Schubert: The Symphonies

Schubert: The Symphonies

by Claudio Abbado


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Schubert: The Symphonies

Sets of Franz Schubert's complete symphonies fall into two categories, either presenting the "Symphonies, Nos. 1-6"; the two movements of the "Symphony No. 8, Unfinished"; and the "Symphony No. 9, Great," with or without miscellaneous filler pieces, or, more innovatively, offering all of the above, a reconstruction of the sketches for the "Symphony No. 7," and a completion of the last two movements of the "Unfinished." While the latter would be best represented by Neville Marriner's fascinating box set on Philips, which includes even sketches for unnumbered symphonies and a "Symphony No. 10," most sets follow the first and simpler layout, without any speculation over what Schubert might have written, and focus instead on the masterworks that are beyond any dispute. Claudio Abbado's set for Deutsche Grammophon basically belongs in the first category, because none of the sketches are bothered with. However, along with its unsurprising choice of the "Rosamunde Overture" as filler, the orchestrated "Grand Duo Sonata in C major" makes a rare appearance. This work was originally composed for piano duet, but the famous violinist Joseph Joachim arranged it in 1855, and it is the best-known orchestral treatment of this large-scale keyboard work. It has features common to Schubert's symphonic style of his last years and is fairly convincing for its resemblances in lyrical flow to the "Unfinished" and in its expansive framework to the "Great." Abbado's performances with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe are first-rate readings that have fresh touches that keep the listener alert for novelty, and the orchestra plays with spontaneity and warmth. Deutsche Grammophon's reproduction is exceptional, as always.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/19/2010
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
UPC: 0028947786870
catalogNumber: 001476902
Rank: 145571


  1. Die Zauberharfe, melodrama, D. 644: Overture
  2. Symphony No. 9 in C major ("The Great"), D. 944
  3. Sonata for piano, 4 hands in C major ("Grand Duo"), D. 812 (Op. posth. 140)
  4. Symphony No. 8 in B minor ("Unfinished"), D. 759: 2. Andante con moto
  5. Symphony No. 8 in B minor ("Unfinished"), D. 759: 1. Allegro moderato
  6. Symphony No. 6 in C major ("Little C Major"), D. 589
  7. Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, D. 485
  8. Symphony No. 4 in C minor ("Tragic"), D. 417
  9. Symphony No. 3 in D major, D. 200
  10. Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, D. 125
  11. Symphony No. 1 in D major, D. 82

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