Schubert, Symphony No. 4 in C minor, D. 417 "Tragic"

Schubert was only 19 years old when he composed his Symphony No. 4, to
which he himself appended the name "Tragic." The slow introduction is
pervaded by a powerful feeling of melancholy, which gives way to the
storminess of the Allegro vivace. Schubert scholars, who find the shadow
of Beethoven throughout the "Tragic" Symphony, compare this theme to
Beethoven's C minor String Quartet Op. 18 and the Coriolanus Overture in
the same key. A typically Schubertian, lyrical theme dominates the Andante
movement. After a Menuetto and Trio, the closing Allegro presents a main
theme, a stormy development and a resplendent conclusion that are related
to the first movement.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt was born in Berlin in 1929. His dissatisfaction with
conventional interpretations of early music led him to found the Concentus
Musicus with his wife Alice in 1953. The unusual, radically different
musical style of the ensemble, combined with its insistence on using only
historical instruments, quickly earned it a prominent reputation. Its
international concert tours met with triumphal acclaim. In addition to
leading his ensemble, Harnoncourt regularly conducts such prestigious
orchestras as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Concertgebouw Orkest
Amsterdam, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and others. In contrast to the
convention of playing the romanticised versions of Franz Schubert's
symphonies edited by Johannes Brahms, Harnoncourt seeks to revive the
original character of the music as Schubert intended it. He goes back to
Schubert's original manuscripts, comparing and readjusting, ridding the
score of all disfiguring changes made since it was written. The results of
this restoration are striking: music that is full of drama and a dynamic
range much broader than we are familiar with - Schubert in his purest form.

Composer: Franz Schubert
Title: Schubert, Symphony No. 4 in C minor, D. 417 "Tragic"
Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
Video Director: Rodney Greenberg
Genre: Concert
Length: 35 minutes
Cat.No.: A05500744
Gallery         DVD