First Pick: Schubert's Piano Trio #2 in E-flat, Op. 100

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Lance
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First Pick: Schubert's Piano Trio #2 in E-flat, Op. 100

Post by Lance » Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:42 pm

Coming out of 1827 Vienna were two of the most extraordinary pieces of chamber music ever written, Schubert's Piano Trios, Opp. 99 and 100, the first in B-flat Major and the second in E-flat Major. I love both equally, but the heartfelt sensitivies, urgency and poignancy of the E-flat Trio really make this my choice of the two trios, and of the two, I think this is the one I would like played at my funeral if such things could be possible.

There have been a number of recordings made of both trios over the years, and most of them I have heard are wonderful readings. The E-flat Trio, however, has one recording—an historical one—that has yet to be surpassed for me:

First Pick: Schubert Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 100: Columbia/Sony CD 48088 with Rudolf Serkin, piano; Adolf Busch, violin; Hermann Busch, cello, recorded December 23, 1935 The disc was also published on an EMI CD [7-61014-2]. There are occasions when, even in the days of 78-rpm recordings, everything seems perfect; this has to be one of those times. The interplay between Serkin's playing (which I think was the best in his career: no harshness, lovely singing tone, and complete blend of minds between all the performers).

Another historical version that is exemplary is Mieczyslaw Horszowski, piano; Alexander Schneider, violin; Pablo Casals, cello [Sony 58988]. While everyone works together as we might imagine, it's Casals' cello playing that takes this performance for me. His use of portamento in the second movement (Andante con moto) makes this an ultra-special recording for me. This recording could as well, be my First Pick.

Among the more recent versions I've thought were exemplary: Harmonia Mundi 1951047 with Jean-Claude Pennetier, piano; Régis Pasquier, violin; and Roland Pidoux, cello—what extraordinary playing in the second movement! Still another "must-have" performance: Eugene Istomin, piano; Isaac Stern, violin; Leonard Rose, cello on Columbia/Sony CD 45560. Both sets of artists have also recorded Schubert's Trio No. 1 in B-flat Major as well in equally-inspiring recordings.
Lance G. Hill
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Peter Schenkman
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Post by Peter Schenkman » Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:23 pm

Lance wrote:….”First Pick: Schubert Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 100: Columbia/Sony CD 48088 with Rudolf Serkin, piano; Adolf Busch, violin; Hermann Busch, cello, recorded December 23, 1935 “……

A recommendation that I’ll gladly second and as well opt for one of his “alternate choices:….” Eugene Istomin, piano; Isaac Stern, violin; Leonard Rose, cello on Columbia/Sony CD 45560”…..

Between the two most if not all bases are rather nicely covered.

Peter Schenkman
CMG Cello Specialist

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Post by herman » Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:48 pm

I need to get that Serkin / double Bush recording soon, even though I have always been quite happy with the Beaux Arts recording (plus the occasional live performance).

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Post by Barry » Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:06 pm

This was my favorite chamber piece for a long time. It may still be.

I guess I'd have to agree with the Serkin-Busch pick. I also like Stern/Rose/Istomin. I learned the piece from their recording.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:41 pm

Wish I'd seen this years ago. I bought quite a few before finding Serkin/Busch/Busch. For a budget disc I'd go for Stuttgart Trio on Naxos -better than the Borodin Trio or Beaux Arts at half the price, IMHO. The Casals disc is also worth having, of course.

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