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San Francisco Symphony


Symphony No. 6
Franz Schubert

Symphony No. 7

Ludwig van Beethoven
All sound clips are from San Francisco Symphony performances and are used with permission of the SFS Players Committee.


Davies Symphony Hall

Fri, Feb 2, 2024 at 7:30PM

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Davies Symphony Hall

Sat, Feb 3, 2024 at 7:30PM

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Davies Symphony Hall

Sun, Feb 4, 2024 at 2:00PM

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Event Description

Although audiences went wild at the 1813 premiere of Beethoven's Seventh, the critics hated it. One sniped that Beethoven must have composed it while drunk; another called him “ripe for the madhouse.” Composed five years later, Schubert's Sixth wears its Beethovenian heart proudly on its sleeve while speaking a language all its own.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

At A Glance

Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 6 was inspired in part by the Italian operas of Gioachino Rossini, which had become extremely popular in 1810s Vienna. The other major influence was heroic-period Beethoven, but streamlined into a lighter, more sensible style. The piece is sometimes nicknamed the “little C major,” reflecting its overall cheerful affect, modest proportions, and distinguishing it from Schubert’s “great C major” Symphony No. 9.
Richard Wagner described Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 as “the Apotheosis of the Dance.” A semi-slow introduction, the largest ever heard in any symphony at the time of its premiere and still one of the largest, defines great harmonic spaces. There is no slow movement. Instead, the famous second-movement Allegretto is relaxed only by comparison with what comes before and after. The symphony’s finale is one wild unharnessing of sound.

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