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Understanding musical scores
Understanding musical scores

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3.1.1 Introducing new genres

Last week you were introduced to a set of variations for piano. This movement for piano quintet is also a set of variations, but instead of using a simple folk song for the theme, Schubert uses one of his own compositions, a song called Die Forelle or The Trout, hence the nickname for the quintet.

Schubert was a genius at song writing and his lieder (the German word for songs and, more specifically, art songs) create miniature sound worlds that really capture the meanings of the lyrics. The original song is about a wily trout that evades the fisherman, and has some cheeky hidden meanings. The mood of the words is reflected in a jaunty melody with a rippling piano part that ‘paints’ a picture of a fast-flowing river. You might like to download a PDF with both the original German and an English translation of the words [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   .

Once you have listened to Schubert’s song, you can compare it to the beginning of the quintet that you saw in the video at the beginning of the week, where he converts it for use with instruments.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: ianbostridgedieforelle.mp3
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