Schubert: Trout Quintet - Demus, Irnberger, Ortner, Litschauer, Bürgschwendtner
Classical - Chamber
Schubert: Piano Quintet in A major D.667 "The Trout", Adagio and Rondo concertante
Thomas Albertus Irnberger
Schubert s Trout Quintet is one of the most popular chamber music works of all. However, the informative and in-depth accompanying booklet notes by Irnberger reveal that the work was composed in a revolutionary environment (pre-1848 Vienna), which cannot exactly be heard from the work. This disc also presents a very rarely played work by Schubert for piano quartet and, as a bonus track, Piano Piece D946 No. 2 in the interpretation by Schubert specialist Jörg Demus.
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Review by John Broggio - July 15, 2011
This could quite easily have been a delightful alternative to the superb Schubert: Trout Quintet - Helmchen, Tetzlaff, Tamestit, Hecker, Posch, Baerten, especially for those curious (or indeed eager) to hear this sublime work on period instruments; sadly these thoughts are not borne out from listening.
For the most part, Demus and friends are wonderfully committed and able to be more bold in their expressive contrasts thanks to their instruments being more mellow in tone. Tempo choices are just right and in the main there is little to quibble about. But (and this is an enormous but) in the first movement Demus is wayward in the extreme with his ideas of rubato (to be generous) or rhythmical timing (if one is not) in the main theme each time it occurs - and in a way that is at odds with all the rest of the playing (his and the others). At first, the possibility of a mastering error occurred but the way it happens similarly in each key rules would most likely rule this out of consideration (unless it is the most dreadful coincidence). So then it must be Demus' choice and a curious lack of judgement by the production staff (who in the rest of this disc got everything right). This mangling of the opening movement must rule this version "out of court" for all but the most devoted fans of the players and/or Schubert completists.
The rest of the pieces are well played too but do not sufficiently redeem the disc for an overall recommendation - sad though that is (and ill-deserved for most contributors).
The sound is good and very "homely".
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