- Symphony No. 9 in C major ("The Great"), D. 944
- Symphony No. 8 in B minor ("Unfinished"), D. 759
Musicologists still aren't entirely sure whether Franz Schubert left his Symphony in B Minor unfinished, or if half of it simply disappeared. The symphony's enduring popularity may be due at least in part to the romantic appeal of this unsolved mystery. But some of the credit surely belongs to the music itself, which is among Schubert's most haunting. The spooky atmosphere is palpable right from the opening, with the deep chanting of the double basses and the eerie rustle of violins. This work also boasts some of the composer's most memorable melodies -- though, strangely enough, all of the big tunes seem to be whispered. The Symphony No. 9 in C Major is not only complete, it's a behemoth of "heavenly length," as Robert Schumann put it. It's much brighter and more extroverted than the shadowy, enigmatic "Unfinished," though the second movement builds to a terrifying, and emotionally devastating climax. Conductor Charles Mackerras has recorded these symphonies once before, with a period-instrument ensemble. Here, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra uses modern instruments, resulting in a fuller sound, but their playing is still remarkably fresh and vibrant.