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Sakuntala Trio

Sakuntala Trio is a period instrument ensemble based in London, deriving its name from the unfinished opera by Franz Schubert. Like the opera, the string trio D471 has been left unfinished by the composer at the age of 19. Recorded on pure gut, period instruments and bows, this album sheds light from a new angle on a masterpiece yet unheard.

Sakuntala Trio was born as a result of the lockdown, uniting three notable chamber musicians well established in the London scene. The brusque stop from live concert activities offered the rare opportunity to rehearse the pieces for five months, meeting for a couple of days almost every week before visiting St Silas for the recording. They played all music very slowly, like a conversation where meaning sinks deeply, listening actively to every change of sound with the desire to make a world of difference, and in an idealistic mysterious way, a difference to the world. Such a task has presented them with a sense of purpose during times when identity as musicians was being questioned. It was both an untamed path to beauty and truth and the great challenge of bringing you music never previously heard and released.

Encounters with Schubert scholar Prof. Brian Newbould have been a priceless experience whilst approaching his completion of the B-flat Major D.471 trio with existent fragments of music by Schubert.

To be as close as possible to what the composers imagined, they have embraced the sound of the raspy gut strings, searching for the harmonic tensions and releases, speaking with the bow and looking for fresh meanings where rhetoric articulates the tempo and creates the flow of music.

Our deep heartfelt thank you goes to the other trio: Andrew Keener, Robin Hawkins and Matthew Swan who made this recording possible.

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