Vanhal, Schubert, Schumann

Sunday 17 September 2023 at 5pm – Auckland Town Hall

$35-$75 (Children/students from $20) [Service fees will also apply]. Buy tickets here

Schubert Symphony No 8 “unfinished”
Vanhal Bassoon Concerto
Schumann Requiem

Rita Paczian Conductor
Philip Sumner Bassoon
Elizabeth Mandeno Soprano
Charlotte McDonald Alto
Lachlan Craig Tenor
Joel Amosa Bass

Schubert Symphony No. 8, commonly known as the Unfinished Symphony  is a musical composition that Schubert started in 1822 but left with only two movements, though he lived for another six years. It is sometimes called the first Romantic symphony due to its emphasis on the lyrical impulse within the dramatic structure of Classical sonata form. Furthermore, its orchestration is not solely tailored for functionality, but specific combinations of instrumental timbre that are prophetic of the later Romantic movement, with wide vertical spacing occurring for example at the beginning of the development

Johan Baptist Vanhal was born in 1739, the son of a Czech peasant. Like many of his contemporaries he was an astoundingly prolific composer. His works comprise over 70 symphonies, 100 string quartets, 95 sacred works, many concertos and instrumental pieces as well as three operas. Such was Vanhal’s popularity that his music was performed as far afield as the United States.
His works for the bassoon include three solo concertos and one for two bassoons and orchestra.

The Concerto in C survives as an undated manuscript in the Landesbibliotek Mecklenburg-
Vorpomern library in Schwerin, Germany. The origins of the concerto are uncertain.
In style this Concerto in C appears to be a little later than its companion in F and probably
dates from the early 1780s. Whereas the F major shows clear Italianate origins, (likely
from his studies in Rome), the C major is Viennese in character. The thematic material of
the rondo finale, for example, strongly suggests the influence of Haydn.

The program concludes with Schumann’s hauntingly beautiful and neglected Requiem, Op. 148. Schumann once said “One writes a requiem for oneself.” Tragically, Schumann completed this requiem after committing himself to the asylum where he would spend the remainder of his life. His requiem story is an eerie parallel to Mozart’s who also believed he was writing a requiem for his own funeral.