Riccardo Muti
Schubert, Dvořák

Palermo, Teatro Massimo | 28 March 2021 | at 11:00 AM

Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini
conductor Riccardo Muti

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Sinfonia n. 3 in re maggiore, D 200 (1815)
Adagio maestoso. Allegro con brio
Allegretto
Minuetto: Vivace. Trio
Presto vivace

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)
Sinfonia n. 9 in mi minore “Dal Nuovo Mondo” op. 95 (1893)
Adagio. Allegro molto
Largo
Scherzo. Molto vivace
Allegro con fuoco

in collaboration with Ravenna Festival and RMMUSIC

download the program

According to the musicologists’ opinion, Schubert’s unquestionable genius does not show in the symphonies, except for his later masterpieces, the very famous Incompiuta and the Great: while an unmistakable sensitivity soon surfaced in his Lieder, the six symphonies of his early youth, composed between 1813 and 1818, rather denote a classicist faith, conforming to a model that still evokes the spirit of Haydn and Mozart. In short, they do not feature the expressive depth and the reflection on the style which are the core-characteristics of his later symphonic works. At the same time, those early symphonies do not lack style solutions and melodic features that we recognise as deeply “Schubert-like”: in this Symphony no. 3, created when the composer was still held to his commitments as a school teacher, the cantabile quality and the freshness of the melodic invention, which transpire after the restless Adagio of the introduction, are immediately perceivable; to the point that many a listener senses, besides the typically Viennese dancing qualities, a Rossini-like attitude.
In the year 1815, the inspiration of the 18-year-old Schubert expressed itself without answering to any patrons, and there is no proof of performances of this Third Symphony before the end of the century, in 1881 in London. It would not be the same for Antonín Dvořák and his most famous “From the New World” Symphony, which would be brought to life in 1893 on the other side of the Atlantic, ten years after the premiere of Schubert’s symphony.
The Bohemian composer had arrived in New York the year before, at the invitation of Jeannette Thurber, the wife of a rich wholesaler and the founder of the city’s Conservatoire; she was convinced that only a European musician could have boosted the training of the young students of her new music school. Enticed by the illuminated ideas of the patroness as well as by wages which were definitely superior to anything one could hope for in Europe, Dvořák soon started to discover the American folk heritage, both its spiritual repertoire and the music of the Native Americans; in the majestic fresco which successfully premiered at the Carnegie Hall, the composer poured significant fragments of that heritage, together with references to the European folk music, especially the Bohemian tradition he so dearly loved. Thus, with a German, Brahms-like symphonic model, the old master found new expressive freshness and overwhelming melodic-rhythmic incisiveness, exalted by the circularity and the thematic accumulation which – thanks to an impeccable orchestration – grow into the apotheosis of an exhilarating finale.

Members of the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini