Why I love chamber music more than orchestral music

I don’t think that anything so tender, tragic or complete as Schubert’s String Quintet in C exists in the orchestral repertoire. And nowhere else will you find such passion, love and involvement as among the musicians who play it. An (unidentified) musician from a Radio 4 documentary about the Quintet:

“The expression also comes, I suppose, from loving the music and loving to play with those particular players enough to give away your personality to what they want to do at any given time. So, if you imagine, in the quintet, all five players have the leading voice at different points and you have to be confident enough and love the other four enough to trust them to take you where they want. You need imagination in the players – something that’s not routine, something that’s not “we’ve done this before. We know this piece”. And yet you have to have done it before, you have to know this piece. And yet you have to have a free mind…”

This is brilliant radio (which will presumably have been overwritten by the next programme in the series by now. How annoying is that?). Update: Sure enough, the Schubert programme has been replaced by a George Formby programme.

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