Schubert The Piano Trios
Schubert seems only to have begun taking the piano trio medium seriously towards the very end of his life, yet one of his earliest surviving chamber works is a Trio-Movement in B flat, D. 28 for piano, violin and cello composed in July and August of 1812, when he was merely 15. It was not, in fact, published until 1923.
The Vienna Schubert Trio was founded in 1985 and performed as a full-time ensemble until deciding to disband in 1993. From the outset the trio appeared regularly in the music centres of Europe, North America and Asia, and rapidly established a reputation as one of the foremost piano trios. In its debut season, they won first prize at the International Chamber Music Competition “Sergio Lorenzi” in Trieste, Italy with Sandor Vegh as president of the jury, and as a result were given the opportunity to work with the Beaux Arts Trio. After its first tour of the United States in 1986, the Trio was named the year’s “Best New Visiting Chamber Ensemble” by the Washington Post.
The ensemble devoted itself to both the established masterpieces of the repertoire and many less familiar works, often presented in the context of concert series designed to demonstrate relationships between various composers and styles. The Vienna Schubert Trio played on two exceptionally fine string instruments from the collection of the Austrian National Bank: Boris Kuschnir plays on a violin by Antonius Stradivarius (1644-1737). It was built in 1698 in Cremona and is known as ‘La Rouse-Boughton’. Martin Hornstein plays on a cello by J. B. Guadagnini (1711-1786). It was built in 1743 in Piacenza and is known as the ‘ex van Zweyberg’.
"High-impact, masculine performance and recording."
This is full-blooded Schubert, richly recorded in a fairly up-front balance – for the strings in particular, and performed with passion and commitment. Right from the outset, the musicians of the Wiener Schubert Trio grab your attention in the dramatic opening of the Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat D.898, and the only real question is whether they will be able to hold it.