Ron Chaplin asked:
>Is it known that Schubert intended to write a third movement and, for
>whatever reason, didn't? Or can the Unfinished be a Finished symphony
>of two movements?
I'm not necessarily up on the latest scholarship on this, but as I
understand it, we just don't know for sure.
Obviously it can be a finished symphony as it is; it's performed
that way quite often, and as it has been noted elsewhere, it doesn't
necessarily sound unfinished. The question is whether Schubert was done
with it, or if he intended to come back to it and add another movement
or two. There there are some who reason that he was experimenting with
form, and thus the unfinished perhaps really isn't. FWIW, I find this
theory somewhat plausible.
I have collected recordings of nearly all the fragments and sketches,
as well as a couple of cobbled together tenth symphonies and the
perhaps spurious "Gmunden-Gastein" (Mackerras, Marriner, Bartholomee
& Samuel). All of these symphonic works chronologically fall between
the sixth symphony (1818) and the "ninth" symphony (1828). It looks
something like this:
Symphony #6 in C Major, D. 589 (1818)
Symphony (Fragment) in D Major, D. 615 (1818)
Symphonic Fragments in D Major, D. 708a (1821)
Symphony #8 "Unfinished" in B minor, D. 759 (1822)
Symphony (#7?) "Gmunden-Gastein" in E Major, D. 849 (1825?)
Symphony (#10) in D Major, D. 936a (1828)
Symphony #9 "Great" in C Major, D. 944 (1828)
Even if you ignore D. 849, that's quite a mess he made, after writing
six straight-forward symphonies (#1-6) during the previous five
years. Maybe he was just playing around, experimenting. After all,
it's not as though he had much immediate prospect of having them
published or performed, so he was under virtually no pressure at all
to produce a new symphony during that last decade. If he wrote
symphonies at all, it was probably because he felt the urge.
My two cents... probably worth half that.
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