Franz Schubert

Symphony No. 8 in B minor ("Unfinished"), D. 759

    Description by Michael Morrison

    Early in 1822, Schubert was at the zenith of his career and he began writing a monumental Symphony in B minor. By the end of that year, he had scored the first two movements and sketched a third. He contracted syphilis late in that year and for a time was completely incapacitated, which was when he stopped work on the symphony and set it aside. By spring, he had recovered some of his strength. He was accepted for honorary membership in the Styrian Music Society at Graz in Austria. As part of his acceptance, he sent the two completed movements of the B minor Symphony to its director, Anselm Hüttenbrenner, who promptly stuffed them into a drawer and forgot them. It languished there until 1860, when Hüttenbrenner's younger brother Joseph came upon it, and recognizing it as a lost treasure, began badgering Viennese conductor Johann Herbeck to perform the piece. The work was finally performed December 17, 1865.

    The symphony itself is both large and understated. From the first, ominous opening bars, it is evident this is not the youthful Schubert who earlier crafted six lightweight symphonies. Confident and audacious, Schubert begins the 14 minute first movement by laying down a cornerstone in the basses, upon which is layered a gentle, wafting melody which gradually accumulates mass and power to a quick conclusion. This all turns out to be an introduction, and one of the composer's most brilliant melodies ensues. This, too, quickly becomes larger and more dramatic and an effective bridge leads back to the beginning. An intense, soaring center section, almost triumphant in its great chords, leads to a final reprise of the opening and the great movement ends solemnly.

    The 11 minute Andante con moto movement begins with a marvelous melody, presented straightforwardly with no ornamentation, and this leads seamlessly to another marvelous woodwind melody. Great, broad shouldered strides carry the music to a new key where the themes are repeated. Tranquillity returns with the first themes and after a summation of what has passed, the movement -- and the work -- marches quietly to its end.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro moderato
    2. Andante con moto
    3. Allegro (sketches)

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 CAvi-music AVI 8553365
    2018 Warner Classics
    2018 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon 4798418
    2018 Nimbus Records NI 7098
    2018 Gramola GRAM 99180
    2017 Warner Classics 0190295886691
    2017 Deutsche Grammophon 4797477
    2017 Berliner Philharmoniker BPHR 150063
    2017 NEOS NEOS 21602
    2017 Warner Classics 561986
    2017 Warner Classics 0190295886721
    2017 Decca / Eloquence 4825379
    2017 Claves
    2017 Claves 50171117
    2017 Symphonia ERM 5014
    2017 Münchner Philharmoniker 0793052112387
    2017 Münchner Philharmoniker 0793052112370
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795805
    2016 Audite AUDITE 95642
    2016 RCA Red Seal 88875169792
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4796314
    2016 Opus KURA OPK 7076
    2016 Ermitage / Symphonia ERM 1014
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795545
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795553
    2015 Divine Art DDA 25125
    2015 Erato
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 4794306
    2015 Wiener Symphoniker WS 009
    2015 Tudor Records TUD 1660
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 002894795229
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon
    2014 IDIS IDIS 667677
    2014 Sony Classical 88843014642
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon 4792687
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon
    2014 Urania WS 121164
    2014 Audite AUDITE 95627
    2014 RCA Red Seal 88843006072
    2014 Supraphon SU 41332
    2013 Decca 4785437
    2013 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099972328
    2013 Brilliant / Brilliant Classics 94693
    2013 Haenssler HAEN 93298
    2013 BR Klassik 900712
    2013 Warner Classics 40840
    2013 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 09061
    2013 ABC Classics ABC 4764740
    2013 Apex 690058
    2013 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 13032
    2013 Melodiya MELCD 1002072
    2013 Deutsche Grammophon 4791046
    2012 Ancalagon ANCSACD 137
    2012 Ancalagon
    2012 PentaTone Classics PTC 5186446
    2012 Broken Audio BRAU 0409
    2012 Supraphon SU 40812
    2012 Naxos 8501057
    2012 Deutsche Grammophon 002894770055
    2012 EMI Classics
    2012 Hänssler Classic CD 94611
    2012 Naïve V 5299
    2012 Profil / Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 12062
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099973171
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099967830
    2012 Naxos 8572939
    2012 Urania 181
    2012 RCA Red Seal 88697953352
    2012 Sony Classical 88697714392
    2012 K-Tel 56740
    2012 Concerto / Zebralution
    2012 Andromeda ANDRCD 9109
    2011 Sony Classical / Sony Music Distribution 7712982
    2011 Entertainment Group 1202
    2011 The Entertainment Group 1032
    2011 Deutsche Grammophon 002894779628
    2011 Deutsche Grammophon
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94218
    2011 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2011 Tudor Records 1610
    2011 Red Bus Classical RCLAS 042
    2011 MDG MDG9011636-6
    2011 EMI Classics
    2011 EMI Classics 918735
    2011 Warner Classics
    2011 Testament 1463
    2011 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH08043
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94243
    2011 Decca
    2011 Newton Classics 8802033
    2011 IDIS 6607
    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099990811920
    2011 EMI Classics
    2010 Sony Classical 8869768365
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal 477 882-6
    2010 Documents / Documents Classics 2231557
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Audite 04480
    2010 Teldec
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    2010 AAO Music
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    2010 Virgin Classics
    2010 Decca
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    2010 EMI Classics 9069472
    2010 BIS 1656
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 AAO Music UMI_00778325651
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
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    2010 Piano 21 21033
    2009 Royal Philharmonic Masterworks 28130
    2009 Delta / Zebralution
    2009 Delta / Zebralution
    2009 Documents / Membrane 231055
    2009 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler 9068
    2009 Naxos 8572051
    2009 Myto Records 215
    2009 Phoenix Edition 437
    2009 Denon Records
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    2009 Apex 2564698965
    2009 Denon Records
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    2009 BBC Legends / Medici Arts 42622
    2009 Decca
    2009 Audite 21403
    2009 Praga Digitals 350053
    2008 Corona Classic Collection 0000662CCC
    2008 Document / Membran 231884
    2008 Music & Arts MACD1218
    2008 Brilliant 93163
    2008 ZYX Music 10323
    2008 Sony Music Distribution 90375
    2008 Corona Classic Collection 0002692CCC
    2008 Berlin Classics 0184332
    2008 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler 8019
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 4777162
    2008 Warner Classics
    2008 Brilliant 93673
    2008 Sony Classical 47297
    2008 Union Square Music SIMPLYCD057
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099951203
    2007 EMI Classics 88664
    2007 EMI Classics 3886892
    2007 EMI Classics
    2007 Guild Historical 2319
    2007 Archipel 0360
    2007 Berlin 8403
    2007 Document 223602
    2007 Documents 231060
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    2007 Brilliant Classics 93303
    2007 RCA Red Seal 704603
    2007 LPO 29
    2007 EMI Music Distribution 385853
    2007 Rhino
    2007 IDIS 6505/06
    2007 Brilliant 93178
    2007 Decca 4758542
    2006 Madacy 52226
    2006 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler 6008
    2006 Madacy Distribution / Madacy TC252367
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon
    2006 Urania 304
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 4767709
    2006 Berlin Classics 0185622
    2006 Brilliant 93163/1
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    2005 Decca 475 6090DC6
    2005 Symposium 1344
    2005 Andante 4100
    2005 Philips 4756353
    2005 Deutsche Grammophon 000532302
    2005 Tudor Records 7141
    2005 Brilliant 92778
    2005 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243586067
    2005 Parlophone
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    2005 EMI Classics 5870042
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    2005 Music & Arts 4705
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    2004 Artone 222334
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    2004 Rca Red Seal 60392
    2004 Chandos CHAN6684
    2004 Testament 1364
    2004 High Definition Classics 029
    2004 AAO Music / United Audio Entertainment 65172
    2004 Brilliant 92394
    2004 Apex 60532
    2004 Onyx Classix 6600
    2004 Deutsche Grammophon 2894775324
    2004 Centurion Classics 2064
    2003 Urania 246
    2003 Document 220822
    2003 Decca 000017702
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    2003 Living Stage 35160
    2003 Warner Classics
    2003 Eroica Distribution 204
    2003 Opus KURA 2032
    2003 Vox 90119
    2003 Apex 4605302
    2003 Classic Collection 99877
    2003 Virgin 562227
    2003 EMI Classics
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    2003 Naxos 8557234
    2003 BBC Music 4120
    2003 Aura Classics 0128
    2003 Philips 470886
    2003 Sony Music Distribution 87986
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    2003 History 45515
    2003 Archipel 0101
    2003 Andante 2060
    2002 EMI Music Distribution 75130
    2002 History 205645
    2002 EMI Music Distribution 74801
    2002 Golden Melodram 40063
    2002 Living Stage 35152
    2002 Brilliant 99587
    2002 Naïve OP 20008
    2002 Orfeo 562021
    2002 Rca Red Seal 63943
    2002 Telarc Distribution 80608
    2002 Teldec 0927426642
    2002 Boston Records 1048
    2002 History 205186
    2001 Music & Arts 1094
    2001 Tahra 417-418
    2001 History 205259
    2001 History 205253
    2001 Concerto Royale 206241
    2001 Classica d'Oro 1036
    2001 CBC Records 5034
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 574808
    2001 History 205241
    2000 Tring 001
    2000 Disky 70593
    2000 Testament 1182
    2000 Onyx Classix 1917
    2000 Unesco 70637
    2000 Tahra 238
    2000 Deutsche Grammophon 463609
    2000 Angel Records 66868
    2000 Deutsche Grammophon 469 196-2GP2
    2000 Angel Records 61806
    2000 Sony Classical 61842
    2000 Amadis 7087
    2000 Virgin 61305
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 67338
    2000 Universal Distribution
    2000 Stradivarius 10051
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 67019
    1999 Claves 509700/5
    1999 Claves 509703
    1999 Dacapo 8 224100
    1999 The Radio Years 96
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 419318
    1999 Berlin Classics 0093982
    1999 Angel Records 73362
    1999 RCA 7126
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 72690
    1999 RCA 59480
    1999 Angel Records / Warner Classics 7243573431
    1999 Decca 460643
    1999 Sony Music Distribution 6506
    1999 Platinum Entertainment 3855
    1999 Madacy 9504
    1999 Music & Arts 802
    1998 Intersound 2813
    1998 Grammofono 2000 78805
    1998 Grammofono 2000 78802
    1998 Teldec 17133
    1998 Delta Distribution 11519
    1998 Telarc Distribution 80502
    1998 Dutton Laboratories 5020
    1998 Mercury 462954
    1998 Biddulph Recordings 039
    1997 Magic Talent 48070
    1997 Otello 1003
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453664
    1997 Everest 9045/46
    1997 Opus 111 30192
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 449745
    1997 Capriccio Records 490654
    1997 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 66105
    1997 Magic 48051
    1997 London 452892
    1997 Point Classics 265082
    1997 Erato 15518
    1997 Nimbus NI1766
    1997 Dutton Laboratories 7014
    1997 Cala Records 0520
    1997 Dutton Laboratories 2002
    1997 Regency Music CMPSC2
    1996 Sony Music Distribution 66249
    1996 Sony Music Distribution 64487
    1996 EMI Music Distribution 569212-2
    1996 Berlin Classics 0090722
    1996 Sony Music Distribution 66833
    1996 Intersound 2512
    1996 BMG 62673
    1995 Berlin Classics 0091422
    1995 Naxos 553223
    1995 Curb 78041
    1995 Melodiya 25190
    1995 Preiser Records 90229
    1995 RCA Red Seal 09026 68314-2
    1995 Orfeo 359941
    1995 Art of Classics 885912
    1995 Teldec 97511
    1995 Royal Opera 6454
    1995 Seraphim UK 568534
    1995 Infinity Digital 64561
    1995 Seraphim UK 69031
    1995 Philips 446539
    1995 Lydian 18087
    1995 Pearl 9037
    1995 Biddulph Recordings WHL033
    1995 Decca 444 546-2DF2
    1995 Pearl GEMMCD9154
    1995 Preiser Records 90922
    1995 Hallmark Recordings 350092
    1995 Melodiya 25189
    1994 Madacy 5608
    1994 Deutsche Grammophon 439862
    1994 Madacy 1026
    1994 Naxos 550289
    1994 Madacy 3605
    1994 EMI Music Distribution 68217
    1994 Capriccio Records 10503
    1994 Deutsche Grammophon 445 514-2GMA
    1994 Russian Disc 10903
    1994 Vox / Vox Music Masters 8504
    1993 Belart/Karussell 450 033-2
    1993 Teldec 76436
    1993 Deutsche Grammophon 437689
    1993 EMI Music Distribution 64628
    1992 Sony Music Distribution 48132
    1992 Sony Music Distribution 48268
    1992 Naxos 8550145
    1992 Nimbus 5270
    1991 RCA 60290
    1991 Delos 3067
    1991 Teldec 74785
    1991 Decca 4307732
    1990 CBS Records 44783
    1990 Novalis 150091
    1990 Orfeo 235901
    1990 Laserlight 15527
    1989 Deutsche Grammophon 4236552
    1989 Deutsche Grammophon 4276452
    1989 RCA 60099
    1989 Laserlight 15823
    1989 Laserlight 15820
    1988 Deutsche Grammophon 423882
    1988 Deutsche Grammophon 423651
    1988 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music
    1980 Tahra 214
    1980 Tahra 1017
    1980 Tahra 1023
    Deutsche Grammophon 435321
    History 204561
    Deutsche Grammophon 437000
    Vivace 527
    Deutsche Grammophon 435327
    BBC Music Magazine 31D
    CBS Records 36711
    Musique d'Or 1063
    RCA 5403
    EMI Music Distribution 47120
    RCA Victor 61551
    RCA Victor 86803
    RCA 6803
    CBS Masterworks 36719
    Vivace 211
    BBC Legends 4039
    Magic Master 37008
    Centurion Classics 10005
    Palladio 4169
    Pearl 9945
    Document 220823-303
    Chandos 8746
    Madacy 52368
    Decca 000298202
    Excelsior Recordings 5212
    Vox 8800
    Palladio 1208
    History 205647-303
    Artists 43
    Berliner Philharmoniker
    Winterthur
    History 205260
    Lys 077
    History 205652303
    Stradivari 6121
    Palladio 4158
    History 205255
    Intercord Klassische Diskothek 830802
    EMI Music Distribution 63193
    Grammofono 2000 78609
    All Russia
    Testament 1365
    Gemini Collection 606
    CBS Records 39445
    Fonit-Cetra Italia 124
    Deutsche Grammophon 471307
    Sony Music Distribution 63094
    Forum Records 46207980
    Monolit 716871381
    Reader's Digest Music 5941
    Brilliant 92778/1
    Deutsche Grammophon 437019
    Capriccio Records 49067
    Iron Needle 1379
    Manchester 130
    Sony Music Entertainment 48268
    Rca Red Seal 63940
    MCA 5054
    Brilliant 93178/11
    Brilliant Classics 8635/54
    Brilliant Classics 93673/2
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    Blue Cat Music
    EMI Music Distribution 7690962
    Symphonia 10
    Teldec
    Leena 2012
    Acum 7001810
    Onyx Classix 66392
    Philips 442117
    EMI Music Distribution 54066
    EMI Music Distribution 569834-2
    RCA 60792
    Erato 45986
    EMI Music Distribution 574885
    Living Era Classics 8556
    Carlton 3036700872
    Quintessence 2008
    Historical Performers 40
    Vox 5138
    Nimbus 5274
    Naxos 550145
    London 414371
    Philips 410393
    Deutsche Grammophon 410862
    Guild Historical 2202
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    Teldec 18960
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    Pickwick 11025
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    Excelsior Recordings 032
    Aurophon Records 31437
    Donau 8087
    London 430439
    White Label 152
    As Disc 306
    Canyon Classics 287
    Legend 111
    As Disc 11001
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    Philips 456029
    K&K Verlagsanstalt 11277
    Masters of the Millennium 2007
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    K-Tel Distribution 1000
    Pickwick 11011
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    Virgin Classics 094635708028
    Laserlight 35820
    Vox 402
    Stradivari 6117
    Intersound 3091
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    IMP Classics 1101
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    EXLB 4802
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