These two tremendous piano trios, of symphonic proportions, are deceptive. The movements begin innocently enough, but then develop searing power and passion. The period instruments here, led by a crystal-clear copy of an 1827 Graf piano with a pinging staccato, thin out the music and lend it a brittle, sharp attack. The funeral march of the E flat Trio Op 100 is especially striking, and there is a heart-stopping moment in the finale where Schubert brings back the funeral music, then twists the ending into the major key. In the B flat Trio Op 99 the cello is sometimes undernourished, but the rest is freshly, originally eloquent. In the eerie single-movement Notturno, Schubert pierces the heart.
Nicholas Kenyon is managing director of the Barbican Centre and was director of the BBC Proms from 1996 to 2007. He wrote the Faber Pocket Guide to Mozart