Unfinished symphony

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This article is about the musical term. For the symphony by Schubert, see Symphony No. 8 (Schubert). For the 2001 documentary film, see Unfinished Symphony: Democracy and Dissent.

An unfinished symphony is a fragment of a symphony, by a particular composer, that musicians and academics consider incomplete or unfinished for various reasons. The archetypal unfinished symphony is Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 (sometimes called Schubert's Unfinished Symphony), written in 1822, six years before his death. It features two fully orchestrated movements. While it seems clear from sketches that Schubert set out to create a traditional four-movement symphony, this has been the subject of endless debate. Schubert wrote the symphony for the Graz Musical Society, and gave the manuscript to his friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner, in his capacity as its representative. However, Hüttenbrenner did not show the score to the society at that time, nor did he reveal the existence of the manuscript after Schubert died in 1828, but kept it a secret for another 37 years. In 1865, when he was 76 (three years before his death), Hüttenbrenner finally showed it to the conductor Johann von Herbeck, who conducted the extant two movements on 17 December 1865 in Vienna, adding the last movement of Schubert's third symphony as the finale. Music historians and scholars then toiled to "prove" the composition was complete in its two-movement form, and indeed, in that form it became one of the most popular pieces in the late 19th century classical music repertoire, and remains one of Schubert's most popular compositions.

Other unfinished symphonies[edit]

The unfinished symphony may also refer to:

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