Franz Schubert – Symphony No. 5
Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 in B♭ major, D. 485, was written mainly in September 1816 and completed on October 3, 1816. It was finished six months after the completion of his previous symphony.
Scored for one flute, two oboes, and two bassoons, along with two horns in B♭ and E♭ and strings. Of all of Schubert’s symphonies, it is scored for the smallest orchestra. It is the only one of his symphonies which does not include clarinets, trumpets or timpani as part of the instrumentation.
In character, the writing is often said to resemble Mozart; Schubert was infatuated with the composer at the time he composed it, writing in his diary on June 13 of the year of composition, “O Mozart! immortal Mozart! what countless impressions of a brighter, better life hast thou stamped upon our souls!” This is reflected particularly in the lighter instrumentation, as noted above. Indeed, the instrumentation matches that of the first version (without clarinets) of Mozart’s 40th symphony. For another example, there is a strong similarity between the opening themes of the second movement of D. 485 and the last movement of Mozart’s Violin Sonata in F major, K. 377.