Hyperion Records

Symphony in D major, D708a
composer
1820/1; fragments in piano score; Scherzo incomplete
arranger
orchestration; completion of Scherzo

Recordings
'Schubert: Symphony No 10 & other unfinished symphonies' (CDA67000)
Schubert: Symphony No 10 & other unfinished symphonies
'The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 2' (HYP20)
The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 2
This album is not yet available for download HYP20  2CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted  
Details
Movement 1: [Allegro vivace]
Movement 2: [Andante con moto]
Track 4 on CDA67000 [2'43]
Track 10 on HYP20 CD1 [2'43] 2CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted
Movement 3: [Scherzo and Trio: Allegro vivace]
Movement 4: [Presto]

Symphony in D major, D708a
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In the winter of 1820/1 Schubert set to work on a symphony, choosing D major, a key which he had learned from Beethoven’s second to be advantageous for orchestral writing. This time he sketched parts of all four movements, getting far enough with the third for it to be readily completed by another hand. There is no slow introduction, but Schubert seems to compensate for its absence by building contrasts into the early stages of the first movement. A coiled-spring of a motif generates the energy to induce a quick, sonorous climax. An awesome hush follows, leading to an energetic rebuild towards another climax and in turn a lurch towards A flat major for a second subject in that singular key. ‘Singular’? This is in fact the only example in the entire Classical period in which a second subject is cast in the key a tritone distant from the home key. But Schubert has hardly presented the second limb of the tune before he quickly swerves to the orthodox key, there to dilate on the theme more expansively than even he usually would—before, once more, coming to a halt at the end of the exposition.

Schubert gives a particularly sketchy idea of his intentions in the slow movement, but before he breaks off close to what would probably have been a halfway point he takes care to notate fully a passage of rare lyrical counterpoint, its upper strands amiably interweaving and then changing places. The Scherzo begins with a motif which, once the symphony had been abandoned, would be recycled as the starting-point of the Scherzo of the ‘Great’ C major Symphony. There are other similarities with the later Scherzo, but this one is more concerned with bustling counterpoint than its heavyweight successor.

Both the Scherzo and Trio are sketched right up to the final varied reprise, which Schubert could have composed easily enough without the need for sketching.

The finale is a moto perpetuo (or almost perpetuo) in which a solo flute leads. As in the last movement of D615, Schubert reaches the first reprise of its opening theme before laying down his pen. Perhaps he lost heart when he reflected that, when he came to score the sketch, the climactic chords of remote A flat major and equally remote C sharp which he had just written could not be strengthened by the brass instruments and drums they deserve, since the imperfections of those instruments in Schubert’s day would not allow them to play any notes at all in those chords. But a more general reason for abandonment may well be that Schubert recognized that he was at a developmental stage and any work put aside for even a short time became a casualty of his hunger for ever new composing experiences which might take him towards his goal.

from notes by Brian Newbould © 1997

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67000 track 3
[Allegro vivace]
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-97-00003
Duration
3'06
Recording date
27 February 1997
Recording venue
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner
Hyperion usage
  1. Schubert: Symphony No 10 & other unfinished symphonies (CDA67000)
    Disc 1 Track 3
    Release date: September 1997
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