Schubert’s last symphony – like much of the composer’s later work – has a darkness at its heart. As in the Adagio of his Octet, this emotional crisis occurs during the sonata-like reprise of the symphony’s second movement (Andante con moto). A fff outburst is followed by a shocked and traumatised total silence. The strings – still stunned – eventually offer tentative pianissimo pizzicato chords; it’s left to the ’cellos to sing gloriously of despair and consolation.
This week, as we follow the tonal drama of the symphony, a hard copy/download of the cycle of fifths would be a useful thing to have around:
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