Franz Schubert

Quintet for piano, violin, viola, cello & double bass in A major ("Trout"), D. 667 (Op. posth. 114)

    Description by Rovi Staff

    In the summer of 1819, Schubert traveled with the famous baritone Johann Michael Vogl to the river town of Steyr, where there was an abundance of musical activity. Schubert and Vogl's performance of the some of the composer's songs -- especially "Erlkönig" (Schubert himself taking the part of the father!) and "Die Forelle" ("The Trout") -- attracted the notice of Sylvester Paumgartner, a wealthy mining executive and an accomplished 'cellist, who then commissioned Schubert to write a quintet based on "The Trout" (and perhaps patterned after a work by Hummel that he had in his collection). The resulting "Trout" quintet -- scored for the unusual combination of piano, violin, viola, violoncello, and double bass -- has become one of Schubert's more enduring chamber works, and it is typical of his early style. A notable feature is the integration of the piano part into the musical texture, on equal terms with those of the string players. In his own writing, Schubert referred to typical piano music as "damnable thumping" and insists in this work, as in his others, that it behave as an orderly and equal member of an ensemble.

    The first movement is disproportionately long at 13 minutes, nearly a third of the length of the entire five-movement work. It is a joyful movement in sonata-allegro form, propelled forward by piano arpeggios and triplet figures in the strings. A lyrical andante follows, sweetly expressive in the minor mode, and avoiding any sense of melancholy. It features three themes, one of which allows for an extended piano solo.

    The brief third movement, a presto, begins aggressively but becomes a sort of "dance poem" containing Austrian folk tunes. The rhythmic impetus is unflagging.

    This leads to the work's signature movement, the theme and variations on "Die Forelle" ("The Trout"). Potentially tedious, the theme and variations form is ingenious and satisfying in Schubert's hands--each variation is both individually engaging and integral to the whole. As in the first movement, the piano is thoroughly intermingled with the strings and the resulting sound is nearly symphonic (an exception to this is the third variation, which is a swirling piano cascade with subdued string accompaniment).

    The final movement is simple and light with a swirling, almost "gypsy" sound that can be reminiscent of Dvorák at times. Like the third and fourth movements, the last seems to be broken into smaller units, in the style of a set of dances. Although he had already written 11 string quartets by the time of the "Trout" Quintet, this composition represents Schubert's first truly significant chamber work. His ability to blend and balance this combination of instruments seems instinctive and the piece is rightly considered one of his most popular and best early works.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro vivace
    2. Andante
    3. Scherzo. Presto
    4. Theme and Variations (on the song "Die Forelle"). Andantino
    5. Finale. Allegro giusto

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Menuetto Classics
    2018 Dux Records DUX 1426
    2017 Deutsche Grammophon
    2017 Deutsche Grammophon 4797570
    2017 Praga Digitals PRD 250386
    2017 Harmonia Mundi HMX 2908748
    2017 Deutsche Grammophon 0028947980
    2017 Deutsche Grammophon
    2016 Naxos 8578328-29
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon B002436502
    2016 Decca / London
    2016 Warner Classics 0190295974954
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795545
    2016 ABC Classics ABC 4812519
    2016 Alpha ALPHA 216
    2016 Warner Classics 557828
    2016 RCA Red Seal 88985321742
    2015 Sony Classical 88875051562
    2015 Alto / Musical Concepts MCSCD 1294
    2015 Sony Classics 513074
    2014 Erato 2564625964
    2014 Evidence EVCD 003
    2014 Chandos CHAN 0800
    2014 Genuin GEN 14305
    2013 CRD Records CRR 3352
    2013 Naxos 8501064
    2012 Soundset / Soundset Recordings SR 1044
    2012 Universal
    2012 Entertainment Group 12004
    2012 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2012 Sony Classical 88725463952
    2012 Brilliant Classics 94377
    2012 Quintone Q 11001
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099962308
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 Broken Audio BRAU 0615
    2012 Rewind REW 506
    2012 K-Tel 56740
    2012 ABC Classics ABC 4764741
    2012 Hyperion CDH 55427
    2012 Concerto / Zebralution
    2011 EtCetera Records KTC 1431
    2011 Sony Classical 88697892622
    2011 Gramola GRAM 98919
    2011 Decca
    2011 Royal Philharmonic Masterworks / RPO 28930
    2011 Newton Classics 8802087
    2011 Decca
    2010 EMI Classics
    2010 Sony Classical 8869769105
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Philips
    2009 Sony Classical 752307
    2009 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099926506
    2009 Berlin Classics 0149572
    2009 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2009 PentaTone Classics 5186334
    2009 Documents / Membrane 231055
    2009 Domo Classics 73095
    2009 New Classical Adventure 60193
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Brilliant Classics 93771
    2008 Brilliant 93163
    2008 Virgin Classics 562352
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon
    2008 ATMA Classique ACD 23003
    2008 ZYX Music 10323
    2008 EMI Classics 5176442
    2008 EMI Classics
    2008 Ondine 763
    2008 Harmonia Mundi HMG501792
    2008 Berlin Classics 0014392
    2008 Sony BMG 716044
    2008 UT3 Records / Zebralution
    2008 Cascavelle 3099
    2008 Brilliant 93673
    2008 Mirare 052
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 4717402
    2008 Classics for Pleasure
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099921741
    2007 Brilliant 93181
    2007 Decca 4758202
    2007 Amado Classics 4000
    2007 Brilliant Classics 8528
    2007 Musica Omnia 0212
    2007 Sony Classical Essential Classics 709944
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93305
    2007 Biddulph Recordings 80223
    2007 EMI Music Distribution 385853
    2007 Decca
    2007 Berlin Classics 0186002
    2007 Decca 4758542
    2006 Edel Records 2842
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 459187
    2006 Hyperion 67527
    2006 Berlin Classics 0185602
    2006 Philips 000667202
    2006 Universal Classics & Jazz
    2006 Bridge 9185
    2006 Novalis 150733
    2006 Columns 63
    2006 ASV / Sanctuary 404
    2006 Brilliant 92431
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 EMI Classics 57664
    2005 Music & Arts 1175
    2005 Direct Source 3962
    2005 Brilliant 99599
    2005 Virgin 61454
    2005 Direct Source 3965
    2005 Virgin 82004
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 ATMA Classique 22346
    2005 EMI Classics 5661442
    2005 Erato / Virgin Classics 7243545563
    2005 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler 4082
    2004 Emporio 9713413
    2004 ASV 684
    2004 Divine Art 25026
    2004 Doremi Records 5701
    2004 Rca Red Seal 55270
    2004 ASV 4000
    2004 Artemis Classics 1197
    2004 Preiser Records 90566
    2004 Philips 475 439-2PM2
    2004 Sony Music Distribution 512872
    2004 Camerata Records 28028
    2004 Sony Classical 92739
    2004 Sony Classical 92765
    2004 Brilliant 92394
    2004 Universal Classics 000173802
    2004 Testament 1254
    2004 Dutton Laboratories 9743
    2003 Naxos 8558075/76
    2003 PentaTone Classics PTC5186121
    2003 Andante 1990
    2003 Andante 1010
    2003 Harmonia Mundi HMC90 1792
    2003 Virgin Classics
    2003 Vox 90119
    2003 Classic Collection 99859
    2003 Supraphon 3738
    2002 Telarc Distribution 80225
    2002 Maestro Celebre 052179
    2002 Classica d'Oro 4021
    2002 Chandos 10021
    2002 Caprice Records 21595
    2001 Direct Source 3635
    2001 Pearl 129
    2001 Novalis 150135
    2001 Tudor Records 778
    2001 Andante 2996-2999
    2000 Deutsche Grammophon 469 196-2GP2
    2000 Tring 016
    2000 Novalis 150138
    2000 Bayer Records 991201
    2000 T-Rax 32
    2000 Intersound 2893
    2000 Virgin 5611402
    2000 RCA 63589
    2000 Hungaroton Echo Collection 1039
    2000 Decca 467417
    2000 Decca 458608
    2000 Amadis 7126
    2000 Decca 466945
    1999 BBC Legends 40092
    1999 Classical Collection 62000
    1999 Grammofono 2000 AB 78874
    1999 Vox Box/essex / SPJ Music 3902
    1999 MDG 3070625
    1999 BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) 504
    1999 Penguin Classics 460650
    1998 Amiata 1298
    1998 Masterpiece / SPJ Music 92012
    1998 EMI Music Distribution CD-CFP6039
    1998 Carlton Classics 01822
    1998 Sony Music Distribution 63361
    1998 London 460034
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 449 746-2GOR
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453 667-2GFS
    1997 NPR Recordings 3/4
    1997 Pearl 9272
    1997 Decca 448602
    1997 L'Oiseau-Lyre 455724
    1997 Boston Skyline 145
    1997 Point Classics 265068
    1996 Bridge 9062
    1996 Seraphim UK 69116
    1996 Hyperion 22008
    1996 Sony Music Distribution SK61964
    1995 Lydian 18126
    1995 Philips 4460012
    1995 Art of Classics 885912
    1995 Madacy 1604
    1995 Decca 444 546-2DF2
    1995 ZYX Music 1001
    1994 Madacy 0500
    1994 Naxos 505021
    1994 Madacy 0300
    1994 Naxos 8550658
    1993 Belart/Karussell / Eloquence 4500562
    1993 Collins Records 10742
    1993 Deutsche Grammophon 4317832
    1993 Hungaroton 12918
    1993 L'Oiseau-Lyre 433848
    1993 Naxos 550057
    1993 Vanguard 08.8005.71
    1992 BIS 521/24
    1992 Vox Box 5033
    1991 Sony Music Distribution 46343
    1990 Laserlight 522
    1989 Deutsche Grammophon 427215
    1988 London 417459
    1983 Philips 400 078-2PH
    Vanguard 8070
    Classic CD 109
    Direct Source 16392
    Direct Source 16332
    DHM Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 772162
    BBC Music Magazine 271
    Monopoly 2059
    Seraphim UK 69726
    Hypo
    One-Eleven 92010
    History 205221
    Arabesque 6571
    Deutsche Grammophon 413453
    Sony Music Entertainment 46343
    Teldec 18961
    Philips 420716
    Forum Records 46207980
    Brilliant 93673/13
    Brilliant 99599/4
    Philips 422838
    Grand Gala 2113
    Naxos 550658
    Forlane 16676
    Philips 400078
    Pro-Arte Records 470
    Donau 8126
    Digital Masterworks 71842
    BIS 521
    EMI Music Distribution 47009
    Dynamic 8
    Sipario Dischi 20
    Grammofono 2000 78879
    Fono Enterprise 99334
    Strings 99334
    Brilliant 93163/5
    Brilliant 93181/12
    Brilliant 92394/13
    Calig 50988
    Teldec 74783
    Teldec
    Imperial Classics 62082
    Amado Classics 04029
    Chambermusik 52523
    Masters of the Millennium 2007
    London 411975
    Direct Source 34162
    Arlecchino 37
    Brilliant Classics 8528/4
    K-Tel / K-Tel Distribution 3807002