Just a brief history: Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony was his 8th, and the reasons he left it unfinished are unknown. He had written sketches of a third movement and possibly even had intended writing a fourth (which would have made it a traditional symphony). However, he never orchestrated his sketches and the piece remained unfinished even as he wrote and completed his 9th symphony. It is unknown if he ever intended to return to it. Either way he died six years after writing it. Anyway, Tyberg is one of a few people that has attempted to finish Schubert's 8th symphony. He studied Schubert's style extensively and attempted to write two final movements as Schubert would have written them.
If you've never heard Schubert's 8th, you should take a moment and give it a listen. Likely you've heard it before because it is so memorably fantastic. If you haven't heard it before, it's likely that you will listen to it and think that you have heard it before--I believe that there is a class of music that is so excellent that even a first hearing will touch an emotional place in your heart and mind where other well-loved pieces of music reside. This is one of those pieces.
I applaud Christie for introducing us to new music. I also am grateful that he has introduced me to Marcel Tyberg, of whom I was previously unaware. He has a most fascinating life, from what I've read in the program last night and on Wikipedia. However, the two movements that Tyberg wrote to complete Schubert's 8th symphony are pale shadows of the greatness that the original two movements represent. I recognize that they are very much in the style of Schubert. They are also well composed and stand as fine pieces in their own right. But, when juxtaposed to Schubert's originals they are most unsatisfying.
Don't let this stand as a judgement on Tyberg's compositional skills. In fact I very much wonder if, after Schubert wrote those original two movements, that even he felt that he couldn't write a satisfying conclusion to such excellent music. Personally I think this is the most likely answer to why he left them 'unfinished'. Part of the reason why it was always called "Unfinished" is that composers in Schubert's day insisted on following strict forms. Scholars and historians spent a lot of time justifying it's incompleteness. It was difficult for people to comprehend an orchestral piece that only had two movements and was complete in itself. Even Schubert may have been frustrated by the anomaly that his genius had produced. Today we don't even blink at the prospect of something as mundane as a two-movmement orchestral piece. After all, the opening of last night's concert had a piece for brass and kazoo choir. (Corigliano's 'Salute' -- I'm not kidding).
P.S. On another note: Swing Memories first concert was also yesterday and was a rousing success. We all played very well and, according to Anali, the audience was really into the music. (I was too busy playing to notice the audience much). It's hard not to move and tap your foot when listening to the likes of Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. P.P.S. Also, I played the WW2 songs for the Adult Center today--also successful and a lot of fun. I was told that I'd be asked to come back sometime. I said I'd be glad to do it. :-)