Today remixing a track is a popular way to keep making money off a big hit. An artist will remix a track to sound better in dance clubs, incorporate other artists (especially lesser-known artists), or to create different stereo/surround sound effects. It makes a lot of sense: if you have a great song, remixing is a way to reach into new markets and connect with more people.
For some reason or another, remixing is commonly thought of as a modern practice. I think Shubert’s “Die Forelle/The Trout” might beg the question of whether the practice has been around a lot longer. Not only does Schubert’s Quintet in a major incorporate themes from his earlier leid (a German song style) “Die Forelle,” but this composition brings his work to a broader classical audience. He expands and embellishes in a way that, to my ear, is much more evidently related to “Die Forelle” than comparable classical compositions in the same vein. That may be my kind way of saying that these variations sound rather base: thinly veiled depictions that are so blatantly apparent I’d guess children could make sense of it (just as in the case with remixes of today).
That’s not to say that the Quintet is at all simplistic or derivative. In fact, it was precisely this character of Schubert’s music – complex compositions that were deceptively easy to listen to – which won him so much praise by critics from Beethoven and Mendelssohn to the present day. We have an upcoming “remix” in our March 16th program: Dan Welcher incorporates themes from Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin in Mill Songs for oboe and bassoon, written for ensemble oboist John Snow. For tickets and information, visit musicaloffering.org/tickets.
Enjoy these live recordings of The Musical Offering performing “Die Forelle” next to the fourth movement from Schubert’s Quintet in a major “The Trout” from our January 26th Schubertiade. Philip Zawisza and Timothy Lovelace perform “Die Forelle” and the artists performing the ‘remix’ are Celine Leathead, violin, Sifei Cheng, viola, Jim Jacobson, cello, David Williamson, bass, and Susan Billmeyer, piano.
*If you do not see a play icon below in the embedded media player, click to the left of 00:00, and the tracks should begin to play.
Quintet in a major, Mvt. 4: