Members of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet and the Greenwich Piano Trio will combine to perform two great classical works:
1 – Mozart’s Piano Quartet in E flat Major, K493
2 – Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A Major, D667 (“The Trout”)
The opening movement of Mozart’s E Flat Piano Quartet evokes the grandeur of his earlier Piano Concerto in the same key of E Flat, K482. It is a mellow and genial work, constantly balancing the strings and piano parts, while exuding pure joy from first to last – once heard, never forgotten! Exactly what we all need right now!
Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet is one of the best-loved and well-known chamber music works in the entire repertoire. This natural, unaffected and carefree 5-movement work can truly be described as music of Schubert’s innocence, composed when he was only 22 years old – although not published until after his death 9 years later. Its instrumentation is unusual: unlike the expected format of string quartet plus piano, it has no second violin part, but includes a part for double-bass! The work’s nickname stems from its fourth movement: a theme and variations on Schubert’s lied “Die Forelle” (The Trout). The variations do not transform the original theme into new thematic material; rather, they concentrate on melodic decoration and changes of mood. In each variation, the main theme is played by a different instrument. Undimmed by the pain of illness and unrequited love that dogged Schubert’s few remaining years, the ‘Trout’ is nothing less than a paean to life. Don’t miss it!
AS A BONUS: The Mozart will be followed by a tiny piece “Impromptu” for viola and piano by Shostakovich; and then the two extant movements of Schubert’s String Trio in B flat, D.471. Both these works are of special interest: the manuscript of the Impromptu, dating from 1931, was only discovered a few years ago, and Alan George, our violist, was able to give its British premiere! And the second movement of the Schubert has also been heard only recently, when Brian Newbould, the eminent Schubert scholar, completed it!
Emergence from Covid-induced trauma has been slow, and as a result our post-lockdown audiences have been around 50% of their former size. However, if anything can persuade our supporters to re-emerge in strength, this next programme is the one that will do it!
(i) Tonight’s ensemble will occupy more floorspace than usual, and the maximum number of guests we can accommodate is correspondingly reduced. Therefore, to avoid a waiting list, please let me have your reservations as soon as possible.
(ii) The recommended donation of £35 will cover the concert, drinks and light post-concert snack.
Please note that our supper provision at concerts has changed. For full details, and for booking instructions – including suggested donations – please have a look at our concerts page.