4th Symphony (Schmidt) - 4. Sinfonie (Schmidt)

The symphony in C major is the fourth symphony by the composer Franz Schmidt . It was composed between 1932 and 1933 and was premiered in Vienna in 1934.

First performance, structure

The world premiere of Franz Schmidt's 4th Symphony took place on January 10, 1934 in the Great Hall of the Wiener Musikverein , conducted by Oswald Kabasta . [1]

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.

Individual proof

  1. Angaben Universal Edition