Piano Quintet in A major D.667 ('Trout')
Franz Schubert

77

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The highest of Schubert's 7 entries in the Ultimate Hall of Fame, this peaked at number 27 in the first chart back in 1996 and slipped to its lowest ever position of 182 in the most recent poll.

One of Schubert's best-loved works, the material for the famous 4th movement of the Quintet is based on Schubert's earlier song, Die Forelle (The Trout).

The poem on which the song is based mentions a 'capricious trout', perhaps reflected in the technically challenging and interweaving parts in the Quintet. Another line describes the 'clear little brook' and the rising and falling patterns in the piano part depict the water bubbling.

The instrumentation of the Quintet is remarkable: piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass. Replacing the traditional second violin with a double bass adds extra depth and a rich sonority to the bass line.