Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D 759 (sometimes renumbered as Symphony No. 7, in accordance with the revised Deutsch catalogue and the Neue Schubert-Ausgabe), commonly known as the Unfinished Symphony (German: Unvollendete), is a musical composition that Schubert started in 1822 but left with only two movements—though he lived for another six years. A scherzo, nearly completed in piano score but with only two pages orchestrated, also survives.
It has been theorized by some musicologists, including Brian Newbould, that Schubert may have sketched a finale that instead became the big B minor entr'acte from his incidental music to Rosamunde, but all evidence for this is circumstantial. One possible reason for Schubert's leaving the symphony incomplete is the predominance of the same meter (triple meter). The first movement is in 3 4, the second in 3 8 and the third (an incomplete scherzo) again in 3 4. Three consecutive movements in basically the same meter rarely occur in symphonies, sonatas, or chamber works of the most important Viennese composers.
Performances & Interviews
- Schubert: Symphony No. 8 'Unfinished'https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01trhbx.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01trhbx.jpg2014-05-19T13:09:00.000ZCharles Hazlewood and the BBC Philharmonic explore Schubert's 'Unfinished' Symphony.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01zcmj1
Schubert: Symphony No. 8 'Unfinished'Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Philharmonic explore Schubert's 'Unfinished' Symphony.
- Schubert: Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished)https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01hcqpw.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01hcqpw.jpg2014-12-27T09:00:00.000ZIn Building a Library Chris de Souza has a personal recommendation from recordings of Schubert's tantalisingly truncated Symphony No. 8, the 'Unfinished Symphony'.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02g0vmt
Schubert: Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished)In Building a Library Chris de Souza has a personal recommendation from recordings of Schubert's tantalisingly truncated Symphony No. 8, the 'Unfinished Symphony'.