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on 26 September 2006
I bought this box set to get hold of Brian Newbould's realisation of the 7th symphony in E major. If you're a Schubert enthusiast or scholar I would recommend buying this for the 7th symphony and the other fragments included. I haven't seen the manuscripts for the 7th symphony but am a professional musician and think that Newbould has done a great job particularly with the use of motif in the outer movements.

The seventh symphony is a fascinating link between the earlier symphonies and the later mature sounding eighth and ninth, as well as being a delightful symphony in its own right. The fragments of other symphonies will also interest the enthusiast.

One can only speculate what Schubert would have done. Newbould has orchestrated Schubert's music as it was left in sketches and that is all that anyone can do. Personally I can imagine that Schubert would have revised his initial thoughts creating more polished finished pieces, but that is outside the remit of anyone else except Schubert. Professor Newbould has given us access to largely unknown repertoire by a great master, using skill and care to present the unfinished fragments in versions Schubert may well have been happy to call his own.
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on 4 August 2007
This six CD set contains all of the extant symphonic works of Franz Schubert, the seven completed symphonies, completions of the 7th & 8th, a speculative expansion of the notes for his '10th' symphony and a few fragments.

But whilst these are the obvious selling points for the set, it has much more to offer than debatable completions...

Marriner brings out the Schubert's mixture of precise structural control and emotive lyrical outpouring in a way that puts this set amongst the finest recorded, and does so without losing sight of those delightful rhythms... The sound is wonderfully pointed and sharp but still has plenty of ambience...

The sleeve notes are good.

The completions make this set essential for all Schubertians...

The quality of performance and sound make it a good purchase for all lovers of fine music...
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on 25 November 2010
Is there a better set of Schubert symphonies than this one? The playing here is of outstanding calibre. All of the works are performed with vision, appropriate choices of tempi and in a bold and lustrous fashion!

Brian Newbold's orchestrations of various fragments are fantastic but even if you don't listen to them you will enjoy this set. Never has Schubert had such a strong claim to be as good a symphonist as Beethoven as in the 9th Symphony as it sounds here.

You can pick and choose the parts that you want to listen to; it's your choice as to whether the Unfinished Symphony remains unfinished or whether you listen to it as it was at its London premiere with the B minor Entr'acte from Rosamunde as its finale. Schubert's scherzo and trio sketch (for piano) has here been cleverly elaborated and orchestrated by Brian Newbold.

For me the best thing about this recording is the modern sound quality. There may be better 'Greats' or 'Unfinisheds' but surely none that sound as immediate and crystal clear as these ones!
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on 2 October 2014
Superb playing, and a really good quality recording make this a must for the serious collector. I can manage without the completions by Professor Neubold. They may be commendable but, for me, lack the intensity and magic of what Schubert himself wrote. As for the music that Schubert wrote, the Academy play with enthusiasm and precision, seemingly enjoying performing the pieces under Marriner. The old Philips recordings are, like so many from the period, natural and pleasing to the ear. I am very glad I made this choice from such a vast range of options.
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on 4 April 2012
To be honest, I only bought this for the 1st and 2nd Symphonies ,and for the Newbould completion of the 7th and 10th. I suspect most people contemplating this set will be doing so for the same reasons. I didn't even listen to the 8th and 9th for several weeks, but when I did I was more than pleasantly surprised.
Marriner and the ASMF have always seemed a little too middle of the road for my tastes, but with Schubert, Marriner seems to have found his mark, and I greatly enjoyed his brisk and sometimes quite powerful accounts.
Nothing is ever likely to match Beecham in the third, fifth and sixth, many have tried and failed and certainly Marriner is no competition in the 5th, nor is anyone likely to replace my favourite recording of the 8th and 9th with Charles Munch and the Boston symphony orchestra. (If you haven't heard Munch's Blazing 9th you don't know what you're missing.)
The sound here is slightly dry early Phillips digital, but you soon get used to it and it is no bar to ones enjoyment.
A cheaper version of this box is available from Newton classics, but I believe there are no liner notes, and that would be a big drawback in this case.
Anyone wanting a single box set of Schubert's symphonies can buy this with confidence. You could do an awful lot worse. Try Harnoncourt's po faced effort if you dare.
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on 22 July 2014
I have the Harnoncourt cycle but I never fell in love with the music thinking maybe Schubert was just not for me,his recordings sound rather leaden to my ears,and never gave me much joy.

Well I am in love with Schubert now,listening to this set it is as though someone opened the curtains and let the sunshine in,much more lively and joyful,marvellous!
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on 25 March 2013
This is an excellent value box-set where only that last bit of recording quality could be marginally improved. A very fine addition to any collection nonetheless.
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on 7 May 2016
Delivery excellent and arrived when stated, however huge disappointment when I opened to play. Of the six discs only five were enclosed meaning I do not have symphonies numbers one and three.
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on 1 September 2014
Superb value and great playing and recordings by St Martin in the Fields under Neville Marriner.
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on 31 October 2013
Have yet to complete playing all ten. It appears well presented, and is an opportune collection of Schubert's symphonic output, though it includes reconstructions on incomplete works.
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