Schubert: Early Symphonies and Stage Music (2SACD)

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Copenhagen Phil, Lawrence Foster

By presenting Schubert’s first three symphonies and a selection of stage music, this album showcases a less-known, but fascinating part of the composer’s oeuvre. His extraordinary achievements in the fields of Lieder and string quartet composition tend to overshadow his orchestral output, and his symphonic contributions have sometimes been viewed as marginal in comparison to Beethoven’s, but judged on their own merits, these works display a high level of sophistication indeed.

The repertoire featured on this release shows Schubert’s symphonic development, from the Mozart- and Haydn influenced first two symphonies to the masterful Third, in which his compositional voice is clearly perceivable. These three symphonies, all composed when Schubert was still a teenager, are complemented by works related to the stage.

While the Overture in Italian Style in D major highlights Schubert’s fascination for Rossini, the Incidental Music to Rosamunde contains some of the composer’s most appealing melodies.

These orchestral works are performed by the Copenhagen Phil under the baton of Lawrence Foster, who has a vast PENTATONE discography.

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Schubert Symphony No. 1 in D major D82 (1813)
1. Adagio – Allegro vivace
2. Andante
3. Menuetto. Allegro
4. Allegro vivace

Schubert Symphony No. 2 in B-flat major D125 (1815)
5. Largo – Allegro vivace
6. Andante
7. Menuetto. Allegro vivace
8. Presto vivace


Schubert Symphony No. 3 in D major D200 (1815)
1. Adagio maestoso – Allegro con brio
2. Allegretto
3. Menuetto. Vivace
4. Presto vivace
5. Overture in the Italian Style in D major D590 (1817)

Schubert Incidental Music to Rosamunde D797 (1823)
6. Entr’acte No. 1 (Allegro molto moderato)
7. Entr’acte No. 2 (Andante)
8. Entr’acte No. 3 (Andantino)
9. Ballet Music No. 1 (Allegro moderato – Andante un poco assai)
10. Ballet Music No. 2 (Andantino)