It has long amazed me that the four symphonies of Franz Schmidt do not hold a more secure place in the repertoire: they are impressive, stirring, gorgeous and varied works. Perhaps they will be played more often now there is a renewed taste for Bruckner, although their resemblance to the latter’s music has to my mind been over-emphasised.

Franz Schmidt Complete Symphonies

Schmidt was two generations younger than Bruckner. He was first cellist in the Vienna Court Opera (the Vienna Philharmonic of the day). There he played under Mahler, but the two had a falling out after the success of Schmidt’s First Symphony. Composed at 24, No 1 is a bright and joyous affair. The Court Opera must have performed Die Meistersingerbecause the...

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.