Nickname of Franz Schubert's 8th symphony.
The last of Schubert's symphonies to be discovered, performed, and published, this famous work came down to us in two movements only (an opening sonata-form movement and and a slow movement). Its dreamy and passionate melodies are coupled to a sense of hanging sadness. There has always been the question why this symphony was left unfinished (or is it?). Schubert wrote it six years before his death, but it came at a time when he was busy with other projects. Perhaps he simply set it aside (sending the completed portions to friends he had promised it to) and moved on to these jobs, particularly the incidental music for Rosamunde, which he had every hope would earn money (it failed). The two movements are particularly satisfying, with rich sounds and strong, fully Romantic emotional content. They are large in scale, lasting almost a half hour by themselves, so that a completed symphony would have approached fifty minutes or more in length. Various attempts to finish it have been made. The most successful have finished the Scherzo movement which Schubert began explicitly for this symphony and add the Entr'acte in B minor from Rosamunde as the finale. (It's just possible that this movement, which in its scope is more suited to a symphony than to a stage play, is the missing original finale.) In the standard form, in any event, it is accepted as one of the absolute masterpieces of the symphonic genre.