For the third volume in their cycle of Schubert’s symphonies, Edward Gardner and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra turn to the first and fourth symphonies. Composed in 1813, when Schubert was just sixteen, the First Symphony admirably demonstrates the young composer’s grasp of symphonic form and technique, and while the influences of Haydn, Mozart, and early Beethoven are clearly audible, the spirit of Schubert’s own distinctive voice is certainly in evidence. Composed three years later, the Fourth Symphony is scored for larger forces and is much more ambitious in outlook. He took more trouble to unify his thematic material across the four movements, and the symphony is clearly closer to the style of his later works. The Overture to his opera Fierrabras completes the album.