Symphony in C major D. 944, Die Grosse
Richard Wagner - Siegfried-Idyll
In spite of the title, the Siegfried-Idyll is not extrapolated from the work of the same name but is an occasional piece composed by Wagner in 1870 to celebrate the birthday of his wife Cosima, whom he married in June of that year after a long and troubled period of clandestine love. So on Christmas morning in 1870, on her birthday Cosima was awakened by the notes of the score composed especially for her by her husband. Although the original title was Idyll of Tribschen - the Swiss town where the Wagner villa stood - the work has gone down in history as Siegfried-Idyll due to the references to his son Siegfried present both in the long subtitle and in the score. In fact, the previous year, while Wagner was immersed in the composition of the Tetralogy, the much-desired son was born to whom the musician gave the name of the hero of the opera he was working on. Intended for domestic performance, the Idyll originally provided for a chamber ensemble of only fifteen members. Only years later, forced by economic necessity, Wagner transcribed it for orchestra and had it published with great regret of his wife, who did not willingly accept the idea of sharing with the world that intimate and personal page dedicated to her and her. family. The 'symphonic gift' for Cosima, as the author had defined it, is a free-form page with a serene and dreamy tone. At the center of the Idyll, sung by the oboe with the accompaniment of the strings, there is also an ancient lullaby of the German popular tradition, a further reference and homage to little Siegfried.
Franz Schubert - Symphony in C major D. 944, Die Grosse
That Schubert wished to try his hand at a large-scale symphonic work - 'Beethoven-like' to be understood - was well known during his last years of life. After the symphonies composed in his youth, a sort of apprenticeship in the highest instrumental genre, Schubert felt ready for a symphony in grand style and in 1828 he signed the Symphony in C major called, precisely, Die Grosse. Offered to the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna, the new composition would have been officially performed in that same year if the complexity and length of some passages had not frightened the orchestra which, judging it too difficult, refused to perform it. The symphony was therefore sent back to the sender, who placed it in a drawer as has already happened for his other precious musical jewels. Only years after Schubert's death, Robert Schumann discovered it by chance during a visit to the brother of the deceased musician and did his utmost to send it to Mendelssohn in Leipzig, where that hitherto unknown masterpiece regained new life in the first performance of 1839. The Symphony n. 9 in C major owes its name not only to the expansion of the staff, with three added trombones, but also to the language already aimed at late romantic solutions. While adhering to the classical constructive rules, Schubert modifies the internal balances by dampening the classical thematic contrast in favor of a continuous expansion of the melodic materials used, according to a narrative logic internal to the dilated and digressive composition, defined by Schumann as 'divine length'.