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Symphony in C

Performing at Rutgers-Camden
Center for the Arts

Mailing Address:
PO Box 8610
Collingswood, NJ  08108

Administrative and Box Office:
576 Haddon Avenue
Collingswood, NJ 08108
Telephone: (856) 240-1503
Facsimile: (856) 240-1519

Stilian Kirov, Music Director
Pamela Brant, President

Franz Schubert, continued

Schubert composed music for a wide range of ensembles and in various genres including opera, liturgical music, chamber and solo piano music.

While he was clearly influenced by the Classical sonata forms of Mozart and Beethoven (his early works, among them notably the 5th Symphony, are particularly Mozartian), his formal structures and his developments tend to give the impression more of melodic development than of harmonic drama. This sometimes lends them a discursive style: his 9th Symphony was described by Robert Schumann as running to "heavenly lengths".[1] His innovations in the Classical style include the earliest examples of sonata form in which the exposition ends in the subdominant rather than the dominant (as in the last movement of the Trout Quintet).

Schubert's compositional style progressed rapidly throughout his short life. The loss of potential masterpieces caused by his early death at 31 was perhaps best expressed in the epitaph on his tombstone written by the poet Franz Grillparzer, "Here music has buried a treasure, but even fairer hopes."

Some of his smaller pieces were printed shortly after his death, but the more valuable seem to have been regarded by the publishers as so much waste paper[citation needed]. In 1838 Robert Schumann, on a visit to Vienna, found the dusty manuscript of the C major symphony (the "Great", D.944) and took it back to Leipzig, where it was performed by Felix Mendelssohn and celebrated in the Neue Zeitschrift. There continues to be some controversy over the numbering of this symphony, with German-speaking scholars numbering it as symphony No. 7, the revised Deutsch catalogue (the standard catalogue of Schubert's works, compiled by Otto Erich Deutsch) listing it as No. 8, and English-speaking scholars listing it as No. 9.

The most important step towards the recovery of the neglected works was the journey to Vienna which Sir George Grove (of "Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians" fame) and Sir Arthur Sullivan made in the autumn of 1867. The travellers rescued from oblivion seven symphonies, the Rosamunde incidental music, some of the Masses and operas, some of the chamber works, and a vast quantity of miscellaneous pieces and songs. This led to more widespread public interest in Schubert's work.

Another controversy, which originated with Grove and Sullivan and continued for many years, surrounded the "lost" symphony. Immediately before Schubert's death, his friend Eduard von Bauernfeld recorded the existence of an additional symphony, dated 1828 (although this does not necessarily indicate the year of composition) named the "Letzte" or "Last" symphony. It has been more or less accepted by musicologists that the "Last" symphony refers to a sketch in D major (D.936A), discovered by Ernst Hilmar in the 1970s, and which was realised by Brian Newbould as the Tenth Symphony.