Solti Conducts Schubert
For many years I have admired and respected the late Sir Georg Solti. He was a marvelous musician and pianist. He conducted Opera and Orchestras. He coached singers and instrumentalists. He was a leader, and he showed complete dedication to achieving excellence in music.
In this CD, Solti conducts the symphonies numbers 5, 8, and 9 of Schubert in a 2-CD album.
The Schubert 5th is one of my great favorites. In the second movement, the composer gave us music of nostalgic sadness, as is so often the case with Schubert, who died at age 31. And Solti was able to work with his musicians to perform this work with the chamber-music like sensitivity that this movement requires. I can hear him say that there’s a lot more to this music than just the notes. The small spaces between the notes, and the rests, and the breathing pauses give this music the beauty that separates an ordinary performance from and extraordinary one.
The 8th symphony is also known as the “unfinished”, because it has only two movements, and each of these provides us with a journey to quiet places for deep introspection. Solti’s musicians give us the phrasing, sensitivity, and interpretation that is completely satisfying.
Schubert’s Ninth Symphony, which lasts nearly one hour, is a masterpiece of huge proportions. The composer wrote it near the end of his short life. It is a work of great passion and energy, and the performers provide a very satisfying reading of this masterpiece. Solti had a reputation for demanding crisp precision and pretty fast tempi from the orchestras he conducted. The effect is to give this performance a warm, joyful, and energetic feeling, and an overall effect is outstanding.
Below is a short video, where you can hear and observe Sir Georg Solti conducting excerpts from Beethoven’s Symphony #1 and Schubert’s 8th symphony: