- Symphony No. 8 in B minor ("Unfinished"), D. 759
- Symphony No. 6 in C major ("Little C Major"), D. 589
Franz Schubert: Symphonies Nos. 6 "The Little" & 7 (8) "Unfinished"by Philippe Herreweghe
Philippe Herreweghe's 2011 recording of Franz Schubert's "Symphony No. 6 in C major, Little," and the "Symphony No. 7 in B minor, Unfinished," demonstrates the distinct stylistic differences between the works. Separated by four years (and ten attempted symphonic movements in the interim), the "Sixth" and "Seventh" show Schubert's undeniable evolution from a Classical symphonist who emulated Mozart's elegance, Beethoven's directness, and Rossini's humor, to a Romantic who had discovered a profoundly original voice, indebted to no one. Placing these works side by side also illustrates a problem of historically informed performance practice, insofar as the "Sixth" demands a fairly Classical period treatment, while the "Unfinished" allows more flexibility for conventional interpretation. Herreweghe is conscious of the music's needs in each case, so his approach in the "Sixth" is appropriate for its light textures and amiability, while his reading of the "Unfinished" is full-throated, passionate, and practically indistinguishable from mainstream performances, showing little of a revisionist attitude. The Royal Flemish Philharmonic is a modern orchestra, so the changes in playing style are entirely interpretive and not due to original instrumentation. One supposes that Herreweghe is able to coax any sound he desires from these musicians, so the skills of both conductor and orchestra make this a satisfying exploration of the two sides of Schubert. PentaTone's exceptional multichannel recording gives the music clarity, depth, and presence, so audiophiles will relish the fine details of these performances.
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Performance CreditsPhilippe Herreweghe Primary Artist
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