SCHUBERT: Piano Trios in B Flat Major, D. 898 and D. 28

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Franz Schubert (1797 -1828)

Piano Trio in B Flat Major, D. 898

Piano Trio in B Flat Major (Sonata) D. 28

Franz Schubert was born in Vienna in 1797, the son of a schoolmaster,who had moved from Neudorf in Bohemia to join his brother in the same professionin the imperial capital. Schubert's mother, who was to give birth to fourteenchildren, of whom five survived, had been in domestic service in Vienna, whereher father, a locksmith, had moved to avoid creditors in his native Silesia.

From her he and his brothers seem to have inherited musical abilities,encouraged by their father, an amateur cellist.

As a child Schubert was able to take part in family quartet-playing,while his obvious gifts as a musician allowed him to become a choirboy in theImperial Chapel, a position that brought the privilege of a sound education atthe Staatskonvikt. At school he was a leading member of the orchestra, gainingsome familiarity with the standard repertoire of the time. At the same time hewas given a good general musical education and was able for some time tocontinue lessons with the old Court Kapellmeister Antonio Salieri, from whomBeethoven had earlier sought instruction.

When his voice broke in 1812, Schubert was offered a scholarship thatwould have allowed him to complete his general education, but at the expense ofhis increasingly exclusive musical interests. He chose not to take theopportunity and left the Konvikt to study for a year at the Normal School forthe training of teachers, thereafter serving briefly and intermittently as anassistant in his father's establishment, an obvious family obligation.

Schubert was never to occupy any official musical position in Vienna,nor did he ever have at his disposal the kind of forces that Beethoven, for example,could muster, with the aid of his aristocratic and royal patrons. Schubert'slife was passed with a circle of friends, with one or other of whom, he fromtime to time lodged, to return, when occasion arose, to his father'sschoolhouse. Much of w hat he w rote was designed specifically for performanceat evening parties, informal concerts held in his friends' houses. It was onlytowards the end of his life that publishers began to show an increased interestin his music. Schubert died in 1828, as a result of venereal infection acquiredsome six years earlier. In March that year came the only concert in hislife-time devoted to his music, an event that owed much to the generosity ofhis friends and brought him reasonable profit.

The first surviving composition by Schubert for piano trio is thesingle movement sonata movement in B flat, D. 28, written in 1812, the year ofhis mother's death. On the precise dating of the two completed piano triosthere has been considerable argument. It now seems probable that they were bothwritten late in 1827.

The B flat Trio, D. 898, opens with a boldly cheerful first subjectplayed by violin and cello and repeated by the piano, leading to the cellointroduction of a second melody of lyrical charm, material treated within thelimits of traditional classical form, but with Schubert's usual adventurousexploration of remoter keys. There follows a slow movement, in the key of Eflat, with the cello proposing the principal melody, to be taken up by theviolin and then by the piano. The gently introspective mood is interrupted by amore ominous middle section, before the re-establishment of the feeling of theopening and the return of the first melody.

The scherzo and trio, the latter with its thematic connection with thepreceding movement, are followed by a final rondo, in which the violinannounces the principal subject, leading to a first episode of moreaggressively dramatic outline and a return to the dactylic rhythm of the maintheme, its expected subsequent final appearance replaced by a rapid coda.

Stuttgart Piano Trio

Since its foundation in 1968 the Stuttgart Piano Trio has won aconsiderable reputation for itself. In 1969 the Trio won the MendelssohnCompetition in Berlin and the International Radio Competition in Munich andsince then has appeared in many of the leading cities of the world and at majorfestivals. The violinist Rainer Kussmaul was born in Mannheim in 1952 andtrained in Stuttgart, later winning prizes in Montreal, Bucharest and Leipzig.

He plays a violin made by Andrea Guarnerius in Cremona in 1692. The cellistClaus Kanngiesser joined the Trio in 1971, after study in Hamburg, where histeachers included Zara Nelsova, and masterclasses with Gaspar Cassado and PabloCasals. He plays an instrument made in 1841 by Gian Francesco Pressenda. Thepianist Monika Leonhard includes among her teachers Michelangeli and AlfredBrendel and completed her studies in Stuttgart in 1969.

Item number 8550131
Barcode 4891030501317
Release date 12/01/2000
Category Trio
Label Naxos Classics
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Composers Schubert, Franz
Schubert, Franz
Orchestras Stuttgart Piano Trio
Stuttgart Piano Trio
Producers Appenheimer, Gunter
Appenheimer, Gunter
Disc: 1
Piano Trio, B flat major, D. 28
1 I. Allegro moderato
2 II. Andante un poco mosso
3 III. Scherzo: Allegro
4 IV. Rondo: Allegro vivace - Presto
5 Allegro
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