We’re looking forward to this Sunday 31 January, when we celebrate Schubert’s birthday by re-visiting David Owen Norris and the Jupiter Ensemble performing the composer’s famous Trout Quintet. Originally recorded as a livestream at Turner Sims on Sunday 4 October, the broadcast is available for free for one day only – and we hope you will join us!
Schubert wrote this masterpiece of the chamber repertoire when he was just 22. It got its name because the fourth movement is a set of variations on an earlier Schubert song called (funnily enough) The Trout. The song was originally a warning to young women against being ‘caught’ by ‘angling’ young men. But Schubert didn’t set the final lines of the poem, preferring to concentrate on evoking the image of the trout in water and the reaction to it being caught by a fisherman.
As our thoughts this week turn to all things fishy, we talk to Tim Lowden, Music Director of Stockbridge Music, whose patron is David Owen Norris. In addition to programming the Stockbridge concert series, he is a keen angler.
TS: What do you like about angling?
TL: Angling is very peaceful on rivers offering lovely gentle views. There is always something going on in and around the river.
TS: Tell us about the first time you caught a trout…
TL: My first fish was memorable. You fish upstream and so I was behind it. It was on the surface feeding. I cast my first fly over it -nothing. After repeating the exercise three times I changed my fly. It took it! There is a saying, ‘match the hatch’.
TS: Do you listen to music while angling?
TL: I don’t listen to music whilst I am fishing, the river provides all the noises I need.
TS: What makes Hampshire so special for trouts? We heard that Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler recommends our local rivers…
TL: Brown trout can survive in both salt and fresh water. However the trout in the Test spend their entire lives in the river. Sea Trout, as they are called, are larger and live in and around the estuaries – this is a different type of fishing. At the end of the ice age, some 10,000 years ago, the brown trout decided to move inland, and over the ages water management has made it extremely attractive to the trout as there is plenty of food, flies and other insects.