Schubert Symphony no. 4 in Cm, D. 417, ‘Tragic,

performed by the ASMF under Sir Neville Marriner, or below by the Vienna Philharmonic under Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Muskverein Mini-German part 3 I’ve never really cared much for nicknames or monikers for pieces… They are often not chosen by the composer, sometimes not even approved of, and sometimes not even coined until long after the composer is gone.At least in the instance of Schubert’s Tragische, the name was of his own devising. My other gripe with names like this is that I don’t always (in fact, rarely do I) agree with them. ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Titan’ come to mind. ‘From … Continue reading Schubert Symphony no. 4 in Cm, D. 417, ‘Tragic,

Schubert Symphony no. 3 in D major, D. 200

performed, as always, by Neville Marriner and the ASMF, or below by Marriss Jansons and the Concertgebouw (apologies for the anime image, but it’s a nice performance) Mini-German: Part 2(I know he’s Austrian) Now for a slight change of pace. Sort of. While this work came a decade after last week’s Beethoven piece, it is… at least to my ears, not as far ahead of its time. That’s no criticism at all. Let me explain.For one, Eroica was just kind of a phenomenal thing. Beethoven was already into his thirties when this piece was written. Schubert was about half that … Continue reading Schubert Symphony no. 3 in D major, D. 200

Schubert symphony no. 2 in Bb, D. 125

performed by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner In honor of the late Maestro Lorin Maazel, the above video is a recording he did with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. I haven’t listened to the whole thing, but the first movement is crisp and clean, at at a much brisker pace than Marriner’s version with the ASMF, which I quite adore.  Lorin Maazel (March 6, 1930 – July 13, 2014) I am pleased and surprised at how much I have begun to enjoy the more traditionally classical, less Romantic (or extremely early ‘pre-Romantic) symphonies. … Continue reading Schubert symphony no. 2 in Bb, D. 125

Franz Schubert: symphony no. 1 in D (D. 82)

performed by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner (Below is the Failoni Orchestra under Michael Halasz) There is a tenuous connection to one of the characters in this week’s “on this day” series. Although he may not be a name many casual fans of classical music would recognize, Antonio Salieri played a large part in the development of the young Schubert and his musical education. Salieri’s influence was greatest in opera, which he wrote in three languages. He was apparently one of the most respected, sought-after teachers of his era, and aside from … Continue reading Franz Schubert: symphony no. 1 in D (D. 82)

Mozart Symphony no. 11

performed by the ASMF/Marriner Believed to date from 1770, and possibly written in Milan or Bologna, this symphony is also suspected by some to have been written by either the father Leopold Mozart or by Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (who is actually a real person with that name, who has a huge catalogue of compositions). Its status on Wikipedia is listed as uncertain, but some music historical claims confidently that it is Mozart the son who wrote this work. That’s about all the info Wikipedia has on it. Another expert claims there is “little special” about this piece, but I … Continue reading Mozart Symphony no. 11

Mozart symphony no. 10 in G

performed by the ASMF/Marriner This one was likely written during Mozart’s first journey to Italy, completed in 1770. That’s about all the information we get from Wikipedia about this piece. Mozart would then have been a young teenager. The first movement is pleasant enough, very classical, with high horns responding to lots of strings. The first part of this movement has a delightful dainty sort of energy. The only non-strings are oboes and horns. This string-heavy orchestration makes it feel even more classical and antique than some of his earlier pieces. What feels like a second movement is actually just … Continue reading Mozart symphony no. 10 in G

Mozart Symphony no. 8 in D

Performed by the ASMF/Marriner Mozart Monday from a special location: Milton, GA (another M, for Mozart Monday in Milton) In this week’s MM, we find our family still in Vienna, even after they should have been back in Salzburg. It was finished in 1768. This somehow feels super polished and although simple, tightly written and more mature, especially the first movement. It is predominantly strings, with oboe and flute calling out between the action here and there in the Allegro. It has great motion and feeling, and I feel this has more dynamic expression than any of the precious pieces. … Continue reading Mozart Symphony no. 8 in D

Mozart Symphony No. 6 in F, K. 43

performed by ASMF/Marriner Mozart Monday, and for the first time… I love this! It’s surprisingly pleasing. It’s the longest of Mozart’s childhood symphonies so far, his first in F, the first to have a minuet/trio and the first to have two obligatory viola parts, which was certainly not apparent to me. He was eleven when he wrote this one, and probably finished in Moravia, where the family had apparently fled Vienna die to an epidemic of smallpox. What was apparent was that it felt far more mature and developed than his others. It’s longer (almost 14 minutes) and in four … Continue reading Mozart Symphony No. 6 in F, K. 43

Mozart Symphony No. 5 in Bb

performed by ASMF under Sir Neville Marriner Mozart Monday! This is how I will get through his symphonies. That makes it sound like torture. It isn’t that bad. They are very pleasant, but again, I am just not thrilled about the classical period (yet). Symphony number five was written while Mozart was still only nine years old, at The Hague. Still very short, still only in three movements. I notice that it seems the harpsichord takes a more background role in this work, and the horns are very much in the forefront. They sing in an almost unpleasantly high register … Continue reading Mozart Symphony No. 5 in Bb