Spring Symphonies 38/60 - Berio: Rendering (from symphonic sketches of Schubert's Tenth Symphony)

Schubert/Berio: Rendering (from symphonic sketches of Schubert's Tenth Symphony)

This version of the Tenth symphony doesn't try to complete the work but render it and in doing so Berio introduces sounds which take Schubert's sound world on into our time.

Schubert left substantial sketches for parts of the work but not all of it,  These date from the last weeks of Schubert's life in the closing months of 1828 (he died on 19 November 1828).  This completion was engineering around Schubert's original text in 1989-90.  Schubert scholars have known of the fragments of the Tenth since the 1970s and Dr Brain Newbould has completed the symphony adding material in-between the chunks of original text by Schubert.  Newbould adopts a style to smooth the joins.  Berio does the opposite.

It is one of the most haunting collaborations (albeit unknowing on Schubert's part) that you will find. Berio's insertions are dreamy, sympathetic and other worldly.  Berio often borrowed from other composer's works most notably in his own Sinfonia.  But this seems to me to done entirely in keeping with Schubert's mystical sentiment and totally in Berio's own style.  The interpolations are full of Schubertian suggestions, elaborated with percussion and effects Schubert would never had considered.  The melody is suspended, the harmony distant and the effect weightless.  It may jar with those who know the Tenth from more faithful completions, but it offers the listener freedoms that only modern composers would consider.

The transitions are sublime - craft fully crafted to move us between centuries and with the gentlest kindest ear for the listeners perspective.  The second movement exists in two times - 161 years apart and yet is so delicately nostalgic that one might feel we are moving between those two worlds and not the music.

Schubert had signed up for and received one lesson with Simon Sechter (who would later teach Bruckner) and there are strong signals that Schubert's Tenth would have been a very different symphony to his earlier symphonies.  And a jolly affair too.  All of this comes through in Berio's respectful combination of his thoughts,

So I make no claim that this is pure Schubert but it is the mark of two great musical minds and at times will do that thing I often think is a mark of great music: turning measured time into experienced time.  Berio lifts us between centuries with consummate skill and allows the mind to fill n the gaps.  As a thought experience it is truly modern.

Berio's own note on the music is here http://www.lucianoberio.org/node/1448?1304392085=1

Here's a recording to try it out:



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