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Schubert: Symphonies Nos. 3, 5, & 8 ('Unfinished') ()

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Schubert's symphonies fall into two groups: the early works, in which he closely emulated Classical models; and a second phase, which is marked by the increased lyricism and expansiveness of his last two masterpieces. This disc presents examples of both periods, and the interpretations of two conductors and their orchestras effectively illustrate the differences. Heinrich Schiff leads the Northern Sinfonia in satisfying performances of the robust Symphony No. 3 and the elegant Symphony No. 5, and these works are rendered appropriately, both in terms of their Classical orientation and according to their own contrasting characters. The orchestra delivers the former symphony with rustic rambunctiousness and extroverted energy, while its treatment of the latter is refined and more intimate, taking a cue from the work's reduced orchestration and frequent allusions to Mozart and Haydn. Vernon Handley conducts the Ulster Orchestra in the Symphony No. 8, "Unfinished," and this symphony reveals Schubert's... Hide synopsis

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