Composer: Franz Schubert (b. 1797 - d. 1828)
Performance date: 28/06/2014
Venue: St. Brendan’s Church
Composition Year: 1828
Recording Engineer: Richard McCullough, RTE
Instrumentation Other: 2pf
Philippe Cassard -
Cédric Pescia - [piano]
Schubert’s last work for piano duet is one of his
loveliest; it is disarmingly simple at first but builds into a deeply moving
sequence of variants, often in unexpected keys. The duettists present a slow,
almost naïive melody, rather like a plaintive song in its arching lines.
Schubert then treats it to a series of variations with each new version being
followed by a return to the opening rondo tune. There are wonderfully
imaginative explorations of the material each time, with a pastoral setting, a
stormy sequence, some lively staccato-based ideas and an expansive final
version which broadens out into a deeply-moving, prayer-like climax. Schubert completed the
Rondo just five months before his death on November 19th, 1828. It
had been commissioned by the publisher Artaria, to whom it was passed on; he
provided the title of Grand Rondeau.
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