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BEZUIDENTROUT


KRISTIAN BEZUIDENHOUT PLAYS SCHUBERT

SCHUBERT

Piano Quintet in A major, D.667, 'The Trout' Die Forelle in D flat major, D.550

Recorded at Thames Rowing Club June 2021


Piano Solo Kristian Bezuidenhout Tenor Solo Guy Cutting Artistic Director/Viola Max Mandel Violin Matthew Truscott Cello Luise Buchberger Double Bass Christine Sticher

We are grateful for the support of Jenny and Tim Morrison and our friends at the Thames Rowing Club


PROGRAMME NOTES RIchard Bratby

QUINTET IN A FOR VIOLIN, VIOLA, CELLO, BASS AND PIANO D.667, 'THE TROUT' Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Allegro vivace Andante Scherzo: Presto Tema con variazioni: Andantino Allegro giusto Friendship inspired Schubert’s 'Trout' Quintet. It was written at the request of Sylvester Paumgartner, the assistant manager of an iron mine in Steyr, Upper Austria and a keen amateur cellist. Schubert and his friends often stayed with Paumgartner during their summer rambles through Austria - after all, as Schubert put it, “the countryside round Steyr is unimaginably lovely”. The friends regularly entertained themselves with chamber music, and on one of these visits (most probably in 1819) Paumgartner requested a piano quintet from Schubert with the same instrumentation as Hummel’s recently published Quintet Op.87. He also requested that one of the movements use the melody of Die Forelle – like many of Schubert’s friends, he was “quite taken with the delicate little song”. But that’s all we know of the Quintet until it appears for sale, a year after Schubert’s death, in a catalogue issued by the Viennese publisher Joseph Czerny. “Since this Quintet has already been performed in several circles at the publisher’s instigation, and declared by those musical connoisseurs present to be a masterpiece” he announces, “we deem it our duty to draw the musical public’s attention

to this latest work by the beloved composer”. Two centuries on, it might just be the world’s best-loved piece of chamber music: the perfect embodiment of the “music of friends”. No analysis, then – just a few waypoints worth mentioning, on this happiest of summer journeys. The exuberant opening flourish and its lyrical answer set the tone for the whole of the Allegro vivace, which bubbles along on a crystal-clear stream of piano semiquavers and triplets. The sweet, songful Andante opens in F major – the key of Beethoven’s Pastoral symphony – and Beethoven would have approved of the Scherzo’s energy, too – as well as its gleeful humour. And then we’re into the famous 'Forelle' variations, during which the melody is shared, naturally, between piano (Variation I), viola (Variation II), bass (Variation III) cello (Variation V) and violin and viola, as the piano finally plays the song’s original accompaniment. It’s so infectious that the finale - after beginning as the least martial Marche Militaire ever penned - can’t help but find room for the 'Forelle' theme as well. This is the kind of detail that musicologists like to hail as evidence of a formal breakthrough. If they haven’t, maybe it’s because it’s so indisputably clear that Schubert’s only serious purpose, as he brings his Quintet to a close, is to give delight.


DIE FORELLE IN D FLAT MAJOR D.550 Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

The social gatherings at which Schubert would play his latest compositions could occur in grand Viennese salons, or in a friend’s apartment with a plentiful supply of wine. Either way, invitations to these “Schubertiades” were highly prized in Schubert’s circle, where his song Die Forelle (written in 1817) was so popular that until it was published, in 1820, he often had to write it out for friends to take home. On one occasion he was in such a hurry to copy it out for his friend Josef Huttenbrenner (possibly he had enjoyed slightly too much hospitality) that instead of sprinkling sand over the wet ink, he spattered more ink instead. The resulting mess is still visible on the surviving manuscript. It’s easy to hear why it was such a hit. Schubert sets Christian Schubart’s (no relation) poem to a melody of quite irresistible freshness and charm, while the piano embodies both the sparkling stream and the darting, iridescent fish. Like so many of Schubert’s songs, it’s possible to hear it as a wry love-song. If so, it’s a remarkably cheerful one. Sometimes a trout really is just a trout…


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ABOUT THAMES ROWING CLUB Thames Rowing Club was founded in 1860 by a small group of men, chiefly clerks and salesmen in the city rag trade. They based themselves in Putney at Simmons Boathouse (where Chas Newens Marine is now situated) and a room at the Red Lion Hotel on Putney High Street. Their initial aim was the modest one of ‘organised pleasure or exercise rowing’. It would be 1864 before the club’s first recorded win, in a race against the Excelsior Boat Club of Greenwich. Thames won its first trophy at Henley Royal Regatta in 1870, taking the Wyfold Challenge Cup. By 1890 the club had won a further 21 Henley titles (including the Grand Challenge Cup four times) and was well-established in its own boathouse on Putney Embankment. In the 1920s the club had a second great flowering, and was the home of notable figures including legendary coach Steve Fairbairn and Britain’s greatest-ever single sculler, Jack Beresford, who won a total of three Olympic gold medals and two silver medals over five games. It would be 60 years before Steve Redgrave bettered his record. After World War II the club, like many others, struggled. A win in the Stewards’ Challenge Cup at Henley in 1956 was to be the last Henley trophy for 47 years, and by the early 1970s Thames’s role and future was in doubt. In 1973 Thames voted to accept women as members and the United Universities Women’s Boat Club moved into the boathouse. The club quickly became a powerhouse of women’s rowing, sending athletes to compete at every Olympic Games from Los Angeles to Beijing. In 2000 Guin and Miriam Batten were members of the quad which took silver in Sydney, Britain’s first-ever women’s rowing Olympic medal. Elise Laverick won bronze in the double at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Since the founding of Henley Women’s Regatta in 1987, the club has won there over 50 times, most recently winning both the senior single scull and elite lightweight pairs (in a record time) in 2017 and aspirational club eights in 2019. At Henley Royal Regatta, alongside many wins in composite crews, Thames won the highly competitive Remenham Challenge Cup for women’s eights outright in 2005. On the men’s side, a steady improvement from the late 1990s onwards culminated in an emphatic and highly emotional win in the Wyfold Challenge Cup at Henley in 2003, followed up by a further Wyfold win in 2006. From 2010 onwards the focus moved to the Thames Challenge Cup for club men’s eights. Thames made the semi-finals in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014, and reached the final in 2012, but it was not until 2015 that the club’s top 8 beat Rudern, Tennis und Hockey Club Bayer Leverkusen, Germany to take the Thames Cup. In 2016 Thames won the Visitors’ Challenge Cup for intermediate coxless fours in a dramatic final. The following year saw a historic Thames A vs Thames B final in the Thames Challenge Cup (spoiler: Thames won). In 2018 the club again won the Thames Cup, but also picked up its first-ever win in the Britannia Challenge Cup for club men’s coxed fours.




BEHIND THE SCENES Luise Buchberger OAE Principal Cello Schubert’s Trout Quintet is one of his most joyful and uplifting works, and its spirit

matched my state of mind when I met with my dear colleagues at the Thames Rowing Club in Putney.

The recording of this film was the first time I reunited with the OAE after a long absence. It wasn’t the pandemic only that kept me away from playing. In May 2020 my little son was

born and I had planned a break from concerts through to the autumn. In the end this break became much longer than expected, but I am counting my blessings as its timing couldn’t have been more fortunate for our new little family. Still, I had been longing to make music again, and I couldn’t have wished for a happier return. The joy of seeing my friends after

such a long time was enormous - I had almost forgotten what a thrill it is to play with them! Schubert wrote the Trout Quintet during a sunny period in his life, while on holiday in upper Austria in the summer 1819. Our film’s unusually idyllic location overlooking the riverbank felt like a suitable setting for the intimate conviviality of this wonderful piece.

And if we look a bit sweaty on the film that’s because we were - the recording days were sweltering hot and no amount of powder could keep the shine at bay!


BIOGRAPHIES

Kristian Bezuidenhout Kristian Bezuidenhout is one of today’s most notable and exciting keyboard artists, equally at home on the fortepiano, harpsichord, and modern piano. Kristian is an Artistic Director of the Freiburger Barockorchester and Principal Guest Director with the English Concert. He is a regular guest with leading ensembles including Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester; and has guest-directed (from the keyboard) the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Tafelmusik, Collegium Vocale, Juilliard 415, Kammerakademie Potsdam and Dunedin Consort (St Matthew Passion). He has performed with celebrated artists including John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Giovanni Antonini, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Alina Ibragimova, Carolyn Sampson, Anne Sofie von Otter, Mark Padmore and Matthias Goerne. Kristian's rich and award-winning discography on Harmonia Mundi includes the complete keyboard music of Mozart. Recent releases include Winterreise with Mark Padmore, Bach sonatas for violin and harpsichord with Isabelle Faust and a recording of Haydn piano sonatas.

In the 20/21 season, Kristian appears as a soloist with Essener Philharmoniker under Richard Egarr, Les Arts Florissants under William Christie, Kammerorchester Basel under Giovanni Antonini, Orchestre National de France under Emmanuel Krivine and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under Klaus Makela. His play-direct visits include Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Concerto Copenhagen, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Freiburger Barockorchester and English Concert. Kristian gives solo recitals, continues his close recital partnership with Anne Sofie von Otter and new collaborations with Voces 8 and Niek Baar.


Guy Cutting British tenor Guy Cutting was a chorister and later a choral scholar at New College, Oxford where he gained a first-class degree in Music. In 2013 he became the inaugural recipient of the American Bach Soloists' Jeffrey Thomas Award and he is currently a Rising Star of the Enlightenment. His engagements have included appearances with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, Collegium Vocale Gent, Gabrieli Consort, Choir of New College, Ludus Baroque, Le Concert Lorrain, Monteverdi Choir, Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht, De Nederlandse Bachvereniging, A Nocte Temporis, the Oxford Bach Soloists, Swedish Baroque Orchestra, Real Filharmonia de Galicia, American Bach Soloists, Ensemble Cantatio and The Instruments of Time and Truth. He counts amongst his musical collaborators conductors John Butt, Marcus Creed, Laurence Cummings, Steven Devine, Tom Hammond-Davies, Philippe Herreweghe, Edward Higginbottom, Robert Howarth, Paul McCreesh, Jeffrey Thomas, Reinoud Van Mechelen, Owen Rees and Jos van Veldhoven. He is particularly in demand for his interpretations of Bach and the other baroque masters.

Guy is a member of Damask Vocal Quartet and he has recorded Scarlatti and Handel on the Avie label, Charpentier, Couperin, Blow and Mozart for Novum and Gabriel Jackson Passion for Delphian. Film projects include Bach Cantatas with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Steven Devine and Schubert with Kristian Bezuidenhout.


“Not all orchestras are the same” Three decades ago, a group of inquisitive London musicians took a long hard look at that curious institution we call the Orchestra, and decided to start again from scratch. They began by throwing out the rulebook. Put a single conductor in charge? No way. Specialise in repertoire of a particular era? Too restricting. Perfect a work and then move on? Too lazy. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was born. And as this distinctive ensemble playing on period-specific instruments began to get a foothold, it made a promise to itself. It vowed to keep questioning, adapting and inventing as long as it lived. Those original instruments became just one element of its quest for authenticity. Baroque and Classical music became just one strand of its repertoire. Every time the musical establishment thought it had a handle on what the OAE was all about, the ensemble pulled out another shocker: a Symphonie Fantastique here, some conductor-less Bach there. All the while, the Orchestra’s players called the shots. At first it felt like a minor miracle. Ideas and talent were plentiful; money wasn’t. Somehow, the OAE survived to a year. Then to two. Then to five. It began to make benchmark recordings and attract the finest conductors. It became the toast of the European touring circuit. It bagged distinguished residencies at Southbank Centre and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. It began, before long, to thrive. And then came the real challenge. The ensemble’s musicians were branded eccentric idealists. And that they were determined to remain. In the face of the music industry’s big guns, the OAE kept its head. It got organised but remained experimentalist. It sustained its founding drive but welcomed new talent. It kept on exploring performance formats, rehearsal approaches and musical techniques. It searched for the right repertoire, instruments and approaches with even greater resolve. It kept true to its founding vow.

In some small way, the OAE changed the classical music world too. It challenged those distinguished partner organisations and brought the very best from them, too. Symphony and opera orchestras began to ask it for advice. Existing period instrument groups started to vary their conductors and repertoire. New ones popped up all over Europe and America. And so the story continues, with ever more momentum and vision. The OAE’s series of nocturnal Night Shift performances have redefined concert parameters. Its former home at London’s Kings Place has fostered further diversity of planning and music-making. The ensemble has formed the bedrock for some of Glyndebourne’s most ground-breaking recent productions. In keeping with its values of always questioning, challenging and trailblazing, in September 2020, the OAE became the resident orchestra of Acland Burghley School, Camden. The residency – a first for a British orchestra – allows the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightment to live, work and play amongst the students of the school. Remarkable people are behind it. Simon Rattle, the young conductor in whom the OAE placed so much of its initial trust, still cleaves to the ensemble. Iván Fischer, the visionary who punted some of his most individual musical ideas on the young orchestra, continues to challenge it. Mark Elder still mines it for luminosity, shade and line. Vladimir Jurowski, the podium technician with an insatiable appetite for creative renewal, has drawn from it some of the most revelatory noises of recent years. And, most recently, it’s been a laboratory for John Butt’s most exciting Bach experiments. All five of them share the title Principal Artist. Of the instrumentalists, many remain from those brave first days; many have come since. All seem as eager and hungry as ever. They’re offered ever greater respect, but continue only to question themselves. Because still, they pride themselves on sitting ever so slightly outside the box. They wouldn’t want it any other way. ©Andrew Mellor



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WE MOVED INTO A SCHOOL We are thrilled to announce that we are now the resident orchestra of Acland Burghley School in Camden, North London. The residency – a first for a British orchestra – allows us to live, work and play amongst the students of the school. Three offices have been adapted for our administration team, alongside a recording studio and library. We use the Grade II listed school assembly hall as a rehearsal space, with plans to refurbish it under the school’s ‘A Theatre for All’ project, so for the first time, we will all be in the same place: players, staff and library! Crispin Woodhead, our chief executive who came up with the idea of a new partnership, says: “Our accommodation at Kings Place was coming to an agreed end and we needed to find a new home. I felt that we should not settle for a conventional office space solution. We already had a strong relationship with many schools in Camden through our education programme and our appeal hit the desk of Kat Miller, director of operations at Acland Burghley School. She was working on ways to expand the school’s revenue from its resources and recognised that their excellent school hall might be somewhere we could rehearse. It felt like a thunderbolt and meant we wanted to find a way for this place to be our home, and embark on this new adventure to challenge and transform the way we engage with young adults.” The school isn't just our landlord or physical home. Instead, it will offer the opportunity to build on twenty years of work in the borough through OAE’s long-standing partnership with Camden Music. Having already worked in eighteen of the local primary schools that feed into ABS, the plans moving forward are to support music and arts across the school into the wider community. This new move underpins our core ‘enlightenment’ mission of reaching as wide an audience as possible. A similar project was undertaken in 2015 in Bremen, Germany. The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie moved into a local comprehensive school in a deprived area and the results were described as “transformational”, with improved academic performance, language skills, mental health and IQ scores; reputational benefits; greater interest in and engagement with music among pupils; strengthened links between school, orchestra and community; and even, according to some of the musicians who took part, an improvement in the Kammerphilharmonie’s playing. Margaret Faultless, OAE leader and violinist, said: “As classical musicians, it can often feel as though we exist in a bubble. I think I can speak for the whole Orchestra when I say that we’re all looking forward to this new adventure. We are all used to meeting with people from outside the classical music world of course, but the value of our new project lies in the long-term work we’ll be doing at the school and the relationship that will hopefully develop between the students, their parents and teachers and the orchestra.” “The members of the Bremen Kammerphilharmonie said their experience actually improved them as an orchestra and I think the same will happen to us over the next five or so years, and it will remind all of us of the reasons we make music, which are sometimes easy to forget, especially in our strange and troubled times.” continues Margaret. “I am certainly looking forward to learning from the young people at Acland Burghley and in turn introducing them to the joys of our music and music-making.” The move has been made possible with a leadership grant of £120,000 from The Linbury Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. Their support is facilitating the move to the school and underwriting the first three years of education work.


OAE EDUCATION A PROGRAMME TO INVOLVE, EMPOWER AND INSPIRE Over the past twenty years OAE Education has grown in stature and reach to involve thousands of people nationwide in creative music projects. Our participants come from a wide range of backgrounds and we pride ourselves in working flexibly, adapting to the needs of local people and the places they live. The extensive partnerships we have built up over many years help us engage fully with all the communities where we work to ensure maximum and lasting impact. We take inspiration from the OAE's repertoire, instruments and players. This makes for a vibrant, challenging and engaging programme where everyone is involved; players, animateurs, composers, participants, teachers, partners and stakeholders all have a valued voice.

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The OAE is a registered charity number 295329 Registered company number 2040312. Acland Burghley School, 93 Burghley Road, London NW5 1UH 0208 159 9310 | info@oae.co.uk Photography | Zen Grisdale