Monday 28 September 2020

Schubert Symphonies 2 & 3 is The Sunday Times' Recording of the Week



Only in the past half century have Schubert’s early symphonies enjoyed the “canonical” treatment accorded to Beethoven’s nine, but did any teenager — even Mozart — write such genial, dazzlingly structured works in the genre as this pair, written when the composer was 17 and 18?

 

"Schubert - Symphonies 2 & 3," performed by the B'Rock Orchestra conducted by René Jacobs, is The Sunday Times' Recording of The Week! Read the full review below!

 

Only in the past half century have Schubert’s early symphonies enjoyed the “canonical” treatment accorded to Beethoven’s nine, but did any teenager — even Mozart — write such genial, dazzlingly structured works in the genre as this pair, written when the composer was 17 and 18? Only Mendelssohn’s octet and Midsummer Night’s Dream overture come close to Schubert’s prodigal genius. As René Jacobs writes in the notes here, Schubert’s early works were disparaged for their “effeminate” quality compared with Beethoven’s rugged masculinity, yet he finds a duality in them: the more “masculine” B flat major (No 2) and the more “feminine” D major (No 3). I’m not convinced by such gender analogies, but Jacobs’s delight in these pieces, performed with his period band, is palpable, especially in the spirited “Italianate” No 3, dispatched with Rossinian brio and vivacity.

 

[Check out the album here:]

 

Hugh Canning

Read the full review on The Sunday Times