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Franz Schubert - Octet in F, D. 803

Music > Chamber Music

More substantial, but no less delightful, is the six-movement Octet in F, D. 803 for wind and strings. This evergreen and marvellously ‘orchestrated’ work was commissioned by Count Ferdinand Troyer, chief steward to Archduke Rudolf and himself a composer and clarinettist. Its compostion dates from 1824.

Though it lays no claim to originality, it manages to be purest Schubert while being clearly and unapologetically based on the model of Beethoven’s then over-popular Septet. Here, as with the ‘Death and the Maiden’ Quartet and the ‘Trout’ Quintet, Schubert chooses one of his own earlier pieces as a theme for the variations that make up the fourth movement: a duet from his very early opera Die Freunde von Salamanka. The work was first performed at the home of Archduke Rudolf..

I. Adagio – Allegro – Più allegro
II. Adagio
III. Allegro vivace – Trio – Allegro vivace
IV. Andante – variations. Un poco più mosso – Più lento
V. Menuetto. Allegretto – Trio – Menuetto – Coda
VI. Andante molto – Allegro – Andante molto – Allegro molto

Listen to the 5th Movement (Menuetto-Allegretto)

Manuscript of the Octet D. 803

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