Pieter Wispelwey & Paolo Giacometti - F. Schubert, J. Brahms: The Complete Duos - Trocke Blumen (B-)

I listen to classical music more than any other genre for the simple fact that it compliments any mood and any setting (unless you’re trying to GO OFF on a Saturday night AM I RIGHT LADIEZ!?). Having said that it’s rare that I get to review an album as most of what I listen to is either classic works or film scores. So when I found out cellist Pieter Wispelwey and pianist Paolo Giacometti were coming out with their second album of works by composers Schubert and Brahms I was overjoyed. Both accomplished musicians in their own right they are once again at the top of their game here (their first album in the series Phantasie came out earlier this year), the two play and feed off each other beautifully, with energy and style to spare. They take slight liberties at times as the pieces were originally intended for the flute and piano but always stay within the scope of the material. I always loved hearing these great composers works when written for a smaller ensemble, the intimacy and complexity is on full display and you can’t help but feel it. “Trockne Blumen” (which translates to “Dry Flowers”) is the 18th song in the song cycle Die schöne Müllerin, which are a series of songs written by Schubert based on poems by Wilhelm Müller. In the first half of this album, Introduction and Variations on Trockne Blumen, he provides a set of songs based off of that single track (hence “…Variations”) to magnificent effect. The second half of the album is a series of sonatas and sonatinas from Brahms, and personally the half I preferred as it’s a bit more playful. Though this may not be your regular cup of tea I highly suggest giving this, and their first album together, a chance. I’m always amazed at the intricacies of works like this, a true labyrinth of sound. Absolutely astonishing. And with this only part two of the six part series we have a lot more music from this duo coming our way. As for the singles, if I can call them that, I've included one track from the first half and one from the second to give you an idea of both works.

For more information on the story the music tells as well as the poems that accompany it check out this link (https://betweentheledgerlines.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/schubert-introduction-variations-trockne-blumen-program-notes/) where it is explained much better and much simpler then I could ever imagine.