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Schubert: Piano Trios Nos 1 & 2; Notturno etc

Christian Tetzlaff (violin), Tanja Tetzlaff (cello), Lars Vogt (piano) (Ondine)

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Piano Trios Nos 1 & 2; Notturno; Rondo, D895; Arpeggione Sonata
Christian Tetzlaff (violin), Tanja Tetzlaff (cello), Lars Vogt (piano)
Ondine ODE 1394-2D   136:45 mins (2 discs)


These Schubert performances were among the last recordings Lars Vogt made before his untimely death last year, and his regular chamber music partners Christian and Tanja Tetzlaff have dedicated the album to his memory. It provides a moving testimonial to his exceptional musicianship and pianism, and the radiance of his pianissimo playing is particularly striking in such moments as the opening of Notturno for piano trio, and the slow movement of the E flat Trio, D929. Schubert is surely the only composer who could simultaneously write pianissimo and appassionato, as he does in both these instances, to indicate a kind of sublimated expressive intensity.

When Schubert submitted the manuscript of the E flat Trio for publication in his last year he marked substantial cuts in the finale that were, he said, scrupulously to be observed. The piece is nearly always heard in its shortened version, but on this recording the players restore the deletions (though without observing the first-half repeat which Schubert originally indicated), offering a rare opportunity of hearing a powerful passage setting off in the dark key of F minor, as well as a reappearance of the slow movement’s theme in combination with one of the finale’s important subsidiary subjects.

Also included are the haunting Arpeggione Sonata (transcribed, as usual, for cello and piano) and the Rondo in B minor, D895 for violin and piano. The latter is a virtuoso piece, taken here at a slightly hectic tempo. This very well recorded collection is one to treasure.


Misha Donat