Sunday, August 19, 2012

Franz Schubert – Octet and Two Trios

   In early nineteenth century European music as well as a whole culture became the arena of revolutionary changes. One of effect of this transformation were careers of many composers from every corner of Europe. If any of them could be seen as the quintessence of romantic style in music, it is Franz Schubert – the Viennese composer who lived in poverty, died before age of 32 and left huge number of works. It is ironical, he was born in the center of musical world but never been recognized. Although he did not achieve his success personally, his music was adored by his contemporary listeners and later generations. 
   His music was classically balanced in economics of means of expression, but his most important future was melodic talent. There were very few composers in whole history, who were able to communicate so much with a single melodic line. Catalogue of his works includes all kinds of works, from great symphonic and sacred works to chamber music and songs, which became the landmark of the whole culture formation. Among his chamber works Octet for Two Violins, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Clarinet, Bassoon and French Horn in F Major Op. 166, D. 803 is one of best known. This composition was commissioned by count Ferdinand von Treuer who was amateur clarinetist and who played the clarinet part during Octet first performance in March 1824.

Franz Schubert – Octet and Two Trios (1983)

   Perfect equilibrium of melodic expression, sound colors, construction and rhythmic ideas for releasing the dramatic tension gives Octet its place in chamber repertoire. The beautiful sound of Schubert’s arrangement for chamber ensemble has been perfectly captured in intellectual interpretation of Russian artists – violinist Oleg Kagan and Amayak Durgaryan, Mikhail Tolpygo playing viola, cellist Natalia Gutman, bass player Rifat Komachkov, clarinetist Lev Mikhailov, Valeri Popov on bassoon and Anatoli Dyomin playing French horn.
   This recording, made in 1979 were published in 1983 album under Melodiya label. The double album comprises also both trios for violin, viola and cello, both in B-flat Major. First was never completed but first movement composed in September 1816 (Trio B-flat Major, D. 471). Second trio, composed one year later in September 1817, Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello in B-flat Major, D. 581 is complete four movement construction of classical form. In Trios we can hear again Oleg Kagan, Mikhail Tolpygo and Natalia Gutman. These recordings are great example of virtuosos playing chamber music. This was great part of traditional practice in whole musical world. And as this set of records shows, in Russian music it has special impact.

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