There was a time when chamber ensembles would devote entire recitals to the music of Franz Schubert - at times lieder, at times instrumental works, and at times a combination of both - recitals termed Schubertiades. This new CD takes advantage of that concept and offers not only a fresh and gleamingly elegant performance of the very well known Trout Quintet (Piano Quintet in A), but also offers a rarity in the transcription of works from Schubert's song cycle 'Die schöne Müllerin' for violin and piano.
The well known artists in this recording are of course the Brothers Capuçon - Renaud Capuçon, violin and Gautier Capuçon, cello - and Frank Braley, piano. The quintet is rounded out with violist Gérard Caussé and bass Alois Posch and together this ensemble sounds as though it has played together for many years. The Trout Quintet is often recorded and there are many exemplary performances of it still available. But few have the sparkle and inherent ease of performance that this ensemble offers. The music sings, the individual artists support their solo lines with grace, and the recorded sound is well balanced with a fine presence.
For many the reason for electing to add another Trout Quintet to the library will be the performance of Renaud Capuçon and Frank Braley in the transcriptions of 'Die schöne Müllerin' - 'Variations for violin and piano on 'Trockne Blumen'. This song cycle is often performed by vocalists and the selections transcribed will be very familiar to most. It is refreshing and a pleasure to hear works we know in one manner performed by other instruments, and the result here is most satisfying. As an encore to the Schubertiade Frank Braley and Renaud Capuçon offer 'Litanei auf das Fest Allerseelen', a work far too seldom heard. This is a very satisfying Schubert recital from every aspect. Grady Harp, May 11