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Hyperion Records

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Clouds in the Evening (1823) by Johan Christian Clausen Dahl (1788-1857)
Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo / Photograph by J Lathion
Track(s) taken from CDA67273
Recording details: December 2000
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: November 2001
Total duration: 8 minutes 38 seconds

Notturno in E flat major, D897
autumn 1827; probable discarded slow movement from the Piano Trio in B flat major, D898

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
If the Notturno (so titled by the publisher) in E flat was indeed the original slow movement of the Trio, we can only guess at Schubert’s reasons for jettisoning it. But while it makes a less ready appeal than the Andante that replaced it, it uncannily prefigures the Adagio of the C major String Quintet, composed the following autumn. Indeed, it tends to sound like a trial run for the later movement, which realizes consummately the vein of timeless, contemplative ecstasy to which the Notturno aspires. Like the Quintet’s Adagio, it presents a mesmerically sustained melody in close harmony in the inner voices (here violin and cello) against a ‘plucked’ accompaniment in the treble and bass, with the piano doing a fair imitation of a harp. And as in the Quintet the contrasting central section moves to the key of the Neapolitan second, a semitone above the tonic: E major to F minor in the Quintet, E flat to E major (and a change from duple to triple time) in the Notturno. After an abridged reprise of the E major episode the coda, like that in the Quintet, contains a final harmonic shudder (with a sudden crescendo to ff) just before the closing bars.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2001

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