Performing Schubert.


Schubert’s Fifth.

The music of Schubert is all about feeling, expression, and often melancholy. Keep in mind that here was a man who died at age 31. He was alone, ill, and sad.

As such, his music needs to be played with great sensitivity and expression. Often, I just hear the notes. For me, that’s not adequate. I personally hear much pathos in Schubert’s music, ad I want it played that way. One person’s opinion.

Let me illustrate with the Andante movement from Schubert’s Symphony #5:

First, here is Schubert’s Symphony No. 5, D. 485 – II. Andante con moto, Conductor: Riccardo Muti



And next, here is a young Lorin Maazel:


And here is even Leonard Bernstein!

The following one satisfies me a bit more: Schubert Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, D. 485 conducted by Charles Mackerras.



I was unable to locate a video of Georg Solti conducting the Vienna Philharmonic. My favorite interpretation is in this album, whose image is at the top, left side.

That particular recording is in my CD library and on my iPod. What makes it unique, is Solti’s chamber music style in the second movement. Occasional first notes in a bar in this music are ever so slightly elongated, which give this movement a character all its own: A typical Viennese character that the other performances do not have.

Here is the only Solti recording I could find, but it likely is performed by the Chicago symphony, and not the VPO. As such, this wonderful slight elongation is not present. The second movement starts at time 5:05


Tags: Franz Schubert, Georg Solti, Symphony #5, Andante con Moto, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra