Schubert’s Trout


  • The Trout Quintet.

Franz Schubert left us more than 600 of his Lieder. Many were full of sadness, depicting the sorrow and unhappiness that the composer suffered during his brief lifetime. Occasionally, we get a happier song, but frequently the music quickly turns to a minor key.

Such is the case with Franz Schubert’s song “Die Forelle”, which begins with the description in words and music of a scene at the brook. A fisherman is dropping his line in the water, and scene is temporarily peaceful. Suddenly the fisherman gets impatient; he wants his fish. The water gets murky, and before you know it, a little “Fischlein” dangles from his line.

Schubert was known to occasionally use one of his songs in other compositions. This was also the case with the Quintet in A-Major, where the 4th movement is dedicated to a theme of the “Forelle” Lied, and some amazing variations that Schubert wrote. Each on the participating instruments is provided an opportunity in which to shine.

Here is what we listen to in this CD: Schubert:

Performed by András Schiff (piano), with members of the Hagen Quartet with Alois Posch (double bass).

The Penguin Guide wrote: “a delectably fresh and youthful reading of the Trout Quintet, full of the joys of spring, but one which is also remarkable for hushed concentration, as in the exceptionally dark and intense account of the opening of the first movement.”

Here is the Schubert Ensemble performing the Schubert “Trout” Quintet, 4th Movement:  


And here is the entire work: The Borromeo Quartet & Guests perform the Schubert: “Trout” Quintet: