In March 1828, Franz Schubert gave the only public concert of his lifetime before his untimely death later that year, aged just 31. The concert’s centerpiece, completed months earlier, was his Second Piano Trio in E-flat, one of the last pieces he would ever write. Among the hundreds of works that comprise his enduring legacy, few are as widely heard and treasured by contemporary audiences as this Trio, especially the Andante. Featured prominently as a love theme in Stanley Kubrick’s 1975 film Barry Lyndon, it has since appeared in dozens of films and programs, always retaining its air of melancholy and mystery.
Like much of Schubert’s later output, the Trio is tonally complex, romantic, and extraordinarily rich, passing seamlessly between passages of light and dark and, in a move uncommon at the time, recalling motifs from previous movements—as when the Andante’s theme returns at the end of the Allegro moderato to bring the work to a satisfying conclusion. The well-loved Trio receives a fresh treatment here in the deft and capable hands of the Trio Messaien, winners of the 2018 Lyon International Chamber Music Competition.
Photo: Trio Messiaen © Photographie CIMCL 2018
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Rencontres Musicales d’Évian 2016
Verbier Festival 2014
Recorded at the Paris Salle Pleyel