Announcing a rare new album conducted by Maestro Abbado – still much missed by many in the concert hall and the studio. Schubert remained one of Abbado’s favourite composers throughout his life and since his first performance in Den Haag in 1966 he returned again and again to the “Great“ C Major Symphony.
The Symphony No. 9 in C major, D. 944, known as the Great (published in 1840 as “Symphony No. 7 in C Major”, listed as No. 8 in the Neue Schubert-Ausgabe), is the final symphony completed by Franz Schubert. Originally called The Great C major to distinguish it from his Symphony No. 6, the Little C major, the subtitle is now usually taken as a reference to the symphony's majesty. Unusually long for a symphony of its time, a typical performance of The Great takes around 55 minutes, though it can also be played in as little as 45 minutes by employing a faster tempo and not repeating sections as indicated in the score. Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D.759 commonly known as the "Unfinished Symphony" , is a musical composition that Schubert started in 1822 but left with only two movements—though he lived for another six years.
Like those other great symphonists-Beethoven before him and Mahler after him-Schubert completed no symphonies after his ninth. This has come to be known as the "Great C Major," not only because it is an altogether grander work than his Sixth Symphony in the same key, but also because it is one of the truly majestic pillars of the whole symphonic canon. The celebrated orchestra of the composer's native Vienna is led here by the masterful Sir Georg Solti in a recording unsurpassed among many competitors for its warmth, presence, and detail.
Schubert's 'Tragic' Symphony and Mozart's 'Paris' Symphony are performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Wiener Musikvereinsaal in 1984. Harnoncourt goes back to Schubert's original manuscripts to perform the music in its purest form. Harnoncourt joined forces with The Chamber Orchestra of Europe for Mozart's last symphonies (Nos. 39-41), performed at the Wiener Musikvereinssaal in 1991. Known throughout the world for his highly original approach to classical music, conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt reveres Mozart as 'the most romantic composer of all'.