Unfinished Business

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Postby Catmando » Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:19 pm

Please don't laugh. Ummm, ok, you can laugh.

At first, I thought that was the name of the symphony "Unfinished".

I didn't realize that the symphony was named that way because it was actually "unfinished".

Duh! :dunce:
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Postby bignaf » Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:05 pm

it's both.
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Postby shostakovich » Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:58 pm

bignaf wrote:the development section is pretty lousy, which is a Schubertian characteristic. he doesn't break up his themes into little motives, he keeps them whole, in almost all his large scale forms. the same occurs here.
the second theme is Schubertian in its dance-like rhythm. it is also a great melody. none of Schubert's contemporaries compares to him even remotely in writing good tunes. this is a great tune.


My suspicion is not that it was written by a contemporary, but rather decades later. The symphony was discovered about 35 years after he died. It may be the score was in his handwriting. Does anybody know? If that's the case, I'll have to develop a conspiracy theory to back the other theory.
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Postby Catmando » Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:19 pm

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Postby bignaf » Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:31 pm

what leads you to say is un-Schubertian? just the existence of a slow intro? at this time Schubert's style was going a big change, as can be seen in the piano sonatas of the time, where he strikes out in different directions. I think one of them has a slow intro, which hasn't been in his sonatas earlier either.
Your statement regarding Schubert's importance taking a big blow is because of your obsession with orchestral music. :) I'm not a big fan of the Unfinished, I think Schubert is pretty bad at development, he tries to imitate Beethoven, but misses the point, and his themes are really not suitable for development. Schubert's greatrest music are his lieder. he would be known as a great composer for them alone.
anyway, who could write the tune of the 2nd theme, other than Schubert?
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Postby shostakovich » Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:58 pm

bignaf wrote:what leads you to say is un-Schubertian? just the existence of a slow intro? at this time Schubert's style was going a big change, as can be seen in the piano sonatas of the time, where he strikes out in different directions. I think one of them has a slow intro, which hasn't been in his sonatas earlier either.
Your statement regarding Schubert's importance taking a big blow is because of your obsession with orchestral music. :) I'm not a big fan of the Unfinished, I think Schubert is pretty bad at development, he tries to imitate Beethoven, but misses the point, and his themes are really not suitable for development. Schubert's greatrest music are his lieder. he would be known as a great composer for them alone.
anyway, who could write the tune of the 2nd theme, other than Schubert?


Hi Big. I'm not familiar with his piano sonatas. You are right about my obsession with orchestral music, but I find much of his music trivial. I'm familiar with the impromptus. Nothing great there. I've read that one needs to be familiar with his chamber music to find anything approaching the Unfinished. Quartettsatz is OK. The Trout Quintet annoys me. Death and the Maiden has possibilities. The middle movement of the Piano Trio is beautiful, but it has a nearly Baroque ostinato. The Unfinished strikes ME as having beauty and depth beyond anything (else?) he wrote for orchestra. It belongs closer to the middle of the century, which Schubert did not achieve. The beginning of the scherzo, that was among Huttenbrenner's possessions, is definitely Schubert. It has no relationship to the first 2 movements. Who could have written it? Mendelssohn, for instance.

As for his lieder, he wrote about 600 songs. Fewer than half a dozen are well known. This is fame? I've only heard a dozen. Erlking is outstanding among among them, but it can not be compared to the Unfinished. Ave Maria and one other have beautiful melodies. Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel is impressive only for having been written by a 17-year-old. Otherwise, it's just OK. These are opinions, naturally, and disagreement is expected.

Back to the symphonies and overtures. All overtures and first movements of Symphonies 1-6 seem to be of the same form. The 9th is bigger, and strikes me as overblown, but enjoyable. For my money, there is nothing (else?) in Schubert's orchestral music with anything approaching the depth of feeling and everlasting beauty of the Unfinished. My feeling is unshakeable.
Shos
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Postby bignaf » Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:18 pm

I'm ussually in the role of the person attacking Schubert, since I'm not a fan of his larger music. so it's weird defending him.
Dozens of his songs are famous. people who are into art Song can probably give you a list of 20 famous songs off the top of their head.
the impromtus are nothing much and the trout annoys me too. but he always has a good melody in his pieces.
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Postby dai bread » Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:51 pm

shostakovich wrote:... For my money, there is nothing (else?) in Schubert's orchestral music with anything approaching the depth of feeling and everlasting beauty of the Unfinished. My feeling is unshakeable.
Shos


I've read that this is exactly why it's unfinished. Schubert couldn't match his first two movements.

I've never heard the fragment of the 3rd movement that's been mentioned. Does anyone know if it's a match for the first 2?
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Postby shostakovich » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:52 pm

It's definitely not up to the standard of the first two. Only a few bars are orchestrated, and a few more written for piano. It leaves everything to be desired. It's inconceiveable (to me) that the same person could have written it.
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