Author Topic: What is the greatest symphonic poem?  (Read 5879 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2021, 05:18:20 AM »
I must confess ignorance to the Dvorak.  Must remedy that.

Wow! Really? I heartily suggest all of his symphonic poems.
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Offline listener

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2021, 09:17:24 AM »
SAINT-SAËNS:  Le Rouet d'Omphale
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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2021, 11:36:36 AM »
SAINT-SAËNS:  Le Rouet d'Omphale

That is a good one, indeed.
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Offline VonStupp

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2021, 12:12:45 PM »
Mendelssohn: The Hebrides (and Ruy Blas)
Delius: Eventyr
Tchaikovsky: The Tempest
Honegger: Pacific 231
Vaughan Williams: Fen Country
Tcherepnin: A Distant Princess
Bantock: Witch of Atlas
Liszt: Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne
Wallace: Sir William Wallace

Saint-Saëns: Danse Macabre
Dvořák: The Water Goblin
Smetana: The Moldau
Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
Sibelius: Finlandia
Strauss: Til Eugenspiegel
Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia
Rachmaninov: Isle of the Dead
Novák: In the Tatras
Liadov: Baba-Yaga
Dukas: Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Debussy: Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun
Gershwin: American in Paris

Some of these are concert overtures and I'm uncertain whether they qualify or not. Regardless, I have the warhorses under some new entries, in no particular order.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2021, 07:49:31 AM by VonStupp »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2021, 12:34:07 PM »
Mendelssohn: The Hebrides (and Ruy Blas)
Delius: Eventyr
Tchaikovsky: The Tempest
Honegger: Pacific 231
Vaughan Williams: Fen Country
Tcherepnin: A Distant Princess
Bantock: Witch of Atlas
Liszt: Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne
Wallace: Sir William Wallace
Saint-Saëns: Danse Macabre
Dvořák: The Water Goblin
Smetana: The Moldau
Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
Sibelius: Finlandia
Strauss: Til Eugenspiegel
Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia
Rachmaninov: Isle of the Dead
Novák: In the Tatras
Liadov: Baba-Yaga
Dukas: Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Debussy: Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun
Gershwin: American in Paris

Some of these are concert overtures and I'm uncertain whether they qualify or not. Regardless, I have the warhorses here too, in no particular order.

Great list, but I can’t believe that I forgot Debussy’s Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune. I need to be bullwhipped for this absent-minded omission.
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Offline relm1

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #45 on: June 29, 2021, 03:32:18 PM »
Wow! Really? I heartily suggest all of his symphonic poems.

Which recording?  I'm currently listening to Rattle/BSO.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #46 on: June 29, 2021, 04:01:26 PM »
Which recording?  I'm currently listening to Rattle/BSO.

These two are outstanding, IMHO:

"Competitions are for horses. Not artists." - Béla Bartók

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #47 on: June 29, 2021, 04:07:40 PM »
These two are outstanding, IMHO:



The Mackerras is greatly performed, but the volume of the recordings are not as good as expected. I'm not sure if I'm the only one to notice that.
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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #48 on: June 29, 2021, 04:43:49 PM »
The Mackerras is greatly performed, but the volume of the recordings are not as good as expected. I'm not sure if I'm the only one to notice that.

Yes, I did notice the volume level being a bit lower than I’m accustomed hearing from this label. But I remember correctly, there were some issues with some of their Martinů recordings also having this volume level problem. Nevertheless, it’s still a great recording.
"Competitions are for horses. Not artists." - Béla Bartók

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #49 on: June 29, 2021, 05:07:21 PM »
Yes, I did notice the volume level being a bit lower than I’m accustomed hearing from this label. But I remember correctly, there were some issues with some of their Martinů recordings also having this volume level problem. Nevertheless, it’s still a great recording.

Good to know, John. Fortunately the performances do justice to the music as usual with Mackerras and the Czech Philharmonic.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

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Offline André

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #50 on: June 30, 2021, 09:23:45 AM »
These two are outstanding, IMHO:



They are excellent. My favourite by quite a margin is under Chalabala, also with the Czech Philharmonic on Supraphon:



The Harnoncourt recordings are surprisingly good (I’m quite sparing in my admiration for his art, but this is excellent). Kubelik and Kertesz are sound, reliable but unexciting. There are also recordings by Kosler, Kuchar and Talich, but I haven’t heard them.

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #51 on: June 30, 2021, 09:35:34 AM »
They are excellent. My favourite by quite a margin is under Chalabala, also with the Czech Philharmonic on Supraphon:



The Harnoncourt recordings are surprisingly good (I’m quite sparing in my admiration for his art, but this is excellent). Kubelik and Kertesz are sound, reliable but unexciting. There are also recordings by Kosler, Kuchar and Talich, but I haven’t heard them.

I think I’ve seen you mention the Chalabala before, but how is the audio quality in this recording, Andre?
"Competitions are for horses. Not artists." - Béla Bartók

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #52 on: June 30, 2021, 01:04:59 PM »
They are excellent. My favourite by quite a margin is under Chalabala, also with the Czech Philharmonic on Supraphon:



The Harnoncourt recordings are surprisingly good (I’m quite sparing in my admiration for his art, but this is excellent). Kubelik and Kertesz are sound, reliable but unexciting. There are also recordings by Kosler, Kuchar and Talich, but I haven’t heard them.

Chalabala, what a name. How odd for Supraphon to record the same repertoire thrice with the same orchestra.

Offline André

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #53 on: June 30, 2021, 02:24:43 PM »
I think I’ve seen you mention the Chalabala before, but how is the audio quality in this recording, Andre?

Excellent. The Prague Rudolfinum has a long reverberation period, as you know.

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #54 on: June 30, 2021, 04:24:14 PM »
Excellent. The Prague Rudolfinum has a long reverberation period, as you know.

Indeed. I’ll see if I can track down a copy of it.
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #55 on: June 30, 2021, 10:22:09 PM »
For me, Sibelius tops the list with En Saga. There aren't a huge number of quality videos which feature the piece, but this one is good:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-iarVX4jZ-g

I love En Saga too - but its one of those curious Symphonic Poems in that it has no 'plot' or specific source - just a kind of "in legendary mood" evocation.  But goodness me isn't it evocative!  The Sibelius tone poem I return to most often (Horst Stein with the Suisse Romande is my go-to version)

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #56 on: June 30, 2021, 11:27:13 PM »
If you want a narrative to go along with the music
CAPLET: The Fall of the House of Usher,  HOLBROOKE: The Raven
LOEFFLER: La Villanelle du diable,  LANGGAARD: Sphinx
by composers of a lower rank that of he who wrote Wellington’s Victory
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Offline relm1

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #57 on: July 01, 2021, 03:18:37 PM »
What are the characteristics that you think makes a symphonic poem great?  Why is it Sibelius keeps coming up and Strauss or Liszt rarely do?  Do you think the form is obsolete now or is that now absorbed in to other forms like program symphonies or something?  For example, Thomas Ades' Asyla is a symphonic poem if written a hundred years earlier. 

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #58 on: July 02, 2021, 06:46:22 AM »
Chalabala, what a name. How odd for Supraphon to record the same repertoire thrice with the same orchestra.

The Chalabala are good but quite old recordings.  Also, worth knowling that there are quite significant cuts in the music.  Mainly The Golden Spinning Wheel (that's stated from emory - there ARE cuts - I just can't remember with 100% certainty which work!)

Offline Biffo

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #59 on: July 02, 2021, 06:53:57 AM »
The Chalabala are good but quite old recordings.  Also, worth knowling that there are quite significant cuts in the music.  Mainly The Golden Spinning Wheel (that's stated from emory - there ARE cuts - I just can't remember with 100% certainty which work!)

I got to know the symphonic poems from Chalabala's performances. For years I didn't realise he had made fairly substantial cuts to The Golden Spinning Wheel (my favourite). It was only when I heard the uncut Kertesz performance that I found out the true length of the piece.