Schumann: Complete Piano Trios, Complete String Quartets, Fantasiestücke Op.88

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Composer: Robert Schumann
Artist: Quartetto Savinio
Matteo Fossi (piano)

Schumann composed his three string quartets and the Fantasiestücke Op.88 in his ‘chamber music year’ of 1842, while preparing for the two oratorios which he regarded as his greatest work in any medium, Paradise and the Peri (1843) and the Scenes from Goethe’s Faust, which preoccupied him on and off for the next decade. Posterity has however been less kind to these large-scale summations than the song cycles and chamber works, such as those recorded here, in which the composer’s obsessive reworking of small motifs finds consistently impassioned expression.

As befits their place within the canon of the genre, the string quartets are often densely and contrapuntally worked, whereas the piano-trio Fantasiestücke are more characteristic of Schumann the lyric poet, whether for voice or instruments. These
four pieces are cast as a sonata manqué, with a soulful prelude, lively Scherzo, yearning duet for the two string instruments and combative finale. They have not received the attention they deserve from either performers or listeners, but they are fully the equal of the three piano trios proper in which, according to Alfred Einstein, can best be heard the composer’s self-declared dual nature as both Florestan and Eusebius, impetuous man of action and melancholy dreamer. Joy and exuberance are their keynotes.

Tracklist:
00:00:00 String Quartet No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 41: I. Introduzione. Andante espressivo – Allegro
00:09:11 String Quartet No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 41: II. Scherzo. Presto
00:13:01 String Quartet No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 41: III. Adagio
00:18:37 String Quartet No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 41: IV. Presto
00:25:06 String Quartet No. 3 in A Major, Op. 41: I. Andante espressivo – Allegro molto moderato
00:32:43 String Quartet No. 3 in A Major, Op. 41: II. Assai agitato
00:39:12 String Quartet No. 3 in A Major, Op. 41: III. Adagio molto
00:47:08 String Quartet No. 3 in A Major, Op. 41: IV. Finale. Allegro molto vivace
00:54:00 String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op. 41: I. Allegro vivace
00:59:46 String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op. 41: II. Andante, quasi variazioni
01:07:28 String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op. 41: III. Scherzo. Presto
01:10:44 String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op. 41: IV. Allegro molto vivace
01:17:51 Piano Trio No. 2 in F Major, Op. 80: I. Sehr Lebhaft
01:25:24 Piano Trio No. 2 in F Major, Op. 80: II. Mit innigem Ausdruck
01:32:42 Piano Trio No. 2 in F Major, Op. 80: III. In mässiger Bewegung
01:38:03 Piano Trio No. 2 in F Major, Op. 80: IV. Nicht zu rasch
01:43:39 Fantasiestücke in A Minor, Op.88: I. Romanze. Nicht schnell, mit innigem Ausdruck
01:45:57 Fantasiestücke in A Minor, Op.88: II. Humoreske. Lebhaft
01:52:52 Fantasiestücke in A Minor, Op.88: III. Duett. Langsam und mit Ausdruck
01:56:03 Fantasiestücke in A Minor, Op.88: IV. Finale. In Marsch-Tempo
02:01:58 Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63: I. Mit Energie und Leidenschaft
02:14:00 Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63: II. Lebhaft, doch nicht zu rasch
02:18:44 Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63: III. Langsam, mit inniger Empfindung
02:23:49 Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63: IV. Mit Feuer
02:31:43 Piano Trio No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 110: I. Bewegt, doch nicht zu rasch
02:41:06 Piano Trio No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 110: II. Ziemlich langsam – Etwas bewegter – Schneller – Erstes Tempo
02:46:43 Piano Trio No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 110: III. Rasch
02:50:51 Piano Trio No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 110: IV. Kräftig, mit Humor

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