Belgian National Orchestra – James Feddeck conductor – Javier Perianes piano
Symphony no. 8, D 759, "Unfinished" Franz Schubert
Piano Concerto no. 2, op. 19 Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony no. 5, op. 67 Ludwig van Beethoven
Vagueness? Negligence? We have no idea why Franz Schubert never completed his Symphony No. 8. Traditionally, a symphony has four movements, as you can hear in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 – possibly his most known work, with the famous menacing opening motif (short-short-short-long). A sublime musical work that everyone knows the introduction.
But Schubert only composed two of the customary four movements.
Something that is not finished often leaves us unsatisfied. But when is it ready? Is something ever really finished? Leonardo da Vinci famously said that art is never finished, only abandoned, a maxim that also applies to Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2, which the Spanish pianist Javier Perianes will be performing with us. The composer was not really happy with the outcome and tinkered with it for such a long time that he ended up composing another concerto in the meantime, his Piano Concerto No. 1.
And Schubert’s eighth symphony? It will be performed as it is, in its unfinished state. And, though unfinished, it is beautiful nonetheless.