In the final years of his brief life, Franz Schubert wrote some of the greatest chamber music in the literature. Yet these masterpieces, including three string quartets and a string quintet, remained virtually unknown for a quarter of a century after his birth. It was only when Josef Hellmesberger began his subscription quartet concerts at the Wiener Musikverein in 1849 that Schubert's true stature began to be appreciated so that people no longer saw him as a kind of amiable Biedermeier figure, scribbling songs on table napkins or scraps of paper but as a major composer. This 2CD set, issued as part of a survey of the Vienna Philharmonic Quartet's Decca recordings, include the familiar 'Death and the Maiden' Quartet, the little 'Quartettsatz' and the sublime String Quintet (with cellist Richard Harand). These recordings have historic significance, as the last gasp of a Viennese style of string playing in Schubert which stemmed from before World War II. All, except for D.810, make their first international appearance on CD. This recording of the String Quintet was, incidentally, chosen by Sir Colin Davis on BBC's 'Desert Island Discs'.