Author Topic: The Worst First!  (Read 27990 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8224
  • An American Hero!
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #40 on: December 11, 2007, 02:50:23 PM »
YES!!  It's intense and atmospheric, and the ending is a great musical tragic catharsis, almost on a Mahlerian level.I've heard them all, and none of them are at all in the running for "wurst." ;) Weber's is theatrical and dramatic in the best senses; Mendelssohn's is lots of fun and beautifully crafted, like all his other music; and Wagner's, while by no means his best work, has some real substance.  (Always IMHO.)

I recall them for not being memorable, and was particularly disappointed with von Weber.  But that was over 40 years ago!   :o

Maybe I will give them another chance before another 40 years zip by!
COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

Joe Barron

  • Guest
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2007, 03:07:38 PM »
I don't know any truly awful first symphonies by significant composers, but Ives' and Carter's first symphonies are certainly unrepresentative of their mature style.

I'm going to surpise everyone and nominate Carter.  The fact that ithe Syomphony NO. 1 doesn't reflect his mature style isn't really the problem. Ives's first isn't mature, either, and neither is Stravinsky's, but both of them are very vibrant and show their composers to be young men of great promise  and creativity. I've often called the Ives First the best sypmphony written by an American before — well, before Ives. I don't think Carter's First quite falls into that category. It's pleasant enough, as you say, and it's not bad, but it doesn't announce an exciting new talent. The piece that does is the Piano Sonata, written only a few years later.

Karl, you'll like the Copland Organ Symphony. The composer found his voice early. It more modernist than the later stuff, but unmistakably Copland.

Don

  • Guest
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #42 on: December 11, 2007, 03:13:01 PM »
Of the 1st symphonies I'm familiar with, Hanson's get my nod.

Offline jochanaan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4702
    • Musician, Music Instructor and Piano Tuner
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #43 on: December 11, 2007, 04:53:02 PM »
Of the 1st symphonies I'm familiar with, Hanson's get my nod.
Interesting; I'm not familiar with that one.  If that's true, he sure redeemed himself with his 2nd. ;D
Imagination + discipline = creativity

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2007, 05:39:58 PM »
That's the least of its tragedies.  :)

Glazunov being one of its greatest  ;D

Offline 12tone.

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 592
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #45 on: December 11, 2007, 07:55:23 PM »
What about Bax's first?  Last I remember, it was hard to get through.

I found Dvorak's first a bit of a bore myself too.

Nieslen's first?  Hmm....

RVW's first?  That's the Sea Symphony no?  Yeah, boring.



YAWWWwwwnnnnn....










Offline techniquest

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 279
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #46 on: December 12, 2007, 12:03:02 AM »
Quote
Khachaturian?  (Can you even find a recording of it?)
As far as I know there have been 3 recordings of the 1st - 2 conducted by Tjeknavorian, the latter being part of his cycle of Khachaturian music for ASV, and one ancient one conducted by Alexander Gauk which I have on vinyl on the MK label but which has been transferred (still in mono) to CD - possibly 'Russian Disc'. In any event, this isn't a bad job for young composer who only started to read music at age 19; not as good as No.2 but far better than No.3.
Much as I hate to say it, I would agree that RVW's Sea Symphony is probably his worst (I too find it boring).

Offline 71 dB

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5841
  • I free-think, therefore I am free
    • Soundcloud
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #47 on: December 12, 2007, 01:22:46 AM »
Beethoven's first is the worst I know.

RVW's first symphony was a big pleasant surprise to me. I heard it yesterday. I really liked it!  :)
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page

Symphonien

  • Guest
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #48 on: December 12, 2007, 02:35:20 AM »
Beethoven's first is the worst I know.

Surely not! I actually enjoy his 1st much more than I do his 2nd.

Offline 71 dB

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5841
  • I free-think, therefore I am free
    • Soundcloud
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #49 on: December 12, 2007, 02:51:19 AM »
Surely not! I actually enjoy his 1st much more than I do his 2nd.

His 2nd symphony can't be nominated because it is the 2nd.  ;D
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page

Offline 71 dB

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5841
  • I free-think, therefore I am free
    • Soundcloud
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2007, 03:14:27 AM »
Beethoven's first is the worst I know.

I just listened to Rachmaninov's first symphony and I think it's even worse than Beethoven's. :P
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2007, 04:34:49 AM »
Much as I hate to say it, I would agree that RVW's Sea Symphony is probably his worst (I too find it boring).

Well, the least good of the Vaughan Williams cycle is one thing; perhaps I might agree with that slice of the remark.  Boring?  I don't think so.  It's one of a handful of Whitman settings which I find does the poet something like justice.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8224
  • An American Hero!
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2007, 04:40:28 AM »
I just listened to Rachmaninov's first symphony and I think it's even worse than Beethoven's. :P

Wow!  I was practically positive Beethoven's would never be mentioned here!  I do believe most people would agree, as mentioned above, that a rather startling new talent is proclaimed, even with just that opening chord.

To be sure, the first two Beethoven symphonies are still shedding talcum from all the powdered wigs, but raw, unpowdered living is much in evidence!

See my earlier comments on the Rachmaninov First Symphony.  Of course, after its premiere, a reviewer called it the best symphony on the 10 plagues of Egypt written by the best student in Hell's Conservatory!   >:D   What an endorsement of greatness!   :D

I have hesitated to nominate, or offer for your consideration, Firsts from composers such as Raff, Glazunov, the Bach Street Boys, et al. since their futures were not destined to be at the top.   :o

COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #53 on: December 12, 2007, 04:42:39 AM »
Wow!  I was practically positive Beethoven's would never be mentioned here!

Consider the source of the remark; 'nuff said.

Beethoven's is a particularly strong initial symphony, and of a refreshingly specific character, much more so (necessarily) than the Mozart juvenilia, e.g.

Offline 71 dB

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5841
  • I free-think, therefore I am free
    • Soundcloud
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #54 on: December 12, 2007, 04:48:01 AM »
Wow!  I was practically positive Beethoven's would never be mentioned here!  

Well, imagine my amazement Elgar's was mentioned here!  :o
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #55 on: December 12, 2007, 04:48:12 AM »
Quote
I just listened to Rachmaninov's first symphony and I think it's even worse than Beethoven's.

Quote
Complete BS. Clearly too sophisticated for you.[/size]

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #56 on: December 12, 2007, 04:50:56 AM »
Well, imagine my amazement Elgar's was mentioned here!

That amazement is simply a product of your inflated opinion of a work which most sober listeners find (a) mixed and (b) not among the composer's finest achievements.

The simple fact is, Poju, that given the question, when I considered First Symphonies to which I have listened over the past year, Elgar's was readily the weakest of them, the least entirely accomplished symphony: the "worst first."

It's only on Planet Poju that this becomes "anti-Elgarian."

Offline val

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2090
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #57 on: December 12, 2007, 05:00:24 AM »
I think that it is interesting that so many composers wrote remarkable first Symphonies. Sometimes, better than their ulterior works.

Since I cannot imagine what is the worst first Symphony, I will mention all the very good first Symphonies:

Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bruckner, Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Dvorak, Nielsen, Elgar, Prokofiev, Shostakovitch.

Wait, I think I found "my worst" first Symphony. Charles Ives. 

Offline 71 dB

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5841
  • I free-think, therefore I am free
    • Soundcloud
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #58 on: December 12, 2007, 05:00:38 AM »
That amazement is simply a product of your inflated opinion of a work which most sober listeners find (a) mixed and (b) not among the composer's finest achievements.

The simple fact is, Poju, that given the question, when I considered First Symphonies to which I have listened over the past year, Elgar's was readily the weakest of them, the least entirely accomplished symphony: the "worst first."

It's only on Planet Poju that this becomes "anti-Elgarian."

Inflated opinion? Elgar's symphonies have given me superior musical pleasure for 10 years! There is nothing inflated about that.

It would be so nice to be like other and be a Mahlerian or whatever... ...but I can't help it I find Elgar superior and I have to suffer from that this way!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 05:02:26 AM by 71 dB »
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page

Offline BachQ

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5798
Re: The Worst First!
« Reply #59 on: December 12, 2007, 05:01:46 AM »
Beethoven's first is the worst I know.

Actually, 71dB, with the exception of the Pastoral, ALL of Beethoven's Symphonies are very poorly orchestrated.  What a mess.  LvB should not have ventured past the string quartet genre.

 

Don't Like These Ads? Become a GMG Subscriber!
For as little as 14 cents per day, subscribers get no advertising on the forum, a larger Inbox for your PM's, and a warm glow of knowing you are supporting the forum. All this and a groovy Subscriber badge too!
Click here to read more.