Schubert, Berio Symphonies
Christoph König / Solistes Européens, Luxembourg Conductor / ensemble

June 2018

Just before his death in 1828 at the age of just 31, Franz Schubert was at work on his 10th Symphony in D major D936a, and had signed up for counterpoint lessons with Simon Sechter, who later taught the young Anton Bruckner. The 10th was destined to become yet another unfinished Schubert work, and his 6th unfinished symphony, but the extensive sketches are fascinating and show Schubert clearly moving into new sound worlds that anticipate Mahler in the central slow movement. Berio’s ingenious work ‘Rendering’ brings Schubert’s sketches alive by creating a new work around and within the framework of the unfinished symphony.

Schubert’s last completed symphony, his 9th – known as the ‘Great C major’ – was completed in 1825–6 and represented the end of a long struggle to produce a ‘great symphony’. Two unfinished works are its direct predecessors, the 7th in E major and the famous 8th ‘Unfinished symphony‘, both works on an expansive scale. The 9th is remarkable for the rhythmic drive of tiny filigree motifs that multiply and climax into great dramatic moments. It had to wait 11 years after the composer’s death for its premiere, conducted by Mendelssohn.

  1. Berio: Rendering - I Allegro 9.59
  2. Berio: Rendering - II Andante 10.31
  3. Berio: Rendering - III Allegro 13.07
  4. Schubert: Symphony No.9 in C major ‘Great’ D944 - I Andante – Allegretto’ ma non troppo 11.49
  5. Schubert: Symphony No.9 in C major ‘Great’ D944 - II Andante con moto 12.53
  6. Schubert: Symphony No.9 in C major ‘Great’ D944 - III Scherzo (Allegro vivace) 8.29
  7. Schubert: Symphony No.9 in C major ‘Great’ D944 - IV Allegro vivace 11.34

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