The Essential Hyperion 2
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Movement 1: [Allegro vivace]
Movement 2: [Andante con moto]
Movement 3: [Scherzo and Trio: Allegro vivace]
Movement 4: [Presto]
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