Multiple prize-winning conductor René Jacobs and the B’Rock Orchestra present the third instalment of their Schubert cycle on PENTATONE with a recording of the composer’s Fourth and Fifth Symphony. Just as with the Second and Third, Jacobs approaches these works as a symphonic pair, revealing contrasting aspects of Schubert’s personality and compositional approach. The Fourth is Schubert’s first symphony in a minor key, and adumbrates a totally new harmonic worldview that Dvořák associated with Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. On the contrary, the Fifth sounds Mozartian and cheerful, although that light-heartedness is only an appearance, as is so often the case in Schubert’s music. In the composer’s words, “too light a mind usually harbours a heart that is too heavy!” Looking closer beneath the surface, the cross-relations between the “Tragic” Fourth and “lighter” Fifth become all the more evident. The players of the B’Rock Orchestra present these works on period instruments; transparent, but full of fire.
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