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Although Franz Schubert’s earliest symphonies are sometimes considered youthful works of a composer still learning his trade, they nonetheless attest to a genius of symphonic construction such as few musicians could boast at, respectively, 16 (Symphony No. 1), 18 (Symphony No. 3) or 19 years of age (Symphony No. 4). Despite these promising beginnings, Schubert would be only sporadically published during his lifetime – approximately one tenth of his total output and primarily his lieder –, and his symphonic works would not be printed until sixty years after his death.

Here, Philippe Herreweghe and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic pay a superb tribute to these works of the composer that are less well known and rarely recorded, in interpretations of refinement, precision and sensitivity.