Overture in Bb Major

By Franz Schubert
Composed in 1816

Schubert wrote the Overture in B flat in 1816. By this time, he had already written four symphonies and several other overtures.

Schubert was a good violinist as well as pianist and held a principal position in his school orchestra in Vienna. Legend has it that the orchestra would rehearse every night with the windows of their rehearsal room open, stopping traffic as the Viennese would pause to listen.

That Schubert was steeped in the symphonies of Haydn and Mozart, one of which the school orchestra would play every night, is apparent in both the style of Schubert’s writing, as well as his deep knowledge of the capabilities of the orchestra. Even though this lineage is readily apparent, one can also already detect Schubert’s individuality, in his ever warm mood, and particularly in his presentation of themes in even more remote keys than was usually practiced before.