Schubert's "Great" Symphony
Thu, 01 Mar 2018

Last time we discussed Schubert existing in the shadow of Beethovenís legacy. Today I would like to discuss one of Schubertís exceptional works and get your opinion on how it holds up next to the works of Beethoven.

Schubertís Symphony No. 9 in C Major ďGreatĒ was never performed during the composerís lifetime. It was not until ten years following Schubertís death that Robert Schumann uncovered the manuscripts and insisted that it make a public appearance that very year. Though many composers felt it best to avoid composing symphonies in fear of being compared to Beethovenís symphonic repertoire, Schumann praised the ďGreatĒ Symphony saying that in it Schubert successfully created his own approach to writing a symphony.

In his Symphony No. 9, Schubert blends the Romantic lyricism found in his lieder with Beethovenís drama. The first movement begins with a slow, chorale introduction in the horn section before moving into an allegro. Portions of this chorale come back later in the movement.

Listen here to Schubertís Symphony No. 9 in C Major ďGreat" and then let me know if you think Schubert was able to find his own voice in this piece or if he still remains in Beethovenís shadow.

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