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Hüttenbrenner’s career was, in many ways, a disappointment. Not nearly as prolific, or hard-working, as his unassuming friend, he had to leave Vienna for family reasons in 1824 and from then on his artistic life, such as it was, was largely confined to the provincial precincts of Graz and the Steiermark—a pleasant existence, but one in which he was distinctly marginalized. His letters give the impression of someone touchy and aware of his own importance, and at the same time depressed. In 1823, as a sign of thanks for his (no doubt Hüttenbrenner-engineered) election as a member of the Graz Musikverein, Schubert sent the manuscript of the ‘Unfinished’ Symphony, care of Hüttenbrenner. This incident also concerns Hüttenbrenner’s brother Josef (1796–1882) who was Schubert’s secretary and quasi business manager (1822–1823). The mystery concerning the symphony’s so-called ‘disappearance’ has never been solved; speculation has been manifold—from outright accusations of stupidity and jealousy to rationalizations that Hüttenbrenner never pushed his own music forward, thus it was natural for him not to push Schubert’s either. In a harsh light he might be accused of working on Schubert’s behalf only when there was a performance, or some other self-centred advantage, in the offing.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006