Author Topic: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.  (Read 12760 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5481
  • Location: Germany
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2015, 12:18:21 PM »
Bruckner 8th finale is beaten by its slow movement, Bruckner 5th is not and I have a fondness for that one. But they are both somewhat too long and massive, the one from #8 is definitely too long for me, I cannot concentrate so long.
Beethoven 5th is beaten by its first movement, I think.

I tend to agree with nominations of Mahler 3 + 6 (not 2, though!), Brahms 3 (but not 1 and it's a very tough call in 4), Sibelius 2 and Schumann 4. I probably prefer the first mvmt in Tchaikovsky 6 and Mahler 9 (noone has mentioned that one). Many others I don't know well enough. If Das Lied von der Erde counts as a symphony this would also be an obvious choice.
Dvorak 9... I probably prefer the slow movement.

Haydn #70 a serious fugal movement
Rachmaninov #3 a piece I do not know very well but was quite impressed with the finale a few weeks ago.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 22274
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2015, 12:38:33 PM »
Sibelius 2
Beethoven 5
Schumann 4
Mahler 3
Bruckner 8
Mendelssohn 5
Agree about Sibelius.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline OrchestralNut

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4785
  • Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020)
  • Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2015, 01:09:33 PM »

 I probably prefer the first mvmt in Tchaikovsky 6 and Mahler 9 (noone has mentioned that one).

I agree with these, even with their incredible finale movements.

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 22274
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2015, 12:26:50 AM »
I agree with these, even with their incredible finale movements.
I can fully understand this view.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 22560
    • Brian's blog
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2015, 04:32:16 AM »
Nobody has mentioned Symphonie Fantastique.

We are all fools!



P.S. Also Shostakovich 9.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 04:34:31 AM by Brian »

Offline OrchestralNut

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4785
  • Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020)
  • Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2015, 04:35:37 AM »
Nobody has mentioned Symphonie Fantastique.

We are all fools!

 :D  I thought about this symphony's last movement.  Undoubtedly the most popular, and certainly the final two movements being the most memorable.   However, over time, I've come to enjoy that long middle movement enormously.  And was always a great fan of that opening movement.

Offline Mr. Three Putt

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 146
  • Currently Listening to:
    The silence between the notes
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2015, 04:36:27 AM »
:D  I thought about this symphony's last movement.  Undoubtedly the most popular, and certainly the final two movements being the most memorable.   However, over time, I've come to enjoy that long middle movement enormously.  And was always a great fan of that opening movement.

Bravo!

Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 60953
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, D. Scarlattii, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Martinů, Haydn, Henning
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2015, 04:38:54 AM »
Yes, the Scène aux champs is exquisite.
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 (poco) Sforzando

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5665
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2015, 04:56:42 AM »
Best? ...well, favorite movements of these symphonies anyway.
Ives 2

I'll give you that one.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline (poco) Sforzando

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5665
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2015, 04:58:03 AM »
Nobody has mentioned Symphonie Fantastique.

No, because I consider the first and third movements the strongest in that work.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline (poco) Sforzando

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5665
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2015, 05:00:41 AM »
Bruckner 8th finale is beaten by its slow movement

I would not say so. I consider the whole symphony very strong, but I can't think of a stronger finale than that one in all of Bruckner - both in itself and how it culminates the work.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5481
  • Location: Germany
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2015, 05:42:59 AM »
I would not say so. I consider the whole symphony very strong, but I can't think of a stronger finale than that one in all of Bruckner - both in itself and how it culminates the work.

As I said above, even after more than 20 years I do have some difficulties to grasp that finale. It's simply too long for me especially after the long slow movement. And I personally prefer both the slow and the first movement to the finale. And the question was not about the best finales but about the merits of the finale vs. the other movements in a particular work
Objectively, you are probably right. But I prefer the finale of the 7th, deemed too short and too slight by many, whereas I like it particularly because of those features. Of course it is not my favorite movement from that symphony.
The finale of Bruckner 5th is overblown, sure, but for some reason I like it and, mainly because the other movements are not as good as in the 8th it's for me a candidate where the finale is best.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Sergeant Rock

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22839
  • Location: Wine Country Germany
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2015, 06:28:25 AM »
Yes, the Scène aux champs is exquisite.

An exquisite soporific, certainly  ;)

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 OrchestralNut

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4785
  • Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020)
  • Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2015, 06:34:37 AM »
An exquisite soporific, certainly  ;)

Sarge


Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 60953
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, D. Scarlattii, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Martinů, Haydn, Henning
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2015, 06:38:49 AM »
Tough crowd!  ;)
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 Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5481
  • Location: Germany
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2015, 06:50:21 AM »
I do not want to imply that it's strictly downhill from there but my favorite of the SF is the first movement and particularly the intro...
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline (poco) Sforzando

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5665
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2015, 07:04:30 AM »


Yes, I think Rock has made the best case yet for the Second Amendment.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline Sergeant Rock

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22839
  • Location: Wine Country Germany
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2015, 07:19:57 AM »
Yes, I think Rock has made the best case yet for the Second Amendment.

 ;D :D ;D

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 jochanaan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4700
    • Musician, Music Instructor and Piano Tuner
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2015, 08:08:42 AM »
Well, arguing that one thing or another is "best" is problematic at "best." ;) But there are many symphonies in which the finale is more than merely the movement last heard, where it sums up and resolves all that has gone before.  Beethoven 5 and 9 are two of the earliest and best examples of this. (Yes, many music fans say the finale of 9 is structurally and musically the weakest, but I've found that in performance it always draws a thunderous audience response, the sort that only comes from an intense musical catharsis. 8) )  Bruckner's, Tchaikovsky's and Mahler's symphonies also show an increasing tendency for the finale to sum up what came before it.

And there are also symphonies in which the finale tries and fails to do this.  The aforementioned Symphonie Fantastique is one; as brilliant as the finale is (I chose to conduct it for my final exam in my college conducting class), it is by no means a summation but merely a dramatic "scene."  And the final movements in Mendelssohn's "Lobgesang" and "Reformation" symphonies are not particularly strong, although he tried to make them the summation of their respective symphonies.
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5481
  • Location: Germany
Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2015, 08:16:23 AM »
I like the "Reformation" Finale with "Ein feste Burg" but it seems quite unrelated to the rest. Probably the reason why Mendelssohn never published this symphony was that there was very little coherence among the movements, as fine as especially the first and last are.

I think amw should write a thesis in defense of the finale of Beethoven's 9th against the Philistines since Louis Spohr... I would quote it frequently :D
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)