Schubert's Unfinished Symphony


Schubert Gesang der Geister über den Wassern
Schubert Symphony No.8 ‘Unfinished’
Fauré Requiem

Benjamin Northey conductor
Jacqueline Porter soprano
James Clayton bass
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus

Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony has a myriad of theories to explain why the composer set the work aside a full six years before his death. Explanations from the aesthetic to the psychological have been put forward, but there can be no argument that the symphony, whilst unfinished, is complete. Paired with his Goethe-inspired song for male voices, Gesang der Geister über den Wassern (‘Song of the Spirits Over the Waters’), Schubert’s forte for combining magic with majesty is undeniable in the union of these two works.

Alongside Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, the Orchestra performs Fauré’s Requiem, an exquisite, uplifting work that has the caught the imagination of millions of concertgoers. Its musical centrepiece is the gloriously intimate Pie Jesu movement, sung in this concert by the captivating Jacqueline Porter, a much-loved Melburnian soprano.

When you hear this piece you will understand why Fauré said: ‘Someone has called it a lullaby of death…But it is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience.’

Benjamin Northey conducts this superb triptych.

‘Northey is a born conductor, one who revels in his work… he appears to be in a state of perpetual delight.’ The Age

‘[Porter’s] final sombre offering… induced a reverent silence in the auditorium’ Sydney Morning Herald

Pre-Concert Recital
22 April at 6:30pm, Melbourne Town Hall
Ticket-holders are invited to attend a free pre-concert recital by Dr Calvin Bowman, on the Melbourne Town Hall grand organ.

Duration: 1 hour and 40 minutes, including a 20-minute interval

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