At a Glance
This concert pairs two of the most popular and unusual symphonies by two Viennese masters. Schubert's "Unfinished" comprises only two movements, yet it is the most performed and beloved of the composer's symphonies. It has a mysterious air of completeness and perfection. No one knows why Schubert never finished it, an enigma that has increased its mystique. Mahler's Fourth is also unusual in the composer's output, but for different reasons. It lacks the bombastic special effects, disturbing deconstructions, and dark nights of the soul in his lengthier works and has lighter, more transparent scoring. Yet structurally and spiritually, it is fully characteristic, complete with folk motifs, an "uncanny" scherzo, and Viennese waltzes. Like Schubert's, Mahler's symphony is an outpouring of Viennese lyricism, especially in its slow movement.