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Thread: The Greatest Symphony Ever ?

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    Question The Greatest Symphony Ever ?

    I propose that the greatest symphony ever composed was Beethoven's No. 9 (the Choral),not the most famous one of all-time-the 5th of Beethoven!What say you?...and explain your reasoning-if you so desire. I think this would be a fine way to possibly introduce your favorites,and at the same time enlightening somebody who may be unfamiliar with a particular work. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Captain of Water Music
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    Beethoven's 9th has to be the greatest symphony ever written.It is not just about music.It succesfully tries to sum up what humanity is all about.It is about art,love,brotherhood and all noble feelings mankind created.

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    Captain of Water Music Art Rock's Avatar
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    This is of course very subjective. Beethoven's 9th is amongst my least favourite symphonies of him and would certainly not make my top 100 symphonies.

    I'd vote for Schubert's Unfinished.

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    Captain of Water Music some guy's Avatar
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    Dear zoned,

    And I, of course, have a question or two for you: do you have any idea how many symphonies have been written, both before and after the ninth of Beethoven? Have you (or Kromme or Art Rock, for that matter) listened to all of the symphonies that have been written? If not, you could hardly pick a "greatest," even if that word had any useful content!

    As for "of all time," well, last I checked, "all time" has not yet happened. Time is still going on, and while fewer and fewer symphonies are written nowadays--as has been the trend for quite some time now--there are still a fair number written from time to time.

    Yours,

    Mr. Curmudgeon

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    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi some guy,

    If you're Mr. Curmudgeon then I'm Mr. Persnickety Contrarian

    Back on topic: There are so many symphonies that have been written all waiting to be discovered by serious and first-time listeners everywhere. Yes, I like the Beethoven but there are also other symphonies which move one - Listen to the one who is considered by many to be the 20th century Beethoven(Shostakovich) - his e.g. 5th, 7th, 11th, 13th.......

    Cheers,

    CD
    Last edited by Corno Dolce; Jun-26-2008 at 19:32.
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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    Yes,I guess I need a whipping! In retrospect,I can see how this thread is highly subjective. However,if one "takes a stab at it",maybe more works,how ever known or unknown,may be brought to light to an unsususpecting public!

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    My favorite is Beethoven's 9th.
    judy tooley

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    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi zoned,

    Nonsense! No whippings to be administered here. Music, like literature is something always to be discovered. The myriad of composers and their different styles - their uses of different stylistic elements - the variations are just about infinitesimal.

    Cheers,

    Corno Dolce
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  9. #9
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    If there's one thing I find regretful about Ludwig's 9th it's the one thing that has nothing to do with him. The 9th has become so overplayed and with it, almost cliched (especially with it's use in films, TV, etc) that many people tend to view it as a novelty piece ("Oh yeah, that Song of Joy thing written by that deaf guy").

    I've had the immense privilege of singing in a choir for the 9th about 4 times over the past 15 years and I'd never tire of it (apart from having to sing top e-flat that's no note for a bass to have to sing!!). From it's start with that superbly tonally ambiguous rising string phrase (clearly a herald of things to come) to the jubilant finish, it's a magnificently structured work and if you've sat through the whole thing (whether as a performer or listener) it's difficult not to be moved by it.

    Beethoven's 3rd and 7th also have a special place in my collection.
    but then there are also:

    Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
    Mahler No.1 or No.8
    Bartok Concerto for Orchestra (despite the title, it essentially qualifies as a symphony)
    Messiaen Turangalila

    all of which are stunning in their own right and IMO equally deserving of "the best" ... too much to choose from. Just my $0.02

    Matt
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Captain of Water Music Art Rock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soubasse View Post
    The 9th has become so overplayed and with it, almost cliched (especially with it's use in films, TV, etc) that many people tend to view it as a novelty piece ("Oh yeah, that Song of Joy thing written by that deaf guy").
    Whenever I see Beethoven's 9th mentioned on pop or rock music forums (not here), I always wonder how many of those "loving the piece" have actually ever listened to the whole symphony rather than the 4th movement....

    Some others I'd like to thrown in, limiting to one per composer:
    Beethoven - 6th (my favourite by him)
    Brahms - 1st
    Bruckner - 9th
    Mendelssohn - Scottish
    Saint Saens - 3d (organ)
    Dvorak - 9th
    Suk - Asrael
    Vaughan Williams - 5th
    Shostakovich - 7th
    Gorecki - 3d
    Shostakovich - 14th
    Mahler - 4th
    Zemlinsky - Lyrische Symfonie
    Sallinen - 6th
    Sibelius - 5th

  11. #11
    Captain of Water Music
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    Of course there is no single greatest symphony, but perhaps the Eroica comes closest. It's the most revolutionary symphony written - more so than the 9th I'd say - with it's massive scale and masterful structure. It's certainly my favorite of Beethoven's symphonies.

    The universe is change, life is opinion. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    I propose that the greatest symphony ever composed is the last one I listened to I'm afraid!! It's like my national broadcasting having the "the best chamber music piece ever written" competition, just so absurd as it's all so personal!!

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    I am a lover of orchestral music. I respect all forms of "serious music",but when a full orchestra is playing with all the myriad combinations of instruments-that is what really gets my musical blood boiling. Gustav Mahler was primarily a symphonist.I love his music,because to me it encompasses all that is known as life. Beethoven may have been more talented,but who really cares,I guess. In my zeal I entitled the thread"The Greatest Symphony Ever". I consider the symphony to be a great art form. Leopold Stowkowki was once being interviewed by Dan Rather."Stokie" asked Rather if he gives 100% to his work and Dan said most of the time.Stokowski promptly walked off! I give music 100% of my brain's capabilities.

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    You know what? I just adore classical music. I think of composers as magicians.It has to be a true blue gift from God to be able to mix notes,sounds,and instruments and combine it all into a beautiful resulting melody. I cherish composers.I think they are geniuses.So,when all is said and done,maybe the question should have been more objective.Then I will tramsform this thread into one about all great symphonies,not just one.Shostakovich,Mahler,Bruckner-et al. are my personal cup of tea. Would anyone want to talk about the great works? I say : What do you think are some of the best symphonies ever written?I think it would be a very enjoyable and enlightening experience.Thank You.

  15. #15
    Captain of Water Music
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Whenever I see Beethoven's 9th mentioned on pop or rock music forums (not here), I always wonder how many of those "loving the piece" have actually ever listened to the whole symphony rather than the 4th movement....
    I bet they never listened to whole 4th movement either.They just listened to the main theme and they think they like it.

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