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Track Listing:

Schubert: Symphony in C major D 944 / Andante
Schubert: Symphony in C major D 944 / Andante con moto
Schubert: Symphony in C major D 944 / Scherzo. Allegro vivace - Trio
Schubert: Symphony in C major D 944 / Finale. Allegro vivace

Claudio Abbado :

Orchestra Mozart - Schubert / Symphony in C major

Deutsche Grammophon is extremely proud to release a recording of Claudio Abbado leading the Orchestra Mozart in a live performance of Schubert's Symphony in C major, D 944 "The Great".  The conductor and orchestra enjoyed a highly fruitful working relationship, and that combined with Abbado's love of Schubert led to a truly memorable performance.  "A magnificent interpretation ... in the precision of the gestures, in the way Abbado directs his orchestra, in the knowledgeable and intelligent shaping of each component of the score." (Amadeus)  The album will be released on June 23, 2015.

Throughout his career, Abbado evinced a keen desire to work with young musicians, and it was this desire that led him to give the world of music one new orchestra after another. He loved working with his players with the maximum degree of intimacy and in an atmosphere of mutual understanding that encouraged them to listen to each other. The two most recent ones were the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, which dates back to 2003, and the Orchestra Mozart, which was established the following year as a project of the Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna. The Orchestra Mozart was never simply a youth orchestra but was a highly qualified large chamber ensemble in which young musicians appeared alongside experienced figures. In one of his last interviews, Abbado himself stressed that he was never interested in "drawing a distinction between my youth orchestras on the one hand and my elite orchestra on the other. The truth of the matter is that there are few major differences between my orchestras. We are all members of one big family, performing music together and in that way helping each other out."

Against this background the present recording of Schubert's C major Symphony ("Great") may be regarded as the conductor's legacy. It was made in September 2011 at two acclaimed concerts that Abbado conducted with the Orchestra Mozart in Bologna and Bolzano. The program also included two of Mozart's piano concertos with Maria João Pires as soloist; both concertos have been released on DG. Throughout Abbado's life, Schubert featured prominently in his repertory: he won the Koussevitzky Competition with the "Unfinished" in 1958 and was immediately launched on his international career. In the course of that career he frequently revisited the "Great" C major Symphony after conducting it for the first time in the Hague in 1966.

The present release also constitutes a legacy in that it documents Abbado's final view of this work. His whole life was based on the conviction that works of music are mysteries that need to be constantly rediscovered. "Great music is inexhaustible," he used to say. "In music, as in life, there are no limits. That is why I always try to study a score as if it was for the very first time. Any other approach would be too simple, quite apart from being very boring." Abbado's ability in his last years to achieve an ever greater youthfulness and unspoiled beauty was one of the many mysteries of his art. But one thing is certain: in the final ten years of his life the Orchestra Mozart was a fountain of youth for Abbado as a conductor.