Schubert ‘s Symphony 7, the unfinished one, debuted 17 December 1865 in Vienna. The composer was not able to hear it, having been decomposing since 1828.
Yet it is a marvellous piece of work, and all the more intriguing as we don’t know why Franz didn’t get around to finishing, apart from a hatred of paperwork, a love of booze and a touch of syphilis.
This because he was actually a real grind, with an astonishing output considering his short life. (Our review of a recent work covering Die Winterreise will appear some time in the New Year). When he sat down to sketch out the symphony, he was in a sad, B-Minor mood, possibly due to being confined to quarters for the disease.
Here’s Herbert von Karajan’s version: