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Piano Quintet in A D667 'Trout' 4th Movement - Theme and Variations Schubert Help Opus Details
For feedback and questions, please contact Victor Gomersall.
This Trout Quintet was composed in 1819 when Schubert was on a summer holiday in Steyr, a small town in Upper Austria, with his friend, the singer Johann Vogl. Schubert was 22, and these three months seem to have been one of the most unclouded periods of his short life. He was intoxicated with the "inconceivably lovely" place, and not only with nature and the heady sweetness of pine trees and mountain air but also with the eight pretty girls who were the daughters and friends of a Dr. Schellmann, in whose house he was lodging.

Much music-making took place. A mine-owner, Herr Paumgartner, owned a large house in Steyr, in which he provided a warm welcome to visiting musicians. He suggested that Schubert should write a quintet using violin, viola, cello, double-bass, and piano, and that tune of Schubert's song The Trout, be included.

This 4th movement is the one incorporating the tune of the Trout song, in the form of a theme and variations. Schubert changed his tune slightly to suit its new situation. He slowed it down and filled it in with dotted notes and grace notes. He also decided that the first eight bars should be repeated. It is initially given out on the violin. In the first variation the tune is in the piano part in octaves, in the second the viola has it, and in the third the cello shares it with double-bass (the double-bass is never really trusted on its own). At Variation 4 a change to the minor shatters the idyll and brings squally weather. The texture moves from melody-plus-accompaniment to something more integrated and complex. The key changes back to major, this time to B flat, for the fifth variation; the cello has a double-dotted version of the tune and the skies begin to clear. Via a miraculous turn into D flat major come D major, a faster tempo, the original song accompaniment, violin and cello swapping the tune, and sunshine again for the last variation.
Category: Chamber Music String Quartet Featuring Piano Romantic Period
Time Signature 2 /4 Key Signature   D Major also featuring Violin, Cello Play MP3 using player below.

1    Piano Quintet in A D667 'Trout' 4th Movement - Theme and Variations
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