Schubert: Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'

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Furtwängler conducts Schubert

Furtwängler conducts Schubert


Schubert:

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'

10 February 1952

Symphony No. 9 in C major, D944 'The Great'

December 1951


John Ardoin writes in his note: "[In 1950] Furtwängler made his only studio version of the Eighth, and its sound is surprisingly harsh (with the Vienna strings more glassy than glossy), and the performance unexpectedly exaggerated in many places. Luckily, this EMI recording is not our principal means of measuring Furtwängler and the Eighth. Offsetting it is the more fluid and spontaneous live performance issued by DG from a live concert in Berlin in 1952. All the qualities that Furtwängler seems to have been reaching for in the score come to fruition here. From the opening, with its freedom of phrase, there is a feeling of being present at the birth of an original and poetic entity. The famous G major melody in particular has a unique, living sway to it, and not once does Furtwängler's imagination flag. During the course of this individual performance, one hears every detail in the score in miraculous balance." As to the major work on this CD, he writes, "Despite the magisterial results [Furtwängler] often achieves, no one performance stands out as ideal, though oddly enough his single studio performance (DG) comes closest to tying up all the work's loose ends and creating a consistently expressive whole."

Both performances have been re-processed with state-of-the-art digital technology.

Music & Arts - MACD1218

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Sir Georg Solti conducts Beethoven & Schubert

Sir Georg Solti conducts Beethoven & Schubert


Beethoven:

Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21

Royal Albert Hall, London 1978

Schubert:

Symphony No. 6 in C major, D589

Orchestra Hall, Chicago 1979

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'

Orchestra Hall, Chicago 1979


One of the legendary liaisons of the 20th century between conductor and orchestra is that of Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Solti himself described it as a "love affair".

Solti, one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, was a testament to the elegance and impeccable taste of Central European music making. His remarkable partnership with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra began in 1954; he was named Music Director in 1969 and held this post for a phenomenal 22 years.

Beethoven's beautiful First Symphony is sometimes labelled a 'fitting farewell to the 18th-century'.

Schubert composed his 'Unfinished' Symphony No.8 at the tender age of 25. After it was discovered and performed 37 years after his death, it quickly became one of the most universally beloved works in the symphonic repertoire.

BONUS: Sir Georg Solti gives a very personal introduction to Schubert's Symphonies "There is no limit to the orchestra's technical ability; the only limit is the conductor's imagination, and the musicians love to be stretched to the limit, to improve the performance…My philosophy became 'Let them play'." Sir Georg Solti

“Solti comes across vividly: lean, watchful, not without charm (more in Beethoven than in Schubert). The Chicagoans, though, look as impassive as the old VPO and only more woman-friendly by a margin of one.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2008 ***

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Schubert - Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9

Schubert - Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9


Schubert:

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'

Symphony No. 9 in C major, D944 'The Great'


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."

“Mackerras offers a crisply vivid interpretration [of No. 9], classily played in period style by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra” Classic FM Magazine, August 2011

“here are all the nuances of tempo and dynamics in performances which, though hardly suggesting a switch to a ‘post-Wagnerian’ viewpoint, provide a great deal more than mere textual, textural and timbral interest: they engage on an expressive level” Gramophone Magazine

Telarc - CD80502

(CD)

$10.00

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Schubert - Symphonies Nos. 3 & 8

Schubert - Symphonies Nos. 3 & 8


Schubert:

Overture D 590 in D major 'in the Italian style'

Symphony No. 3 in D major, D200

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'


Profil Medien - PH08019

(CD)

$11.75

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Schubert - Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9

Schubert - Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9


Schubert:

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'

Symphony No. 9 in C major, D944 'The Great'


Recorded October 1964 (no. 8) & September 1968 (no. 9)

DG Karajan Master Recordings - E4777162

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Schubert: Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished', etc.

Janacek:

Glagolitic Mass

Schubert:

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'


Zdena Kloubova (soprano), Karen Cargill (mezzo-soprano), Pavol Breslik (tenor), Gustáv Belácek (bass) & David Goode (organ)

London Philharmonic Orchestra & Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno, Kurt Masur

Recorded at the Royal Albert Hall on 28 July 2004 as part of the BBC Proms

“Masur was indeed right at home in the Schubert, and gave a reading of unforced grandeur, sturdy without being ponderous.” The Telegraph

LPO - LPO0029

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Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98, etc.

Brahms:

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Live recording, Rome 1956

RAI Rome Symphony Orchestra

Schubert:

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'

Live recording, Milan 1954

RAI Milan Symphony Orchestra


Archipel Records - ARPCD0360

(CD)

$9.00

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Brahms: Symphony No. 4

Brahms: Symphony No. 4


Brahms:

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Recorded 5th-7th September 1946

Lucerne Festival Orchestra

Schubert:

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'

Recorded 10th-13th November 1946

Philharmonia Orchestra


These two famous recordings established the young Polish-born conductor Paul Kletzki on the world stage in the years immediately following the end of World War II. Both were recorded by English Columbia in 1946. Kletzki deputised in the Brahms symphony for Wilhelm Furtwangler – then still banned from conducting – and made such an impression that he was immediately engaged to come to London and record at Abbey Road with the newly-formed Philharmonia Orchestra. Both symphonies were originally issued on 78rpm discs and declared to the world that a new and important conductor had arrived. The playing from both hand-picked orchestras is superb, and the original recordings have been lovingly transferred so that – for the first time on CD - today’s music-lovers can recapture the excitement and deeply musical qualities that characterised Kletzki’s performances.

Guild Historical - GHCD2319

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Schubert: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 8, Rosamunde Overture

Schubert: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 8, Rosamunde Overture


Schubert:

Rosamunde, D797: Overture

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'

Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, D485


Decca - 4330722

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Bruckner: Symphony No. 8

Bruckner: Symphony No. 8

and Schubert: Symphony No. 8


Bruckner:

Symphony No. 8 in C minor

Schubert:

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'


“God couldn´t play better” (American Record Guide)

Profil Medien Günter Wand Edition - PH06008

(CD - 2 discs)

$23.25

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