Franz Schubert Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, D. 485 Lorin Maazel conducts Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Allegro in B♭, in cut (2/2) time. Andante con moto in E♭, in 6/8 time 4:50 Menuetto. Allegro molto in G minor, in 3/4 time, with a Trio in G major 15:58 Allegro vivace in B♭, in 2/4 time 21:36 ************************************************************************
Scored for one flute, two oboes, and two bassoons, along with two horns in B♭ and E♭ and strings. Of all of Schubert’s symphonies, it is scored for the smallest orchestra. It is the only one of his symphonies which does not include clarinets, trumpets or timpani as part of the instrumentation.
In character, the writing is often said to resemble Mozart; Schubert was infatuated with the composer at the time he composed it, writing in his diary on June 13 of the year of composition, “O Mozart! immortal Mozart! what countless impressions of a brighter, better life hast thou stamped upon our souls!” This is reflected particularly in the lighter instrumentation, as noted above. Indeed, the instrumentation matches that of the first version (without clarinets) of Mozart’s 40th symphony.[3
This is the first Schubert symphony that does not begin with a slow introduction. What starts the movement is a four-bar structural upbeat similar to the one that begins the finale of his 4th symphony before the main theme starts on bar 5. The main is a simple rising arpeggio with a dotted rhythm that dominates all of the themes of the exposition. The first movement is a slightly unusual sonata form since the recapitulation begins, as in the first movement of Mozart’s sonata facile (and Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet), in the subdominant, not in the main key of the piece as is more usual.
The slow movement opens with a theme in two repeated stanzas. Without pause there is a modulation into C♭ that is very characteristic of Schubert, even at age 19. The return to the main theme is straight, passing through G minor on the way; there is a repetition of the distant modulation afterwards, though to G♭ this time and with a more immediate return.
The menuetto has the chromaticism though not the polyphony of the menuetto of Mozart’s 40th symphony. The progression used mid-way through the movement to modulate is borrowed almost directly from the 40th — using the same approach (a gradual layering of instruments) to a dominant 7th chord. (It might be interesting to compare the Schubert to other minor‐mode symphonic minuets of the time, however.) The trio is quiet throughout, and only gradually accumulates instruments, beginning with only bassoon and strings, and with a subtle suggestion of a pastoral mood over held lower string notes.
Franz Schubert Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, D. 125 Lorin Maazel conducts Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra I. Largo – Allegro vivace II. Andante in E flat major 9:50 III. Menuetto: Allegro vivace in C minor – Trio in E flat major 17:40 IV. Presto 21:03
Franz Schubert Symphony No. 6 in C major, D. 589 Lorin Maazel conducts Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Adagio, 3/4 – Allegro, 2/2 Andante, 2/4 in F major 7:23 Scherzo: Presto; Trio: Piu lento (Trio in E major), ¾ 12:27 Allegro moderato, 2/4 17:12
Franz Schubert Symphony No. 3 in D major, D. 200 Lorin Maazel conducts Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra I. Adagio maestoso — Allegro con brio II. Allegretto in G major 8:05 III. Menuetto. Vivace 13:15 IV. Presto. Vivace 17:20
The second movement is a theme with five variations in E-flat major, Schubert’s only set of symphonic variations. Although there is some variation in the melody, the primary focus of the variations are on instrumentation and tone color. The first variation features violins and winds. The second variation passes the theme between the low strings and the woodwinds. The third variation is again violins and winds. The fourth variation is in C minor and features some acceleration with the use triplet-sixteenth notes. The fifth variation maintains the triplet-sixteenths, but they move into the background with the melody returning close to its original form as a kind of recapitulation. A coda concludes the movement.
The minuet is in C minor and mainly scored for the tutti and fortissimo. The contrasting Trio in E flat major is more thinly scored winds, violins and pizzicato bass. The melody of the trio is actually a variation of the theme used in the second movement forming a melodic and harmonic (E-flat/C minor) link is made between the inner two movements.