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Schubert, The Trout Quintet: Themes and Variations

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

The Trout Quintet: Themes and Variations

Schubert Trout Quintet Royal Opera House


This glorious lyrical piece of Chamber music is a firm favourite with performers and audiences. Composed for piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass

Schubert wrote his Trout Quintet when he was only 22 years old. The young composer was spending the Summer of 1819 with the baritone, Johann Michael Vogl, a loyal friend and champion of his work, in Steyr, Austria.  Whilst on holiday Vogl introduced him to Sylvester Paumgartner, a rich musical patron and amateur cellist, and he commissioned Schubert to compose a piano quintet

It was called The Trout Quintet beacuse the fourth movement is a set of variations on an earlier Schubert song, Die Forelle (the Trout). The song was actually a warning to young women to watch out for ‘angling’ young men! Schubert didn’t set the final lines of this poem and preferred to work on evoking an image of the trout in water and its reaction to be being caught by a fisherman


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