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Thread: If a magic lamp granted you a wish to make ONE unfinished work completed...

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    Default If a magic lamp granted you a wish to make ONE unfinished work completed...

    Which would you choose?

    I think I'd choose Bruckner's 9th symphony. It's already a masterpiece with 3 movements. The finale must be so brilliant that it can only be played in heaven.

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    Not quite the same thing, but I would wish for Haydn's lost piano sonatas to be found (for real this time).

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    Sibelius's 8th Symphony.

    Sibelius said "It will be the reckoning of my whole existence – sixty-eight years. It will probably be my last. Eight symphonies and a hundred songs. It has to be enough."

    It was promised to Koussevitzky and others but was ultimately burnt; some sketches were found in the 1990s and the Helsinki Philharmonic under John Storgaards played some 3 minutes of it for the first time in 2011.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmIGn97BXs8

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    Most completions by others I'm rather satisfied with (Mozart's Requiem, Mahler's 10th) or do not like at all (Bruckner's 9th, Schubert's 8th). The Bruckner would be my last choice actually: in its 3 movements it's perfect (in fact my favourite symphony) whereas the completion, apparently based on a lot of Bruckners notes, spoils the work for me.

    In the end, I'd pick Mahler 10, just to hear how different the master's orchestration was over the various completions.
    Allüberall und ewig blauen licht die Fernen! Ewig ... ewig ...

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    Senior Member Room2201974's Avatar
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    I'd go for a slight variation on your premise and wish for all the music that Brahms burned before he died.
    "One man's symphony is another man's earworm." ~ riffing on a R.A.H quote.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Turandot. Alfano did the best he could and Berio's take on it is an interesting alternative, but we will never know what the new "big tune" Puccini was planning would be.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    I would like to hear how Mozart would have finished his Requiem.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    One contender would be Shostakovich's opera Igroki (The Gamblers). He composed around three quarters of an hour's worth of music by 1942 but found setting Gogol's original text word for word too problematical. That was his official reason, but maybe the idea of composing a comic opera at a time when the USSR was struggling badly in the war against Nazi Germany was asking for trouble.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

    ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνῄσκει νέος [Those whom the gods love die young] - Menander

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Definitely Sibelius' 8th.

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    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    The problem with works that composers failed to finish for reasons other than shuffling off this mortal coil, is that there was very often a reason for them not finishing which would make the work less than brilliant. There are so many fragments of works by Shostakovich - the abandoned Ninth symphony, for example, and the Gamblers (above) that were either not coming along spiffingly or were not expected to go down well; indeed I also suspect the latter was the case for the Gamblers.

    I think the same argument could be made of Bruckner's ninth. It's not like he didn't have time to finish it - worked on the whole piece for close to ten years; he seemingly couldn't, not satisfactorily anyway.

    And why did Schoenberg not finish Die Jakobsleiter or Moses und Aron.......I find both remarkably satisfying works (especially the latter) as they are, so I am not bothered about speculating, although I would like to hear Zoltan Kocsis' completion of the opera.

    I would like to have AN eighth symphony from Sibelius, but the snippets recently recorded by John Storgards are remarkably uninteresting. Did he have another big work in him, or was he "composed out"?

    I cannot tell how different Bartok's Third Piano Concerto would have been had he properly finished it. Near as dammit identical, I suspect; but he would have polished his Viola Concerto, so that would have been worth having.

    I would simply love to be able to hear whichever works got burned along with their creator when Alberic Magnard stood up to invading soldiers back in 1914.....Yolande, perhaps?

    Different circumstances, but I wonder if there were any masterpieces among the burnt manuscripts of Geirr Tveitt?

    My final vote would have to go to the Mahler 10, despite the total absence of dissatisfaction I have with the performing versions and completions we have. It is a truly wonderful piece, but I struggle to imagine how much more wonderful it would or could have been.
    Last edited by CnC Bartok; Oct-11-2019 at 11:34.

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    Senior Member Fabulin's Avatar
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    Beethoven's 10th in Eb major, Mozart's Requiem, or this:

    "By 25 December 1886/6 January 1887 the scenario for the ballet was still not finalised, and Tchaikovsky wrote to Ivan Vsevolozhsky to ask for a postponement:

    "Do not think that I lack the desire to write the music for Undina. But I need sufficient leisure and strength to do it well, for it is not merely a question of concocting some sort of commonplace ballet music; it is my ambition for it to be a masterpiece of the genre, but for this all I need is time".
    Last edited by Fabulin; Oct-11-2019 at 11:47.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    The problem with works that composers failed to finish for reasons other than shuffling off this mortal coil, is that there was very often a reason for them not finishing which would make the work less than brilliant. There are so many fragments of works by Shostakovich - the abandoned Ninth symphony, for example, and the Gamblers (above) that were either not coming along spiffingly or were not expected to go down well; indeed I also suspect the latter was the case for the Gamblers.

    I think the same argument could be made of Bruckner's ninth. It's not like he didn't have time to finish it - worked on the whole piece for close to ten years; he seemingly couldn't, not satisfactorily anyway.

    And why did Schoenberg not finish Die Jakobsleiter or Moses und Aron.......I find both remarkably satisfying works (especially the latter) as they are, so I am not bothered about speculating, although I would like to hear Zoltan Kocsis' completion of the opera.

    I would like to have AN eighth symphony from Sibelius, but the snippets recently recorded by John Storgards are remarkably uninteresting. Did he have another big work in him, or was he "composed out"?

    I cannot tell how different Bartok's Third Piano Concerto would have been had he properly finished it. Near as dammit identical, I suspect; but he would have polished his Viola Concerto, so that would have been worth having.

    I would simply love to be able to hear whichever works got burned along with their creator when Alberic Magnard stood up to invading soldiers back in 1914.....

    My final vote would have to go to the Mahler 10, despite the total absence of dissatisfaction I have with the performing versions and completions we have. It is a truly wonderful piece, but I struggle to imagine how much more wonderful it would or could have been.
    Yes, both are substantial works and it's a pity neither were finished. In the case of Moses und Aron, it has been suggested that Schoenberg couldn't reconcile the various biblical sources for the episodes which would have comprised act III, such as the smiting of the rock. There were other negating factors - his libretto was rewritten at least twice, and having to adapt to a new life in the USA may have interrupted the creative process. Ultimately, perhaps Schoenberg decided that the subject was so overwhelming that his music simply couldn't do it justice.

    The failure to complete Die Jakobsleiter was probably the result of Schoenberg's music having changed too much from when he began it to the time when he abandoned it - he may have completed Gurre-Lieder after years of neglect but I'm guessing that he didn't want to breathe life into another work which was by then unrepresentative of his current style.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

    ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνῄσκει νέος [Those whom the gods love die young] - Menander

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    For me it would certainly be the Mozart Requiem and the C minor Mass

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    Senior Member Ras's Avatar
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    Bach's Art of Fugue.
    "I only have a hunch in what I've become expert." - Leonard Cohen

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    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Mozart's Requiem or Mahler's 10th.

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