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Franz Schubert - Symphony No. 4 n C minor, D. 417 ('Tragic')

Music > Orchestral Music > Symphonies

Schubert completed the Fourth Symphony on April 27th, 1816 in Vienna. The work is called the 'Tragic' Symphony. This title was added afterwards, and not without reason, for, after the first three joyful symphonies, the first movement of the fourth breathes a spirit of sorrow and resignation, though not maintained for long.

Both the first and last movements begin in C minor, and pass over, after somewhat monotonous and poorly contrasted figures in eighths, into the final section in C major, whilst the two middle movements, the Andante in A flat and the Minuet in E flat, bear but slight resemblance to the tragic mood.

These two movements, therefore, are the most important, the Andante containing some entrancing melody, the quiet principal theme being well contrasted with the more animated middle section. The first performance was given on November 9, 1849 at a concert held by the 'Euterpe' Musical Society.

I. Adagio molto – Allegro vivace
II. Andante in A flat major
III. Menuetto. Allegro vivace - Trio in E flat major
IV. Allegro in C major

Listen to Schubert's 4th Symphony

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