Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
Symphonies Nos. 3–5
Thomas Dausgaard, cond; Swedish CO
BIS 1786 (80:58)
“Damn Schubert! He wrote two symphonies, one unfinished and the other endless!” Those remarks have been attributed to Joseph Leibovici, an exasperated violinist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra who reputedly uttered
them years ago. Actually, depending upon whom you wish to believe, he wrote eight, nine, or 10 of them. With the demotion of the Symphony No. 7, D 729, to fragment status because Schubert never finished orchestrating it (orchestrations by Felix Weingartner and Brian Newbould have been recorded), the prevailing number has gone from nine to eight. There have been also those, including someone as reputable as Donald Tovey, who suspected that the so-called “Grand Duo,” D 812 is actually a piano score to a lost symphony written in Gmunden-Gastein to which Otto Deutsch, just in case, assigned the number D 849. Orchestrations by Joseph Joachim and Raymond Leppard have both been recorded but the manuscript, which still exists, is plainly titled “Sonate für Piano zu 4 Händen,” not “Symphony,” and the alleged symphony has never turned up.
The three symphonies on this CD were all written when Schubert was a teenager and he never heard them performed by a professional group. Although possibly influenced by current musicological practices and performed by what is designated as a “chamber orchestra,” these swift, beautifully recorded performances are not small-scaled by any means and the string players, if they don’t exactly pour it on, do make discreet use of vibrato. All repeats are observed. Those who, like me, have old scores, will note that Dausgaard skips the first repeat in the second movement of the Third Symphony, which was subsequently deemed to be not authentic. Older recordings, like Beecham’s, will observe it, but there’s no need to dump your Beecham recordings of the Third and Fifth—despite not being musicologically “hip,” they have charms all their own.
FANFARE: James Miller
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 3 in D major, D 200 by Franz Schubert
Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria
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