A Schubert Rarity: Symphony No. 10 on Symphony @ 7

Posthumous lithograph of Franz Schubert by Joseph Kriehuber(Photo: Wikipedia)
Posthumous lithograph of Franz Schubert by Joseph Kriehuber(Photo: Wikipedia)

This evening on Symphony @ 7, we have the rarely heard Symphony No. 10 of Franz Schubert.  One reason it’s rare is that it’s even more unfinished than the famous Unfinished Symphony (No. 8 in b minor).  But thanks to Brian Newbould, the noted Schubert scholar, there’s a completion from the  music Schubert did leave behind for what is believed to have been a projected 10th symphony.

In the last weeks of Schubert’s life in the autumn of 1828, he began working on a new symphony.  What he left was a piano sketch that was not even complete.  It was, however, promising enough for Newbould to attempt envisioning what a completely orchestrated realization might sound like.  And that’s what he did.

Apparently, there was enough music to realize that Schubert had intended this to be a three movement work, rather than having the more usual four movements.  The second movement, which was the most complete and marked Andante, has been described as “an impressively solemn, slow march invention which has been  seen as anticipating Gustav Mahler.”  It was up to Newbould to determine the tempo markings to give the less filled out first and third movements.  He used his extensive knowledge of Schubert’s composing methods to make this fully orchestrated piece lasting about half an hour.

So, our “Summer with Schubert Series” on Thursday evenings  is not quite over yet.  Join us on Classical 101 for Symphony @ 7 for this fascinating realization of what Schubert might have written had he lived longer than his all-too-short 31 years.  If you can’t wait, listen to this:

And, there’s still more coming next Thursday evening!  Join us the for the even more rare, missing Symphony No. 7 I mentioned in a previous blog post.  Stay tuned for more about that.