Schubert: Symphonies Nos. 8 & No. 9

Sir Charles Mackerras & Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Schubert Symphonies Nos 8 No 9
  • CAT # 80502-25

    1. Schubert: Symphony No. 9 "The Great:" I. Andante - Allegro ma non troppo 15:48
    2. Schubert: Symphony No. 9 "The Great:" II. Andante con moto 14:18
    3. Schubert: Symphony No. 9 "The Great:" III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace 9:46
    4. Schubert: Symphony No. 9 "The Great:" IV. Finale: Allegro vivace 15:00
    5. Schubert: Symphony No. 8 "Unfinished:" I. Allegro moderato 14:03
    6. Schubert: Symphony No. 8 "Unfinished:" II. Andante con moto 10:31

After enjoying tremendous success for their Brahms symphony cycle on Telarc (upcoming will be a recording of the Serenades), Sir Charles and the SCO assay two of Schubert's greatest works. Sir Charles, as always, has done extensive research and study of Schubert's scores, and has uncovered new insights into both tempo and interpretation of these symphonies, which are both presented on one CD.

The SCO uses the same number of strings that orchestras of Schubert's time would employ, and as usual, play narrow-bore trombones, and natural trumpets and horns.

In "The Great" C Major Symphony, Sir Charles noticed that in the original score, the opening time signature is marked with the sign used for "Alla Breve," rather than the sign used for the customary four beats to the bar. Playing the introductory passage in two rather than in four affects the playing of the following Allegro section, according to Sir Charles.

He also addresses the issue of completion of the "Unfinished" Symphony, stating that he has in the past rounded out the two extant movements by including the Scherzo (left mainly unorchestrated) and a Finale from the incidental music to "Rosamunde." "However," he says, "the beauty of the end of the second movement seems so conclusive that nothing can follow it convincingly."

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