VIDEO: MUSICAL JOURNEYS | Church of St Ulrich and Excavations at Lavant
The Dolomites, which take their name from that of the 18th-century French geologist Dieudonné Dolomieu, offer strange pinnacles of stone in curious rock formations. The landscape ranges from the lower wooded slopes to the bare rock of the highest mountains, the foliage showing autumn colours. The Church of St Ulrich, with its graveyard, is near the excavations at Lavant, where archaeologists have uncovered the remains of late Roman occupation, although the area also has evidence of much earlier settlements.
Schubert: Piano Trio No. 2 in E flat major, D. 929, Op. 100 – I. Allegro
Schubert seemed on the verge of significant success at the time of his death in 1828. His brief career was largely spent in Vienna, where he had been born in 1797, but overshadowed in his final years by illness. Lacking distinguished patronage, he was unable to take the risk of a concert devoted to his work until March 1828, an event that proved both successful and profitable, but by the autumn his health had weakened, the consequence of a venereal infection contracted six years earlier. He died on 19th November 1828. The Piano Trio No. 2 in E flat major, D929, with Piano Trio No.2 in B flat major, D898, and the posthumously published Notturno, D897, were probably written late in 1827. The second of the two completed piano trios, a work for which Schumann expressed a general preference over the first of the two, finding it more spirited, masculine and dramatic in tone, was first performed at a private party in January 1828 to celebrate the engagement of Schubert’s school-friend Josef von Spaun and formed part of the public concert of Schubert’s music in March. It was given its first private performance by distinguished performers, the pianist Karl Maria von Bocklet, with the violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh and the cellist Josef Linke. At the public concert in March Schuppanzigh, who was indisposed, was replaced by the violinist, Josef Böhm. The trio was published by Probst in Leipzig, the first of Schubert’s compositions to attract the attention of a foreign publisher, in October 1828. The first movement starts with an immediate call to our attention and a first subject of dramatic outline leads to a more lyrical second theme, introduced by the cello, closely followed by the violin. The thematic material of the exposition is duly explored in the central development with its shifts of key, followed by a recapitulation.
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