Music History is Thrilling!

Classical Chamber Music and Franz Schubert

Terms

Chamber Music
Written for a small ensemble of two to eight players (or more) with one part per player. It is an intimate genre which requires each instrument to assert itself. The genre encouraged each musician to display their own personality and function as part of a team rather than to display virtuosic talent
Instrumental Sonata
Also known as the Duo Sonata and is written for a solo instrument and piano
Piano Trio
Written for piano, violin, and cello
String Trio
Typically employs either two violinists and a cellist or a violinist, violist, and cellist
String Quartet
Usually employs two violinists, a violist, and a cellist
Piano Quintet
Typically consists of a piano, two violins, a viola, and a cello
String Quintet
Usually consists of two violins, two violas, and a cello

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Schubert’s music reveals characteristics associated with both the Classical and Romantic eras. The clear form of his symphonies and chamber music are associated with the Classical era while his Lieder and solo piano pieces reveal the composer as a Romantic. His lyrical melodies prompted Franz Liszt to call him “the most poetic musician that ever was.” Schubert was a direct descendant of the Classical masters in his Chamber Music. His “Piano Quintet in D major (“Trout”) D 667″ is a masterwork based on the Lied “Die Forelle” (“The Trout”) which is rooted in the Sonata-Cycle, which was developed by Mannheim school. His collection of Lieder boasts of over 600 in quantity; Schubert sometimes wrote as many as five or six in a single morning. His love for nature is evident in his Lied “The Trout” in which the piano has a bubbly, rippling accompaniment illustrating a rustling brook. His solo piano pieces, including impromptus, reveal the composer’s ability to make the piano sing with lyricism.

“Piano Quintet in D major (“Trout”) D 667″ (Fourth Movement)

This charming piece of chamber music used the Lied “Die Forelle” (“The Trout”) for its basis and was written in 1819. Schubert employs unique instrumentation in the quintet, piano, double bass, cello, viola, and violin, which contributes to a heavier weight than usual in the bass. It has five movements instead of the usual four based in 5-movement sonata-cycle form. I have chosen to illustrate the musical character of each variation with colour.

“Piano Quintet in D major (“Trout”) D 667″ (Fourth Movement)

This charming piece of chamber music used the Lied “Die Forelle” (“The Trout”) for its basis and was written in 1819. Schubert employs unique instrumentation in the quintet, piano, double bass, cello, viola, and violin, which contributes to a heavier weight than usual in the bass. It has five movements instead of the usual four based in 5-movement sonata-cycle form. I have chosen to illustrate the musical character of each variation with colour.

IV Movement.

Tempo: Andante Meter: 2/4 Key: D major Form: Theme and Variations

Theme.

The violin is carrying the theme, which is built in binary form: A(8 measures) B(12 measures). The musical character is songful and cheery. A homophonic texture is created by all strings accompanying.

Variation One.

The theme is decorated with trills and presented by both hands in the piano separated by an octave while accompaned by pizzicato in the low strings and trills in the upper strings. A graceful and elegant character is heard.

Variation Two.

The theme is simplified and presented in the viola, producing a songful and sweet character. The piano imitates brief phrases of the theme while the violin carries a counter melody.

Variation Three.

The double bass presents the theme with an agitated and busy musical character accompanied by a very fast moving piano part and rhythmic strings.

Variation Four.

The theme is heard in a dialogue between the piano and the violin with an agitated and angry character. The piano opens part a with chordal triplet figures in forte dynamics. A dramatic shift to d minor  is heard in this variation.

Variation Five.

The theme is presented in the cello in an exaggerated dotted rhythm with sparse accompaniment. The b section is extended. A haunted and mysterious character is achieved by the minor key.

Variation Six.

The theme is heard first in violin echoed by cello in both part a and b. The musical character is bubbly and cheerful produced by the piano accompaniment derived from the original Lied. The tempo is quickened here to “Allegretto”.

All information on this article is derived from: Joseph Machlis and Kristine Forney. The Enjoyment of Music, Eight Edition, Standard Version, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1999. Personal Study derived from original score found at Petrucci Music Library
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18 comments (show) ▼

Raymond

The Hector Berlioz Website: Update on the musician John Ella (1802-1888) and family.
……………

Raymond

http://www.hberlioz.com/others/RElla.htm

………….
Musician John Ella (1802-1888) and family.

………….

Raymond E.O.Ella

Further on the musician J.Ella (1802-1888): “leicestershirevillages site”. More pictures.

Regards,
Ray & Marie.

Raymond E.O.Ella

Yes, more pictures in connection with the musician John Ella who founded the Musical Union (London) in 1845.

Raymond E.O.Ella

Musician John Ella (1802-1888):
Go to:
http://www.leicestershirevillages.com/leicester/gallery.html?user=11653&scope=leicestershire

Kind regards,
Ray & Marie.

Martha Greendale

Great article on musician John Ella, !, also extra good pictures on “leicestershirevillages”.

Martha.

Jane & Peter Norden

Yes, good article on musician John Ella and we agree what Raymond wrote, i.e., John was a “trend-setter”, etc.

Best of all,
Jane & Peter.

Jane & Peter Nordon

More photos of musicians including John Ella (1802-1888), by R.E.O.Ella.

Regards,
Jane & Peter

Jane & Peter Nordon

Betty Hartley

These are Raymond’s “Flickr” picture of men an women musicians and singers who knew the musician John Ella (1802-1888).

Best wishes,
Betty.

Ruth

Other pictures by R.E.O.Ella of singers and musician in Victorian times:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/84098662@N02/

Cheers,
Ruth.

Sandra Westfield

I have read the good and precise article by R.E.O.Ella on the musician John Ella (1802-1888) via The Hector Berlioz Website.
I have also read an article on J.Ella via Wikipedia but they get the musician’s birthplace wrong. It was not Thirsk but Leicester has Mr.R.Ella correctly points-out.
Wikipedia quote from old and out-dated publications and “take the thunder” from other writers and instead of doing their own research they repeat any mistakes in their “Thunder Taking From Others”, so to-speak, !.

Sandra.

Sarah-Jane.

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