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Schubert-Piano Trio in E flat CD


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Product details

  • Performer: The Florestan Trio
  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Audio CD (21 Jun 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B000069CVC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,320 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Allegro
2. Andante Con Moto
3. Scherzo: Allegro Moderato
4. Finale: Allegro Moderato
5. Finale: Allegro Moderato (First Version) - Franz Schubert

Product Description

Product Description

Trio avec piano n° 2 en mi bémol majeur, D929 (avec, en plus, le Final de la première version) / The Florestan Trio

Amazon.co.uk

When Schubert wrote his Piano trio in E flat major, he had just emerged from Beethoven's creative shadow: at last he could speak in his own symphonic voice, and this chamber work is indeed quasi-symphonic. Its première earned him his biggest public success, but by the time it was published 12 months later he was dead. Moreover, at the instigation of his publisher he abridged its long final movement by two minutes. On this Hyperion disc, the Florestan Trio's solution is to play both versions, thus allowing us to see what was lost. As befits a work labelled "piano trio", the pianist is effectively the star, and here Susan Tomes discharges this function with exemplary incisiveness, providing a marvellously secure foundation from her forceful first entry. This trio plays with admirably clear articulation, and if the tempi are on the leisurely side in the first and third movements, that only serves to heighten the music's effect. The second movement--which has provided the haunting soundtrack to Kubrick's Barry Lyndon--comes over as unaffected lyricism without a trace of mawkishness, and when its main theme re-emerges in the last movement, it's as an affirmation of optimism. The excised portions turn out to be pure gold, proving that, contrary to popular wisdom, there are some good things you can't have too much of. --Michael Church

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Musica Vita on 13 Feb 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is magnificent. I have always been rather disappointed by the Beaux Arts Trio's recording of this work which most people seem to like, finding it somewhat superficial. My favourite version has been that of The Czech Trio on Supraphon vinyl, (which I don't think has been re-issued on CD) which is played with great commitment and passion. But now this recording trumps it. It is difficult to imagine a better performance, and the quality of the recording matches it.

As the previous reviewer has said, don't hesitate.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 27 Dec 2012
Format: Audio CD
This disc, recorded in 2001, completed the Florestan's survey of the two Schubert piano trios. Both of the works were late compositions within Schubert's very short life and this is the second of the two works.

Schubert was somewhat over-awed by the Beethoven legacy and struggled for quite a while to find his own voice and to express his own musical ideas in this medium. He was also swayed by adverse criticism which complained of excessive length. Schubert dealt with the latter problem by shortening the last movement in the final version. On this recording both last movements are included so it is possible to compare them and choose the finale that appeals.

Schubert's compositional style was more melodically driven than that of Beethoven who was more lyrical than melodic in the way he developed his ideas. Beethoven was also more inclined to develop motifs harmonically and structurally whereas Schubert's approach tended to favour using variations of texture as a means of making the most of his melodic ideas. In this work there are many examples of this and any performance that does not observe this melodic requirement must fail. The Florestan Trio are an excellent trio and have a naturally lyrical playing style which suits the Schubert melodic world. The Florestan's are also particularly responsive to each other playing almost as if of one mind. This unity of purpose produces deeply rewarding playing and is why the Florestan's are so highly thought of on the world scene.

The fine Beaux Arts trio performances are still considered benchmark references even now. Nevertheless, good though the recordings were at the time, there is now a hardness about the upper string tone and the plumpness about the lower string tone that betrays increasing age.
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By Mr. Jeffrey Windsor on 8 Oct 2014
Format: Audio CD
Good as background music not my favourite.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Schubert's lyrical genius 20 July 2004
By D. R. Greenfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This beautiful album showcases the lyrical genius of Franz Schubert. I have listened to classical music for years, but up until I purchased this album I had never given Schubert a fair hearing. But now, having heard his music, and become thorougly overwhelmed by his genius, I can only stand in awe of him, much as I have already done by Mozart.

Schubert apparently wrestled with this piano trio for a long time, repeatedly tearing up his work and starting over, so unworthy and incapable did he feel himself to be writing anything that might be able to be even half as good as Beethoven's Archduke Trio. The question for Schubert, as for many other composers of that era was simply, how could they push forward into any new musical frontier, after Beethoven? Schubert, however, succeeded in forging a uniquely personal and lyrical style of his own: a clear lyrical line, sensitive, hopeful, sometimes passionate, sort of a very unique synthesis between Mozart and Beethoven.

Like Proust, he wrote on a grand scale, not knowing when to stop; the music just flows on and on, endlessly inventive. The critics said it was too long to sit through. As a result of this criticism, Schubert cut sections out of the final movement. (Fortunately, in this recording we are given both versions of the last movement.)

All I can tell you is, buy this album, listen to it. Give it a hearing, and you will fall in love with this composer. And as for the Florestan Trio's performance on this recording, all I have is praise; it is simply flawless. The sound quality is also superlative. This is a must-have album. No matter how many classical albums you own, this will easily become one of your favorites.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
OUTSTANDING! 27 Nov 2007
By Tanis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Florestan Tio follow up their outstanding account of Schubert's B flat major Trio with another memorable performance of the more profound, yet still often light-hearted, E flat Trio, written in the same month in which Schubert completed "Winterreise." If once again the playing of the pianist, Susan Tomes, stands out, the cellist's Richard Lester's contribution is hardly less memorable. As before, the recording is completely lifelike and very well balanced, catching the widest range of dynamic with naturalness and fidelity. As a bonus we are additionally offered Schubert's original finale, nearly two minutes longer without the two cuts in the development made by the composer, totalling 98 bars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Well up to the exalted standards of this very fine group of players, now sadly disbanded 27 Dec 2012
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This disc, recorded in 2001, completed the Florestan's survey of the two Schubert piano trios. Both of the works were late compositions within Schubert's very short life and this is the second of the two works.

Schubert was somewhat over-awed by the Beethoven legacy and struggled for quite a while to find his own voice and to express his own musical ideas in this medium. He was also swayed by adverse criticism which complained of excessive length. Schubert dealt with the latter problem by shortening the last movement in the final version. On this recording both last movements are included so it is possible to compare them and choose the finale that appeals.

Schubert's compositional style was more melodically driven than that of Beethoven who was more lyrical than melodic in the way he developed his ideas. Beethoven was also more inclined to develop motifs harmonically and structurally whereas Schubert's approach tended to favour using variations of texture as a means of making the most of his melodic ideas. In this work there are many examples of this and any performance that does not observe this melodic requirement must fail. The Florestan Trio are an excellent trio and have a naturally lyrical playing style which suits the Schubert melodic world. The Florestan's are also particularly responsive to each other playing almost as if of one mind. This unity of purpose produces deeply rewarding playing and is why the Florestan's are so highly thought of on the world scene.

The fine Beaux Arts trio performances are the probable main alternatives in this repertoire and those recordings are still considered benchmark references even now. Nevertheless, good though the recordings were at the time, there is now a hardness about the upper string tone and the plumpness about the lower string tone that betrays increasing age. The new recording by the Florestan Trio is a marked improvement and is an excellent example of the advantages of well balanced and full ranging modern recorded sound. This, and an extra flexibility in the interpretations, makes this new recording very desirable.

I would suggest that the Florestan version should, at the very least, be put on any short-list for potential buyers and if chosen, I would expect it to give most purchasers considerable satisfaction for a long time to come.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Superb interpretation and recording! 30 April 2014
By J. Steffen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've heard other recordings of this masterpiece, including by the redoubtable Beaux Arts Trio. I have to say that I like the Florestan Trio's recording the best, by a comfortable margin. Throughout it has wonderful interplay between the three instruments, and Hyperion's well-engineered recording only helps to bring this out. They tend to use faster tempos than the Beaux Arts Trio; that may not always be preferable, but in this case it contributes to a livelier interpretation. The slow movement, to my ears, really is Andante *con moto.* At the same time, the Florestan Trio maintains beautifully expressive phrasing and articulation, as well as excellent balance between the instruments. They are a terrifically assured ensemble.
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