Schubert sonatas

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Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Piano Quintet in A, D667 The Trout (1819) [34:36]
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Piano Trio in E minor, Op. 90 Dumky* (1891) [32:19]
Jörg Demus (piano); Schubert Quartet (Anton Kamper (violin); Erich Weis (viola), Ludwig Beinl (cello), Josef Hermann (double bass)); Josef Suk (violin)*; Milos Sadlo (cello)*; Jan Panenka (piano)*
rec. Herkules Saal, Munich, September 1959 (Schubert); Beethoven Saal, Hanover, June 1958 (Dvořák). ADD


Experience Classicsonline

Here are two works in which melody reigns supreme in the hands of two supreme melodist composers.

These are Golden Age recordings from one of the world’s elite houses. Yes, that does mean that the analogue originals are getting on a bit – and sometimes you can tell but there are some overwhelming compensations.

The first movement of the Schubert is trippingly free of cares. It wears a natural smile without a hint of condescension. The bubbling trout movement has a skip in the step which transcends the other pretty wonderful Rösel performance I have reviewed recently on budget Berlin Classics. The performance is full of detailed aural coups. Listen for example to the satisfying chug in the second movement at 3:00 and the powerful thrust and affirmative voltage accorded to the third movement. Then again there’s the totally disarming clip-clop feeling in the finale at 4:57 onwards. You find real emphatic power in the finale which also has some nice dynamic terracing. If in the Schubert the piano is given prominence the Dvořák feels more enclosed overall. The Dumky is a work of passionate fantasy and stylistically is a step or two onward from the Schubert. It is given a full-lipped performance by the three Czech performers. Pleasures along the way are too numerous to mention but they include a wonderfully enchanted and whispered little carillon in the first movement and in the fourth a silvery magic at 4:04 in the gentle curve down into silence. Much of the writing here has an almost Bardic power and some dark-flecked wildness in the manner of Berlioz.

Tully Potter applies his accustomed gifted touch in his full liner-notes. There he naturally mixes details of the writing of the music with an account of these particular recordings and their circumstances. It puts to shame the annotation on many a full price disc.

The Dvořák appears for the first time on CD for this recording.

The precious original tapes have been transferred to make the most out of these fine vintage performances. They still have the power to enthral.

Rob Barnett


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