4th Symphony (Schmidt) - 4. Sinfonie (Schmidt)
First performance, structure
The names of the four movements that flow directly into one another are: Allegro molto moderato. Adagio. Molto vivace. Tempo I
The playing time is approximately 50 minutes.
The fourth symphony begins and ends with a lonely trumpet solo, which the composer said was "the last piece of music to be taken into the afterlife". In fact, the fourth is a requiem for Schmidt's daughter Emma, who died shortly after her first childbirth. The work is composed as a large, non-stop unit, a gigantic sonata movement that (based on the example of Franz Liszt's piano sonata in B minor ) contains all of the symphony movements summarizes in itself.
Section 1 therefore represents the exposition, the trumpet theme, floating freely in the tonal space, but encircling the tonic C, is first developed further over a throbbing pizzicato organ point of the double bass and, in harmonious wandering movements, reaches the tonality furthest away from C: F sharp. The use of the lyrical secondary theme oscillates between F sharp major and F sharp minor, one of Schmidt's most beautiful inspirations, blooming late romanticism as a contrast to the elegiac main theme (the first bars, by the way, adorn the memorial to the composer in the park in Vienna named after him as a note quotation - Hietzingwas set). This theme sings out in passionate waves of growth - and ends in the symphony's adagio, a “funeral march”, introduced by a cello solo. The middle section of this funeral music increases to immense expression, before the resigned return leads to the ghostly Scherzo: This is the actual development part of the symphony and develops from the cello singing of the Adagios a rapid tarantella, over whose incessant movement like a cantus firmus over and over again Trumpet theme of the beginning of the symphony appears. A rapid variant of the lyrical side movement from the first section of the symphony appears twice as a “trio” section. The one of this kind (based on the model of the Scherzo movements in Beethoven's Fourth and Seventh Symphony) five-part “Dance of Death” strives for a delirious escalation and then collapses. From the agony grows - first in the horn quartet, as if resounding from a distance - the recapitulation of the two main themes of the symphony - which ends with the same lonely trumpet solo with which it began.
- Christoph Schlüren: Foreword to the performance material of the Universal Edition, Vienna
- Keith Anderson: SCHMIDT, F .: Symphony No. 4 / Variations on a Hussar's Song. Text accompanying the CD with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. Naxos 8.572118