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Classical Music Home > Classics Explained: SCHUBERT - Piano Quintet in A Major, 'Trout' (Siepmann)

Classics Explained: SCHUBERT - Piano Quintet in A Major, 'Trout' (Siepmann)


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Classics Explained: SCHUBERT - Piano Quintet in A Major, 'Trout' (Siepmann)

Classics Explained
An Introduction to... SCHUBERT: 'Trout' Quintet

Author and Narrator: Jeremy Siepmann
2 CDs, including the complete work
120-page booklet
Naxos 8.558075-76
ISBN: 1-84379-018-1

'The happiest work in the world', it's been called. 'The ultimate feel-good piece'. 'The only work that nobody doesn't like'. The 'Trout' Quintet, named after the Schubert song that provides the theme for the fourth movement, gives us Schubert at his most irresistible: a veritable fountain of wonderful tunes, rippling, dancing rhythms, and amazing surprises. It all sounds as effortless and spontaneous as music gets. But it's the amazing art behind this appearance of total naturalness that concerns us here. And unravelling it is almost as much fun as the piece, which is also presented here in its entirety, movement by movement after each chapter of discovery.

How has Schubert created an irresistible piece of such infectious good humour? How does this tightly structured quartet conjure up such a crystal clear aquatic picture? Carefully, accessibly, and with absorbing detail, Jeremy Siepmann answers these questions and takes us right inside the 'Trout' Quintet, leaving us with a greater understanding and a renewed enthusiasm for the music.

Disc 1

Schubert, Franz

  An Introduction to...SCHUBERT: Piano Quintet "Trout"
1.   Introduction, origins 00:01:39
2.   Imagery, analogy and the shape of the things to come; the opening flourish 00:01:50
3.   The unusual presence of the double - bass 00:00:54
4.   A palette of tone colours and the emergence of a theme 00:00:47
5.   Trouble getting off the ground, but the key is not in doubt. 00:00:49
6.   Jumping the queue: Schubert takes a lesson from Mozart. 00:01:33
7.   Mozart demonstrates a traditional transition. 00:00:33
8.   Destination clarified 00:00:07
9.   Mozart confirms our arrival. 00:00:08
10.   A Schubertian shocker from a later work 00:00:52
11.   Rejoining the 'Trout', with a reminder 00:00:27
12.   The piano joins the strings with yet a third variant of the theme. 00:00:31
13.   A rhythmic motto: the 'triplet motif' 00:01:26
14.   We get it here. 00:00:17
15.   We get it there. 00:00:17
16.   We find it everywhere, even in the double - bass. 00:00:27
17.   The strings' answer to the piano's opening flourish 00:00:36
18.   The two - part structure of the 'answering motif'... 00:00:24
19.   ... but scarcely ever the same way twice 00:00:34
20.   The piano and strings now share the material for the first time. 00:00:42
21.   Conversation as the first principle of chamber music 00:00:43
22.   Opening (introductory) section heard complete 00:01:01
23.   The violin and double - bass in partnership 00:01:16
24.   The violin and piano swap roles. 00:00:59
25.   Transition to second main theme; triplets now everywhere 00:01:12
26.   On the threshold of the new theme 00:00:30
27.   Second main theme (a 'love duet'), shared by cello and viola 00:01:24
28.   The abandonment of octaves in the piano changes the tone colour. 00:01:07
29.   A surprising change of tone and a premonition 00:00:39
30.   A return to lyricism, but the cello jumps the gun 00:00:37
31.   A buoyant, skipping new theme is given to the solo piano. 00:00:36
32.   Re - entry of the strings as the violin takes up the new theme 00:00:25
33.   A transitional theme, and another Schubertian key - jump 00:01:33
34.   We sense the imminent arrival of the closing theme. 00:01:31
35.   A sudden, hushed key - change introduces part two of the closing theme. 00:00:40
36.   The exposition comes to an end. 00:00:32
37.   Cue to complete exposition 00:00:06
38.   Music: exposition complete 00:04:09
39.   Introduction to the development; the genetic code of 'key' 00:07:20
40.   The contrasting aural properties of piano and violin 00:01:03
41.   The ponderous double - bass is featured in the first main theme 00:00:49
42.   The strings are liberated from servitude, but are a long way from home. 00:00:42
43.   A joyful conversation and a change of pace in the piano 00:01:06
44.   The piano takes the melodic lead again. 00:00:31
45.   A conversation between violin and piano leads to the exposition... 00:01:20
46.   ... but Schubert gets it 'wrong'. 00:01:35
47.   Music: first movement (complete) 00:09:09
48.   Introduction to second movement 00:01:53
49.   The violin now takes theme one. 00:00:29
50.   The piano regains the theme. 00:00:42
51.   The violin and piano round off first section with the new 'closing' theme. 00:00:35
52.   A Major change of tone: a passing cloud and a dark new key 00:01:19
53.   The piano abandons its octaves, but not its triplets, in the new 'Hungarian' theme. 00:01:28
54.   The sun returns with a new theme, in two contrasting parts. 00:01:21
55.   An evaporating dialogue between violin and piano 00:00:58
56.   A Major mood change as twilight falls 00:01:12
57.   Cue to whole movement 00:00:33
58.   Music: second movement (complete) 00:07:30

Disc 2

Schubert, Franz

  An Introduction to...SCHUBERT: Piano Quintet "Trout"
1.   Introduction to the Scherzo - and a clear four - bar phrase... 00:01:37
2.   ... 'answered' by two two - bar phrases 00:00:21
3.   A disconcerting 'echo' 00:01:02
4.   Expectation, frustration and surprise 00:00:27
5.   The phrase length exands from nine to fourteen bars 00:00:36
6.   The beginning of the second half... 00:01:07
7.   ... or should it go from G Minor to D Major 00:00:08
8.   Doubts are sown as the tonality becomes elusive. 00:00:48
9.   A varied reprise of part one, and the end of the Scherzo proper 00:00:33
10.   A conversational start to the Trio section 00:00:40
11.   Another Schubertian phrase extension 00:00:25
12.   Two overlapping phrases add up to a single theme. 00:00:22
13.   The piano adds a third phrase to the overlap. 00:00:32
14.   The overlaps continue as the key drifts downwads 00:00:36
15.   Another Schubertian key - jump, now to B flat 00:00:45
16.   A dramatic transformation of mood 00:00:52
17.   Awakening from a dream: the main theme's return 00:00:51
18.   Cue to complete Scherzo 00:00:11
19.   Music: third movement (complete) 00:03:52
20.   Enter the trout, at last; a meeting with the original 00:00:30
21.   Music: 'Die Forelle' 00:01:59
22.   Back to the Quintet: the strings, headed by the violin, introduce the theme. 00:01:24
23.   The first variation 00:01:41
24.   The second variation 00:01:14
25.   The third variation 00:01:20
26.   The fourth variation, part one 00:01:33
27.   The fourth variation, part two 00:00:57
28.   The fifth variation 00:02:45
29.   The final variation, part one: violin and piano alone introduce the theme 00:00:31
30.   The final variation, part two: the cello takes the tune. 00:00:25
31.   The final variation, part three: piano and violin return as a duo... 00:00:25
32.   The final variation, part four: ... as do the viola and cello. 00:00:17
33.   The final variation, part five: the entire ensemble is reunited. 00:00:39
34.   Music: fourth movement (complete) 00:07:09
35.   Introduction to the finale: Schubert as wizard of repetition 00:02:17
36.   Easily overlooked: the accompaniment from cello and double - bass 00:00:36
37.   Contrasts of timbre and register 00:00:59
38.   A repetition, and yet not a repetition 00:00:07
39.   A journey begun; the phenomenon of musical gravity 00:00:22
40.   The journey completed 00:00:16
41.   The source of musical gravity 00:00:22
42.   Music: saint - saens - The Carnival of the Animals 'The Pianists' 00:00:28
43.   A scale of shifting tensions 00:00:49
44.   Music: Beethoven, Symphony No. 1 (Finale) 00:00:37
45.   Back to Schubert 00:00:39
46.   The piano embellishes a scalewise descent. 00:00:18
47.   A retrospective moment 00:00:33
48.   Repetition more apparent then real 00:01:02
49.   A taste of phrase rhythm 00:01:26
50.   Shifting patterns of accentuation 00:00:27
51.   The section reviewed 00:00:15
52.   An increasingly sophisticated texture as parts interact 00:00:46
53.   More phrase rhythm 00:00:29
54.   A repetition from the strings... 00:00:11
55.   ... and an answer from the piano 00:00:13
56.   In transition to the secondary key 00:00:51
57.   The origin of the second theme 00:00:19
58.   The second main theme 00:00:38
59.   The closing section begins, with a question answered. 00:00:42
60.   The question repeated, a slightly differnet answer 00:00:28
61.   First theme of closing section reviewed 00:00:59
62.   Remembrance of things past 00:00:28
63.   The piano and strings argue over the harmony. 00:01:13
64.   Emergence of the final theme 00:00:24
65.   An unexpected thunderstorm 00:00:51
66.   The sound of silence 00:01:29
67.   Cue to complete Finale 00:01:00
68.   Music: Finale (Complete) 00:06:47

Total Playing Time: 02:23:23

Schubert, Franz

Siepmann, Jeremy

Label: Naxos Educational

Genre: Music Education

Period: Romantic

Catalogue No: 8.558075-76

Barcode: 0636943807521

Physical Release: 09/2002

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