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Schubert: Symphony No. 8 [Import]

Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Claudio Abbado Audio CD

Price: £8.23 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Schubert: Symphony No. 8 + Schubert: Symphonies Nos 5 & 6 + Schubert: Symphony No.9/Rosamunde
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Schubert: Symphony No.8 In B Minor, D.759 - "Unfinished" - 1. Allegro moderatoClaudio Abbado14:58£1.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Schubert: Symphony No.8 In B Minor, D.759 - "Unfinished" - 2. Andante con motoClaudio Abbado11:30£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Schubert: Grand Duo Sonata In C Major, D.812 (Op. posth.140) - Orchestrated By Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) - 1. Allegro moderatoClaudio Abbado15:26£1.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Schubert: Grand Duo Sonata In C Major, D.812 (Op. posth.140) - Orchestrated By Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) - 2. AndanteClaudio Abbado10:15£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Schubert: Grand Duo Sonata In C Major, D.812 (Op. posth.140) - Orchestrated By Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) - 3. Scherzo & Trio - Allegro vivaceClaudio Abbado 5:41£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Schubert: Grand Duo Sonata In C Major, D.812 (Op. posth.140) - Orchestrated By Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) - 4. Finale. Allegro moderatoClaudio Abbado12:34£1.49  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Noteworthy "Unfinished" Really Finished 17 Sep 2008
By Paul S. Rottenberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Franz Finished

Why did Schubert leave these two tremendous movements of his B minor Symphony incomplete? Actually, he worked on a scherzo, but left it incomplete, orchestrating about half (up to the Trio) and leaving the rest in piano score. There used to be a recording in the 60s of exactly what Schubert left, the usual two movements, with the scherzo, the orchestration ending abruptly, followed by the piano sketches for the rest. I don't recall the conductor, but I think the orchestra was the Vienna State Opera, on Columbia's budget label Odyssey. This is, as far as I know, out of print.

At any rate, we now have the perfectly good completions of various unfinished orchestral scores of Schubert ( he left several fragments of projected symphonic, chamber, and piano works) published by Dr. Brian Newbould, and we can point out the recording by Neville Marriner of the finished version of the "Unfinished," on Phillips as the most noteworthy of these.

However, this still doesn't quite give us exactly what Schubert wrote in the works and portions of works he did complete. Brahms and other well-meaning editors are responsible for the versions of Schubert's symphonic output we're all familiar with, but this is NOT the last word. Enter Claudio Abbado in the 1980s, and Nikolas Harnoncourt in the 90s. First Abbado, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe on DG (reviewed here), and then Nikolaus Harnoncourt, with the Concertgebouw Orchestra on Teldec, both made the first recordings of Schubert's Symphonies as he wrote them.

In the case of the present work, the Symphony in B Minor, recorded by Abbado and the COE, we get a first movement which seems to be the same as ever, but only up to the repeat of the exposition; thereafter, things are different. The famous tremelando chords are repeated (Abbado takes all of Schubert's repeats, to satisfying effect), and unfamiliar harmonies and inner details of trumpet and winds may surprise the most veteran of listeners. The second movement is less surprising, but equally compelling. We seem to be in a different world from that we usually see as Schubert's. There is the Alpine depth and nostalgia (with Mahler just "off stage"), but from a different perspective. The excellent, smaller forces gives us a view of inner lines usually not heard or not much noticed. Abbado is, as always in this series of Schubert Symphonies, masterly, allowing the music to speak for itself, much as Szell did in his classic recording of Nos. 8 & 9.

The "Grand Duo," actually a sonata for one piano, four hands (two players), is an orchestration by Brahms' and Schumann's friend and colleague Joseph Joachim. He did an excellent job, bringing out what Schumann saw as a "hidden symphony," and this is an excellent performance, easily the best of the work in orchestral score, and one of the best versions overall, equaling the splendid performance of Radu Lupu and Daniel Baremboim on Teldec.

So, why did Schubert leave his great B Minor Symphony unfinished? Perhaps we'll never know exactly, but there are intriguing theories mentioned in the notes for this recording as well as in Dr. Newbould's book Schubert: the Music and the Man. We'll leave it at that. See the review of the complete recording of Schubert's Symphonies on DG.

Finally, the most radical version of the B Minor would consist of the first two movements done by Abbado, followed by the scherzo done by Marriner,with the possible finale played by Abbado, from his "Rosamunde" with the COE on DG.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Schubert as he wrote and Schubert as he didn't write (3 1/2) 6 May 2013
By Jurgen Lawrenz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I don't know about you, but I find it quirky, to say the least, to couple a Schubert symphony, "as he wrote it", with a symphony he never wrote at all. Moreover, I can't say that I'm terribly excited about the "Schubert as he wrote it". Whether the score as we've known it for nearly two centuries was written note for note by Schubert, or whether someone else had a hand in it, you can't remove the fact that this is one of the most beloved, one of the deepest musical experiences conveyed to us by the symphonic literature. This fact is not removed by this release. It remind me of so much other archaeological activity of musical academics on the hunt for more and more "original" scores, often in defiance of a composer's judgement that the work was deficient in its first version (e.g. Sibelius Violin Concerto). Or art researchers who find a new patch of colour on Leonardo and scrape off what they think is later paint to reveal it, without being able to ask the painter whether maybe he himself painted over it. I am not convinced that the score presented in this recording is a treasure that must supersede the work as we know it. This is just over-heated excitement at a few new bells and whistles. It has nothing to do with challenging the profundity of an incomparable work of art -- I dare say that "profundity" is not even in the vocabulary of these enthusiasts.
Anyway, here we have it, the new Unfinished Symphony, in a decent performance well recorded. I don't own the complete set, but I have No. 9 (or is it 8 or maybe 7 again??) by the same forces, and the few novelties there don't amount to anything worth talking about. The performance matters, and it is not conspicuously good. Not here either. It sounds regrettably routine, despite the novelty.
The other symphony, actually the Grand Duo for 4 hands on one piano, was long and by many people suspected of being the sketch of Schubert's supposedly lost symphony. We seems to be in the picture now that the "Gastein Symphony" is none other than the Great C major work, so recording this orchestration in the context of Schubert Edition seems bizarre. Schubert wrote it for piano, so please query the justification in the name of authenticity!
The score was written by Joseph Joachim, the famous violinist and friend of Schumann and Brahms. It does not much sound like Schubert's orchestration; in fact it is quite overblown in late romantic manner and sounds more like Brahms than Schubert. It is one of those instances where the music is impoverished against the original. So much filling in needed to be done by Joachim that the whole feel of the work goes haywire. You would be well advised to stick with the 4 handed piano version. (In other words, this is not like Ravel scoring his piano works in fully idiomatic orchestral dress; it is like his Mussorgsky, which doesn't preserve much of Mussorgsky's authentic style).
The performance is adequate, but seems to have been done with considerably less enthusiasm than the real Schubert.
All told: a curiosity worth having for curiosity's sake. But not if you are building up a Schubert library. Less than half of this album is actually by Schubert, in terms of countable notes.
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