whuntva wrote:I'll leave it open for a week
Why? Why only one week? In this case I won't have time enough to do some listening, only write a list from the top of my head. Here it is anyway my Top 15 (the cover art of the Top 5 comes from the recordings I own of these pieces):
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1. DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH "Symphony No. 10 in E minor"
(1953). Favourite part: "III. Allegretto"
With two sublime movements, the second and the third. The ominous second movement is, according to the composer, "a musical portrait of Stalin, roughly speaking." And the third is a personal reaffirmation of the composer after his 1948 denunciation, using the famous DSCH-motif (the composer's initials, D
ostakovich) over a waltz rhythm pattern.
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2. LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN "Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Eroica"
(1804). Fav: "II. Marcia Funebre - Adagio assai"
If only for the superb second movement, the Funeral March, the part from 7'22" to 9'35" is so beautiful that it hurts.
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3. GUSTAV MAHLER "Symphony No. 4 in G major"
(1901). Fav: "III. Ruhevoll"
The soprano lied was groundbreaking at the time but the crowning achievement here is the emotional third movement.
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4. WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART "Symphony No. 40 in G minor"
(1788). Fav: "I. Molto allegro"
The No. 41 (also on my list) got the acclaim but the first movement of the No. 40 epitomizes the greatness of Mozart.
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5. ANTONIN DVOŘÁK "Symphony No. 9 in E minor, From the New World"
(1893). Fav: "I. Adagio - Allegro molto"
Using pop terminology, every movement from this symphony is a smash hit, evoking the American "wide open spaces."
6. LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN "Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Choral"
(1824). Fav: "IV. Presto; Allegro molto assai (Alla marcia); Andante maestoso; Allegro energico, sempre ben marcato"
7. FRANZ SCHUBERT "Symphony No. 8 in B minor, Unfinished"
(1822). Fav: "I. Allegro moderato"
8. HECTOR BERLIOZ "Symphonie fantastique"
(1830). Fav: "II. Un bal"
9. PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY "Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Pathétique"
(1893). Fav: "I. Adagio – Allegro non troppo"
10. HENRYK GÓRECKI "Symphony No. 3, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs"
(1977). Fav: "I. Lento - Sostenuto tranquillo ma cantabile"
11. JOSEPH HAYDN "Symphony No. 104 in D major, London"
(1795). Fav: "I. Adagio - Allegro"
12. JOHANNES BRAHMS "Symphony No. 4 in E minor"
(1885). Fav: "III. Allegro giocoso"
13. OLIVIER MESSIAEN "Turangalîla-Symphonie"
(1948)*. Fav: "I. Introduction. Modéré, un peu vif"
14. WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART "Symphony No. 41 in C major, Jupiter"
(1788). Fav: "IV. Molto allegro"
15. IGOR STRAVINSKY "Symphony of Psalms"
(1930). Fav: "III. Alleluia. Laudate Dominum"
* I'm not sure if "Turangalila" qualifies as a symphony
a) I knew much more about classical music when I was a teenager than today, now I listen much more to pop, rock or world music than classical music, in probably the opposite move some people of my age did. Some of the pieces on my list were huge favourites of mine when I was 14-years old.
b) I like this game and I'm going to try to participate but maybe we could chose a simpler approach with less categories: a) Symphonies b) Concerti c) Vocal (including Opera) d) Chamber (including solo and ensemble pieces) and e) Other. I would even group symphonies and other orchestral pieces like suites or program but it's too late for this. Anyway bonnielaurel suggestion is good enough, we can follow her suggestion. But… why not doing a final poll of classical pieces in general? Defining as a piece every classical work that appears as a track on a CD, I mean it could be a movement of a symphony, an aria from an opera, a movement of a piano sonata, etc. Think about it…