Author Topic: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists  (Read 3561 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« on: July 27, 2021, 03:27:06 PM »
Apologies if this thread has been done before as I did a search and nothing came up, but anyway who are your three choices?

Mine are (in no particular order):

Mahler


Bruckner


Sibelius


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Offline krummholz

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2021, 05:56:55 PM »
Mine, in chronological order:

Mahler
Nielsen
Brian

My avatar composer, Holmboe, composed 13 symphonies and is certainly right up there in my pantheon, but I consider his symphonic output somewhat uneven, with several of the early ones not even up to the level of his best work. While Brian's symphonic output is also uneven (and a couple of his 32 I don't even consider symphonies), Brian explored the form so exhaustively and so consistently throughout his career that I have to rank him, overall, slightly higher as a symphonist (though not as a composer).

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2021, 07:13:09 PM »
As my avatar is the great Dane, he's probably my favorite symphonist ever.

The other two are Dvorak and Shostakovich.

« Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 07:15:21 PM by Symphonic Addict »
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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2021, 07:14:46 PM »
As my avatar is the great Dane, he's probably my favorite symphonist ever.

The other two are Dvorak and Shostakovich.



These very well could’ve been my own choices, Cesar. 8)
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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2021, 07:20:19 PM »
These very well could’ve been my own choices, Cesar. 8)

I could change Dvorak for Sibelius. Even though his [Sibelius] symphonies 3 and 4 are not so close to me, he's definitely an indispensable composer.
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!

Carl Nielsen

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2021, 07:26:20 PM »
I could change Dvorak for Sibelius. Even though his [Sibelius] symphonies 3 and 4 are not so close to me, he's definitely an indispensable composer.

Sibelius’ 4th is the symphony that made me finally understand this composer, so I’ll always have a sentimental attachment to it, but, also, the slow movement is absolutely gut-wrenchingly honest, brutal even, and it hit me like a ton of bricks when it finally clicked for me. For me, and this is just my opinion, but if you don’t understand the 4th, then you don’t really understand the composer. It’s kind of like Nielsen’s 5th. If you don’t like this symphony, then there’s a good chance you’re not as big of a fan of the composer as you think you are.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 07:28:04 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2021, 07:41:50 PM »
Sibelius’ 4th is the symphony that made me finally understand this composer, so I’ll always have a sentimental attachment to it, but, also, the slow movement is absolutely gut-wrenchingly honest, brutal even, and it hit me like a ton of bricks when it finally clicked for me. For me, and this is just my opinion, but if you don’t understand the 4th, then you don’t really understand the composer. It’s kind of like Nielsen’s 5th. If you don’t like this symphony, then there’s a good chance you’re not as big of a fan of the composer as you think you are.

I've come to grips with Sibelius's 4th over the last months. It's not as impenetrable as I initially perceived. For me it's his most psychological and personal. In the case of Nielsen's 5th, I DO love it, and I understand it pretty well. In fact, I really love all of his 6 symphonies, which doesn't happen with Sibelius, whose symphonies 1, 2, 5 and 7 are truly special to me.
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!

Carl Nielsen

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2021, 07:55:10 PM »
I've come to grips with Sibelius's 4th over the last months. It's not as impenetrable as I initially perceived. For me it's his most psychological and personal. In the case of Nielsen's 5th, I DO love it, and I understand it pretty well. In fact, I really love all of his 6 symphonies, which doesn't happen with Sibelius, whose symphonies 1, 2, 5 and 7 are truly special to me.

Well, I love all of Sibelius’ and Nielsen’s symphonies. ;) No love for Sibelius’ 6th either? :o Yikes! I certainly understand that the 4th and 6th are the most elusive of the Sibelius symphonies, but I think this is a good thing --- it just means you have to keep trying. ;) The 4th and 6th are actually the symphonies that gave the most difficulty, but I’ve come to regard them as masterpieces and there’s nothing like them. This kind of reminds me of how I finally came around to a work like Night Ride & Sunrise. This work was even more elusive to me than the 4th or 6th symphonies. I remember reading something that someone wrote (maybe a critic or just a long-time listener) and they said that Sibelius’ music is like the musical depiction of a remote, desolate land where there’s no sign of human contact and it basically only exists because the environment has found a way to replenish itself. Bear in mind, I’m paraphrasing here, but it was a interesting thought and it made me do some thinking as well. Nielsen’s music is quite the opposite I feel --- it’s as if he feeds off energy and life. I often think of his music as some kind of organic life force that runs off sunlight and gains momentum the longer it’s able to flourish. Does any of this make any sense? Probably not. :P
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2021, 10:19:42 PM »
Beethoven
Haydn
Mahler
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 Florestan

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2021, 11:21:45 PM »
Mozart
Schubert
Tchaikovsky
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Offline Raymond

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2021, 02:28:03 AM »
Well, I love all of Sibelius’ and Nielsen’s symphonies. ;) No love for Sibelius’ 6th either? :o Yikes! I certainly understand that the 4th and 6th are the most elusive of the Sibelius symphonies, but I think this is a good thing --- it just means you have to keep trying. ;) The 4th and 6th are actually the symphonies that gave the most difficulty, but I’ve come to regard them as masterpieces and there’s nothing like them. This kind of reminds me of how I finally came around to a work like Night Ride & Sunrise. This work was even more elusive to me than the 4th or 6th symphonies. I remember reading something that someone wrote (maybe a critic or just a long-time listener) and they said that Sibelius’ music is like the musical depiction of a remote, desolate land where there’s no sign of human contact and it basically only exists because the environment has found a way to replenish itself. Bear in mind, I’m paraphrasing here, but it was a interesting thought and it made me do some thinking as well. Nielsen’s music is quite the opposite I feel --- it’s as if he feeds off energy and life. I often think of his music as some kind of organic life force that runs off sunlight and gains momentum the longer it’s able to flourish. Does any of this make any sense? Probably not. :P

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2021, 02:39:56 AM »
Apologies if this thread has been done before as I did a search and nothing came up, but anyway who are your three choices?

Mine are (in no particular order):

Mahler


Bruckner


Sibelius


Definitely some of my absolute top candidates too. Hard to narrow down though, besides choosing Bruckner (that always incredibly conservative- and boring-looking fellow) on the list.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2021, 02:45:09 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline Raymond

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2021, 02:49:21 AM »
Yes. I always thought that humans/humanity are absent from Sibelius. The symphonies anyway, but they even seem to take a back step in the tone poems. But he has an extraordinary gift of expressing nature, especially of course the northern regions.

Online Sergeant Rock

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2021, 03:54:54 AM »
Havergal Brian
Haydn
Mahler
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 Mirror Image

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2021, 05:42:46 AM »
Havergal Brian
Haydn
Mahler

I’m surprised Bruckner didn’t make the list, Sarge.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2021, 05:43:42 AM »
Yes. I always thought that humans/humanity are absent from Sibelius. The symphonies anyway, but they even seem to take a back step in the tone poems. But he has an extraordinary gift of expressing nature, especially of course the northern regions.

Agreed. He was a remarkable painter of sound.
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Offline kyjo

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2021, 06:30:39 AM »
Well, that’s easy! My top 3 symphonists also happen to be my 3 favorite composers: Sibelius, Dvorak, and Atterberg. ;) My nos. 4 and 5 would be Nielsen and Vaughan Williams, btw.
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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2021, 06:40:07 AM »
There are no three for me that stand far above the others.  Making a longer list Mahler, Beethoven, Haydn, Bruckner, Shostakovich, Brahms and Sibelius.

Offline amw

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2021, 07:01:21 AM »
Martinů, Dvořák, and Haydn, in some order. (Ok, Haydn is first, I guess.) Considered including Beethoven, but his symphonies are basically just Martinů's with less pianos.

I can also name a single favourite symphony (Haydn's La Passione, Hob.I:49) and maybe a second favourite ("Paris III" Hob.I:84) but not a third one (Beethoven 5? Fantaisies Symphoniques? Dvořák 7? Mozart 38?), and would have to then expand the list to ten or twenty to include all of the various possibilities.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2021, 07:03:15 AM by amw »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your ‘Top 3’ Favorite Symphonists
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2021, 07:04:43 AM »
Well, that’s easy! My top 3 symphonists also happen to be my 3 favorite composers: Sibelius, Dvorak, and Atterberg. ;) My nos. 4 and 5 would be Nielsen and Vaughan Williams, btw.

Fine choices, indeed. If you didn’t pick Atterberg, I would be seriously surprised. ;) Glad to know that Sibelius and Dvořák rank so high with you.
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