The whole work is of an extreme lightness and delicacy while at the same time being very expressive and beautiful.

A great thing about this piece is that Schubert is not taking himself too seriously, it is clearly a very well humoured piece and the composition is also amazing. The piano has a great part throughout the piece and the other four instruments complement it perfectly.

It is the great fourth movement that gives the piece its name, we have already had the song that gives the piece its name before here on the list in Schubert's version, the fourth movement consists of an amazing array of variations on that theme. But really even if interesting it would be hard to consider the fourth movement a highlight as the whole thing is just so stupendous.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Rather than the usual piano quintet lineup of piano and string quartet, Schubert's piece is written for piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass. The composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel had rearranged his own Septet for the same instrumentation,and the Trout was actually written for a group of musicians coming together to play Hummel's work.

Documentary on the Trout performance by Metha, Perlman, Zuckerman, Barenboim and du Pre, part 1:

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