Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 9 in C, called "the Great," has a dramatic history. Schubert, who died at 31, never got to hear a public performance of the grand, majestic piece. Ten years after his death, Robert Schumann found the manuscript in Vienna and took it to Leipzig. Subsequently, it had its first performance by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and its intrepid music director, Felix Mendelssohn.
Schumann reportedly called it the greatest instrumental work since Beethoven. Listeners will have a chance to hear for themselves this weekend, when the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and guest conductor Christopher Wilkins perform the masterpiece at Kleinhans Music Hall.
Also on the program is Alexander Glazunov's Violin Concerto. Full of the atmosphere of Czarist Russia, this is a concerto that grabs you on the first hearing with its colorful melodies and extroverted beauty. The soloist will be violinist Elena Urioste. She is a former winner of Chicago's Sphinx Competition, which spotlights the talents of African-American and Latino string soloists.
The concert begins with the "Ruler of the Spirits" Overture by Carl Maria von Weber.
Catch the concert at 8 p.m. Saturday or 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $25-$57. For information, call 885-5000.
-- Mary Kunz Goldman