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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

'This stands out among modern recordings of this fine work [and] the Movement in B flat makes a freshly endearing bonus. This will be hard to beat and one eagerly awaits the E flat major Trio' (Gramophone)

'Marvellously alive, the phrasing playful when required, delicate but never precious, [the trio] frolic through with palpable joy and an unerring sense of ensemble. Placed alongside this CD, even the Beaux Arts Trio, old favourites in this repertoire, start to look staid' (The Times)

'I urge you not to miss the Florestan disc which certainly becomes my version of choice for the B flat Trio and the early trio movement' (Fanfare, USA)

Notturno in E flat major, D897
composer
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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