Author Topic: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017  (Read 4766 times)

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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #100 on: September 12, 2017, 11:13:21 AM »
Nice work, GSMoeller. 

A lot of variety in that top 30 for sure, and a worthy top work!

Thanks! I have fun putting these together. Go vote on the new one Greatest Concertos!

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #101 on: September 12, 2017, 11:59:42 AM »
Damn! I forgot to vote for La mer. :(

I was gonna say something while the pol was still live, and then I thought ... naaaah

I didn't forget it. I considered listing it along with a dedication to Ken...but then I reconsidered: I figured that joke was getting old  ;D

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Offline North Star

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #102 on: September 12, 2017, 12:02:23 PM »
I didn't really forget it either...
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #103 on: September 12, 2017, 12:11:10 PM »
Where was Klaus Egge's First Symphony?!!!  :(

Seriously - great poll. The Ives Symphony 4's position surprised me although I really like the work.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #104 on: September 12, 2017, 12:27:07 PM »
Thanks for everyone that participated! There were 122 symphonies listed, but I'm only posting the top 30 right now, but if someone really wants to see all of the dozens of works that received a low single digit vote I would be more than happy to post them.  ;)
And I would really like to read what you all thought of the results.
The next poll I would like to start is Greatest Concertos, which would be even more interesting because of the mix of all the different instruments available for concertos.


1.   Mahler: Symphony No. 9 - 82
2.   Brahms: Symphony No. 4 - 78
3.   Mahler: Symphony No. 6 - 57
4.   Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 – 55
5.   Beethoven: No. 9 - 44
6.   Ives: Symphony No. 4 - 43
7.   Shostakovich: Symphony № 4   - 37
t-8.   Bruckner: No. 8 – 34
        Mozart: No. 41 - 34
10.   Sibelius: No. 7  - 33
11.   Bruckner: No. 9 - 32
12.   Tchaikovsky: No. 6 "Pathetique" - 30
13.   Beethoven: No. 7 - 27
14.   Berlioz:  Symphonie Fantastique - 25
t-15.   Nielsen: No. 5 - 23
        Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms: - 23
        Shostakovich: Symphony 5 - 23
        Schubert: Symphony No.9 - 23
19.   Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5 - 22
20.   Brian: No. 1 "Gothic" - 21
21.   Webern:  Symphony op 21 - 20
22.   Messiaen: Turangalila-Symphonie - 19
t-23.   Mozart: Symphony No. 38 - 18
        Schnittke: Symphony No. 1 - 18
        Vaughan Williams: Symphony 6 - 18
26.   Mahler: Symphony 2 - 17
t-27. Shostakovich, № 10 in e minor, Op.93.  -16
        Beethoven 6 - 16
t-29  Sibelius: Symphony No. 6 - 15
        Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 1 in E: - 15

There's only one I dislike, a few I'm more or less indifferent to, but a very strong list from my standpoint all the same.
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #105 on: September 12, 2017, 12:45:44 PM »
I would say for the most part the list doesn't surprise me, most of the heavy hitters are represented although having Mahler taking 2 of the top three did.

What I truly was surprised by, was that Mozart's 40th didn't get a strong showing, and same goes for Sibelius' 5th. I love that his 7th cracked the top ten, but I would've  believed the 5th was more popular. 

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #106 on: September 12, 2017, 01:13:50 PM »
Three of the top 4 I voted for. I'm happy  8)

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #107 on: September 14, 2017, 02:16:45 AM »
As I think about how to cast my votes in the Concerto poll, one of my takeaways from this poll is:  Even if I put a great personal favorite in the top, 10-pt slot, it won't place at the end unless there is another voter or two to bespeak it.

I am not disheartened;  it is only that I perceive the Nature of the Thing  0:)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Christo

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #108 on: September 14, 2017, 02:54:58 AM »
Three of the top 4 I voted for. I'm happy  8)

Sarge
Happy to be average.  8)
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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #109 on: September 14, 2017, 03:22:05 AM »
As I think about how to cast my votes in the Concerto poll, one of my takeaways from this poll is:  Even if I put a great personal favorite in the top, 10-pt slot, it won't place at the end unless there is another voter or two to bespeak it.

I am not disheartened;  it is only that I perceive the Nature of the Thing  0:)

I completely understand, Karl. It's why I was asking for more of an objective view, greatest rather than strictly favorites in hopes of getting a clearer list of top symphonies. My favorites list would've consisted of at least 7-8 works that only I would've given a score to. Also because I wasn't sure how may would vote, if I knew I could get over 50 - 60 lists rather than 25 then there would be a greater chance of seeing the same works on favorite lists.

Thank you for participating though, it's a fun little project.  :)

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #110 on: September 14, 2017, 03:33:20 AM »
Thank you for participating though, it's a fun little project.  :)

It’s all fun and games, until your favorite composer gets voted off the island . . . .
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #111 on: September 14, 2017, 03:41:51 AM »
I completely understand, Karl. It's why I was asking for more of an objective view, greatest rather than strictly favorites in hopes of getting a clearer list of top symphonies. My favorites list would've consisted of at least 7-8 works that only I would've given a score to. Also because I wasn't sure how may would vote, if I knew I could get over 50 - 60 lists rather than 25 then there would be a greater chance of seeing the same works on favorite lists.

Thank you for participating though, it's a fun little project.  :)
One thing is unclear though - how to define 'greatest'. My issue with these polls is that it covers a potential multitude of reasons. So one can justify any result. For example, because there is no explanation, I cannot understand why Mahler 9 is #1. I don't think it particularly great at all. It certainly isn't a top 20 candidate in my book. And it would be nice if someone could justify their votes. For example, I would think a key justification for a symphony to be great would be some sort of subsequent change directly linked to that work of art. One can see this is Rite of Spring or B3, but not so much in M9 in my view. This is a key reason why I think it totally out of place. I do NOT believe that the apex of someone's work (good as it may be) is necessarily enough to justify a work getting a high rating either. And other posters may disagree., but at least I'll understand why they voted they way they did.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline Ken B

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #112 on: September 14, 2017, 04:01:18 AM »
One thing is unclear though - how to define 'greatest'. My issue with these polls is that it covers a potential multitude of reasons. So one can justify any result. For example, because there is no explanation, I cannot understand why Mahler 9 is #1. I don't think it particularly great at all. It certainly isn't a top 20 candidate in my book. And it would be nice if someone could justify their votes. For example, I would think a key justification for a symphony to be great would be some sort of subsequent change directly linked to that work of art. One can see this is Rite of Spring or B3, but not so much in M9 in my view. This is a key reason why I think it totally out of place. I do NOT believe that the apex of someone's work (good as it may be) is necessarily enough to justify a work getting a high rating either. And other posters may disagree., but at least I'll understand why they voted they way they did.

This is a Dark Night of the Soul kind of group and Mahler 9 is a Dark Night of the Soul symphony. 

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Offline Mahlerian

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #113 on: September 14, 2017, 07:15:49 AM »
One thing is unclear though - how to define 'greatest'. My issue with these polls is that it covers a potential multitude of reasons. So one can justify any result. For example, because there is no explanation, I cannot understand why Mahler 9 is #1. I don't think it particularly great at all. It certainly isn't a top 20 candidate in my book. And it would be nice if someone could justify their votes. For example, I would think a key justification for a symphony to be great would be some sort of subsequent change directly linked to that work of art. One can see this is Rite of Spring or B3, but not so much in M9 in my view. This is a key reason why I think it totally out of place. I do NOT believe that the apex of someone's work (good as it may be) is necessarily enough to justify a work getting a high rating either. And other posters may disagree., but at least I'll understand why they voted they way they did.

The profound influence that Mahler's symphonies had on Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern cannot be overstated.  Berg, Mahler's true successor, wrote the single most influential (and I think the greatest) opera of the 20th century, and he would not have been able to do it the way he did without Mahler's example as much as his teacher's.  Likewise, Schoenberg's ideas about orchestral color and the use of soloistic instruments apart from an ensemble are related to Mahler's own use of the orchestra.

I didn't vote for Mahler's Ninth, masterpiece though I consider it to be, because I admire the Sixth more, and I was keeping strictly to one work per composer.  I was a little surprised by its position myself.
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #114 on: September 14, 2017, 11:51:56 AM »
For example, I would think a key justification for a symphony to be great would be some sort of subsequent change directly linked to that work of art.
The concept in play here, is influence. But I view this in an opposite way. I think that a great work of art should naturally be influential; whereas an influential work of art may not necessarily be great for its own sake.

In any case, no-one knows what "great" means, so this is all part of that abstract kind of stuff:P

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #115 on: September 15, 2017, 06:32:39 AM »
Good to see Mahler’s 9th on top. 8) It’s simply one of the pinnacles of the symphonic repertoire IMHO. I was going to initially vote for it, but I feel the same way about Mahler’s 6th (and not to mention many of his other works). ;)
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Offline Florestan

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #116 on: September 15, 2017, 10:48:41 AM »
I think that a great work of art should naturally be influential

How influential was Schubert's Unfinished Symphony? Or his D960 Piano Sonata?
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and upon which it is impossible to remain silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Ken B

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #117 on: September 15, 2017, 10:52:57 AM »
How influential was Schubert's Unfinished Symphony? Or his D960 Piano Sonata?

It's like those murals in Pompeii: no fricking influence at all, none, bupkis,  nada, for 1700 years.



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Offline Florestan

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #118 on: September 15, 2017, 11:12:17 AM »
It's like those murals in Pompeii: no fricking influence at all, none, bupkis,  nada, for 1700 years.

Precisely.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and upon which it is impossible to remain silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Jay F

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Re: GMG's Greatest Symphony Poll of 2017
« Reply #119 on: September 15, 2017, 03:32:53 PM »
How influential was Schubert's D960 Piano Sonata?

Alfred Brendel playing D960 is what got me listening to classical music on a regular basis. I heard it in a record store in Washington, DC, in January, 1987, just after buying my first CD player, and I just had to have it. The store was having a sale: 3 CDs on DG-Philips-Decca/London for $25, so I also bought Beethoven's 9th (HvK, 1977) and Brendel's Mozart PCs 23 & 27. And I have never stopped listening to classical music.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 03:35:09 PM by Jay F »

 

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