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The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => The Polling Station => Topic started by: vandermolen on October 04, 2015, 11:46:26 AM

Title: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 04, 2015, 11:46:26 AM
Rubbra: Symphony 7
Tchaikovsky: Symphony 6 'Pathetique'
Vaughan Williams: Symphony 6 (or 5)
Sibelius: Symphony 3
Shostakovich: Symphony 4
Tournemire: Symphony 3 'Moscow'

Another absurd thread but never mind  8)
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on October 04, 2015, 12:07:56 PM
Mahler 6
Brahms 4
Bruckner 5
Dvorak 6
Mozart 41
Martinu 5
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 04, 2015, 12:14:49 PM
Mahler 6
Brahms 4
Bruckner 5
Dvorak 6
Mozart 41
Martinu 5

Fine choices. I might have gone for Martinu Symphony 4 as I love the inspiriting ending, especially in Turnovsky's recording. Agree with both Brahms and Bruckner.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: The new erato on October 04, 2015, 02:14:14 PM

Vaughan Williams: Symphony 6

Not the 6th surely? I love the fabulous, stormy 1st movement.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: amw on October 04, 2015, 02:32:23 PM
some others that could be mentioned:
Beethoven 8 and 9
Mahler 3, 8 (?) & 10
Shostakovich 15
Nielsen 4 (inasmuch as it has 'movements')
Brahms 3 and arguably 1
Hindemith 'Mathis der Maler'
Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 04, 2015, 03:01:15 PM
Fine choices. I might have gone for Martinu Symphony 4 as I love the inspiriting ending, especially in Turnovsky's recording. Agree with both Brahms and Bruckner.

I couldn't offer any choices because I don't know offhand too many symphonies where the finale is so clearly superior to the other movements. It's the whole progression that matters, not any individual movement (and sometimes where an individual movement might appear lesser in itself - like the Beethoven Pastorale - it becomes justified by its place in the whole). Brahms 4? I think the last movement is terrific, but no more than the 1st or 2nd movements. (The 3rd movement may be the least impressive in itself, but it does the necessary job of lowering the tension in preparation for the finale.) But I don't think Brahms ever wrote a more superlative, tempestuous coda than the ending of the first movement of the 4th, so how can I say the finale is the "best"? Mahler 3? The finale is awesome, but the gigantic first movement may be the most astonishing large structure Mahler ever created.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Ken B on October 04, 2015, 03:33:00 PM
I couldn't offer any choices because I don't know offhand too many symphonies where the finale is so clearly superior to the other movements. It's the whole progression that matters, not any individual movement (and sometimes where an individual movement might appear lesser in itself - like the Beethoven Pastorale - it becomes justified by its place in the whole). Brahms 4? I think the last movement is terrific, but no more than the 1st or 2nd movements. (The 3rd movement may be the least impressive in itself, but it does the necessary job of lowering the tension in preparation for the finale.) But I don't think Brahms ever wrote a more superlative, tempestuous coda than the ending of the first movement of the 4th, so how can I say the finale is the "best"? Mahler 3? The finale is awesome, but the gigantic first movement may be the most astonishing large structure Mahler ever created.

I feel similarly. I guess Mozart 41 and Bruckner 5 fit. All the one movement symphonies.  :)
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Brian on October 04, 2015, 03:49:58 PM
Mahler 3? The finale is awesome, but the gigantic first movement may be the most astonishing large structure Mahler ever created.

The first movement of Mahler 3 is my favorite Mahler, by far. It could very nearly have been a standalone symphony. This is also, by the way, the piece with which I finally defused my mom's terror of Mahler. I convinced them to go to a local concert without telling them what was on the program. On the drive down to the concert hall, my parents finally asked and I said, "Mahler's Third." "Mahler?!???!?! Oh no!!" My mom was angry at me for dragging them there.

And then the music started and, as she said afterwards, that first movement held her in utter grip from first note to last. "I've never heard an orchestra sound like that," she said, "and he obviously knew the instruments and how to use them more than anybody else ever did."

Anyway, as for final movements? amw's choice of Beethoven 8 is my favorite choice so far. Mozart 41 fits, and one could argue for Sibelius 5 (though the first movement is utterly extraordinary). I'd also nominate Schubert 6 "Little C Major", Haydn 82 "The Bear", and Prokofiev 1 "Classical". Maaaaybe Prokofiev 7?

Oh. Mahler 2, duh.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 04, 2015, 04:09:04 PM
Oh. Mahler 2, duh.

OK, Mahler 2. OK, Mozart Jupiter - but only because of that passage in the coda. I think I like the first movement of LvB 8 best, so there.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 04, 2015, 05:01:37 PM
RVW 1
Prokofiev 6
Haydn 45 & 98
Elgar 1
Bruckner 5
Sibelius 6

These are the first that come to mind, I'm sure there are more.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Jay F on October 05, 2015, 11:14:03 AM
Mahler 2, 8

Tchaikovsky 6

Beethoven 9
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: OrchestralNut on October 05, 2015, 11:30:07 AM
Sibelius 2
Beethoven 5
Schumann 4
Mahler 3
Bruckner 8
Mendelssohn 5
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: OrchestralNut on October 05, 2015, 11:32:06 AM

Shostakovich: Symphony 4


Oh boy, how could I forget this one!  :o
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Mr. Three Putt on October 05, 2015, 11:39:57 AM
For me, Bruckner 5 is a no brainer and Beethoven 5 is close to the same.

Mahler 2 though is certainly up for debate. That first movement..........tough call.

A few others

Ries 5 and 6
Sibelius 7 (cheating)
Schubert 4
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 05, 2015, 11:49:02 AM
Best? ...well, favorite movements of these symphonies anyway.

Atterberg 5 (with the waltz finale)
Saint-Saens 3 "Organ"
Bruckner 2
Bruckner 5
Sibelius 5
Vaughan Williams 4
Haydn 73 "La Chasse"
Ives 2
Dvorak 8

Hindemith 'Mathis der Maler'

Mendelssohn 5

Yes, and yes.

Sarge
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: OrchestralNut on October 05, 2015, 11:51:15 AM
OK....Way too many people mentioning Bruckner's 5th symphony.   ???

I find this finale to drag on for too long, and it is one of my least favorite movements of any Bruckner symphony.  I much prefer the other 3 movements.  Different strokes for different folks.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 05, 2015, 11:53:57 AM
OK....Way too many people mentioning Bruckner's 5th symphony.   ???

I find this finale to drag on for too long, and it is one of my least favorite movements of any Bruckner symphony.  I much prefer the other 3 movements.  Different strokes for different folks.

The coda is spectacular, rivaling the Eighth's. I love your Bruckner pick too, Nut, but marginally prefer the first movement for that very un-Bruckner-like Coriolan ending.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: OrchestralNut on October 05, 2015, 11:55:31 AM
The coda is spectacular, rivaling the Eighth's. I love your Bruckner pick too, Nut, but marginally prefer the first movement for that very un-Bruckner-like Coriolan ending.

The 8th is difficult, I like the other movements just as much as the finale, to be honest.  That first movement does have a great ending.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 05, 2015, 11:58:53 AM
Not the 6th surely? I love the fabulous, stormy 1st movement.
Actually I love the whole symphony which would probably be my No.1 desert island choice. In a way I agree about the first movement with the great tune at the end. However, there is nothing like the final movement in any other work I have heard and it is my favourite movement. It has been described as 'an eerie progression through a bleak wasteland' which appeals to me.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 05, 2015, 12:00:08 PM
RVW 1
Prokofiev 6
Haydn 45 & 98
Elgar 1
Bruckner 5
Sibelius 6

These are the first that come to mind, I'm sure there are more.
You are so right about the RVW Symphony 1 - it contains by far the best music in the symphony.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Jo498 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.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 05, 2015, 12:38:33 PM
Sibelius 2
Beethoven 5
Schumann 4
Mahler 3
Bruckner 8
Mendelssohn 5
Agree about Sibelius.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: OrchestralNut 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.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 06, 2015, 12:26:50 AM
I agree with these, even with their incredible finale movements.
I can fully understand this view.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Brian on October 06, 2015, 04:32:16 AM
Nobody has mentioned Symphonie Fantastique.

We are all fools!



P.S. Also Shostakovich 9.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: OrchestralNut 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.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Mr. Three Putt 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!
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 06, 2015, 04:38:54 AM
Yes, the Scène aux champs is exquisite.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 06, 2015, 04:56:42 AM
Best? ...well, favorite movements of these symphonies anyway.
Ives 2

I'll give you that one.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: (poco) Sforzando 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.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: (poco) Sforzando 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.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Jo498 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.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 06, 2015, 06:28:25 AM
Yes, the Scène aux champs is exquisite.

An exquisite soporific, certainly  ;)

Sarge
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: OrchestralNut on October 06, 2015, 06:34:37 AM
An exquisite soporific, certainly  ;)

Sarge

(http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Battle/bazooka.gif)
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 06, 2015, 06:38:49 AM
Tough crowd!  ;)
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Jo498 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...
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 06, 2015, 07:04:30 AM
(http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Battle/bazooka.gif)

Yes, I think Rock has made the best case yet for the Second Amendment.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Sergeant Rock 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
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: jochanaan 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.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Jo498 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
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 07, 2015, 12:35:33 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.
Very interesting point.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Maestro267 on October 07, 2015, 01:58:37 AM
Bax 6
Elgar 2
Bruckner 5
Tchaikovsky 1
Beethoven 5
Dvorak 7
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 09, 2015, 12:58:05 PM
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.

I would agree with all of this. Heretical as it sounds, too, I think Mahler in his 2nd does a better job of integrating the choral movement than Beethoven in the 9th.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Jo498 on October 09, 2015, 01:58:18 PM
I find the orchestral section of the finale of Mahler 2 too long. It's breathtaking when the chorus sets in but I don't think it is musically all that well integrated. It basically depends on that last jugdment "backstory" to the symphony.
In any case the choir is much mor important and for a longer part of the movement involved in the Beethoven 9th, so I find it actually hard to compare them. Beethoven might have been "overdoing" it with the motivation/explanation of the choir, he really is an enlightened rationalist here compared to the late-romantic mystic religiosity of Mahler, but even if the movement is "loose" for Beethoven, when I listen to it, I find it tighter and more stringent than e.g. the Mahler 2 finale.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 10, 2015, 12:59:18 AM
Bax 6
Elgar 2
Bruckner 5
Tchaikovsky 1
Beethoven 5
Dvorak 7

I think that it is also true for Bax Symphony 7 as the ending is quite wonderful.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: amw on October 10, 2015, 02:15:06 AM
I find the orchestral section of the finale of Mahler 2 too long. It's breathtaking when the chorus sets in but I don't think it is musically all that well integrated. It basically depends on that last jugdment "backstory" to the symphony.
In any case the choir is much mor important and for a longer part of the movement involved in the Beethoven 9th, so I find it actually hard to compare them. Beethoven might have been "overdoing" it with the motivation/explanation of the choir, he really is an enlightened rationalist here compared to the late-romantic mystic religiosity of Mahler, but even if the movement is "loose" for Beethoven, when I listen to it, I find it tighter and more stringent than e.g. the Mahler 2 finale.
My thoughts as well, but then, I'm no Mahler fan. The entry of the choir is magical, everything else in the movement either falls flat or was done better in the Eighth.

Structurally, Beethoven 9's finale is fairly straightforward when listened to—maybe not on paper. It's basically a long development of one main theme—when other themes appear, they're clearly set up to eventually combine contrapuntally with it. In that sense it's sort of an early-19th-century analogue of the Handel-Oratorio fugue, stretched to 25 minutes (Beethoven apparently expected it to be a lot shorter, the symphony was supposed to last 45 minutes in total, but one does sometimes miscalculate these things). What Beethoven probably intended was to convey the same sort of character as a big choral number in the Messiah or Israel in Egypt or whatever—he considered Handel his 'grand master'—but without resorting to the actual imitation-Baroque 'learned style' that he could parcel out throughout the Missa solemnis without disturbing its essentially modern character. There's space only for one bit of stile antico at the appearance of 'Seid umschlungen (sp?), Millionen', with the rest being essentially modern music: military marches, Turkish Janissary music, solo arias and finally a comic opera finale full of contretemps and complications (with no actual words to indicate a scenario, but in a musical style immediately recogniseable as such). I suppose he recognised Handel's style circa 1730 as being essentially popular in nature, leading to his wide success, and thus decided in turn to incorporate popular styles of his own day.

I think the unity of Beethoven 9/iv is essentially dramatic as much as it is essentially musical—it follows the logic of an operatic scene, whereas Mahler 2/v seems to me to sacrifice drama for musical unity (that or he just didn't have a good handle on dramatic pacing at this stage of his career. Symphony 2 was before he'd become famous as an opera conductor, wasn't it?).
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Jo498 on October 10, 2015, 02:44:44 AM
To this day I have copy of a worksheet I found in a book I bought second-hand (probably one Vol. of Tovey's essays probably bought in a 2nd hand book store in Seattle in 1996) with an "analysis" of the last movement of Beethoven's 9th as a hybrid of sonata and variation form and also with the four-movement structure of a sonata mirrored in one movement (like op.133). It is plausible and the stretching that is required can be explained by the fact that the structure of the ode in several stanzas had to be implemented as well.

I agree with your stressing the "popular" elements. This was pointed out by Rosen in several of his writings - he draws parallels with Zauberfloete, late Haydn, especially the oratorios, and they occur in other late Beethoven as well (Diabellis, scherzo and scherzando movements of late quartets etc.). Corny as some bits of Schiller's text may appear today, I also think that the mix of sublime and popular has a firm basis in the ode. It had started out as a drinking/merry-making song and one point is to encompass "all creatures great and small", from worm to cherub and both sensual as well as sublime joy.

I doubt  that Beethoven realized that Handel had been writing in a comparably popular style in the 1730/40s because for him (and Haydn and Mozart) Handel's choral works were exemplars of a monumental, "sublime" style, reception already filtered by several decades.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: jochanaan on October 10, 2015, 05:28:25 PM
...whereas Mahler 2/v seems to me to sacrifice drama for musical unity (that or he just didn't have a good handle on dramatic pacing at this stage of his career. Symphony 2 was before he'd become famous as an opera conductor, wasn't it?).
Perhaps before he became famous as an opera conductor, but he was already working as a conductor in Hamburg when writing the 2nd.  And actually, I feel that M2's finale shows great mastery of both dramatic and symphonic form.  But then, I do love all of Mahler's music. :)
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Green Destiny on October 10, 2015, 06:04:21 PM
I can only think of 3 Symphonies where the final movement is the best:

Sibelius 5th
Shostakovich 15th
Arnold 9th
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 10, 2015, 10:49:32 PM
I can only think of 3 Symphonies where the final movement is the best:

Sibelius 5th
Shostakovich 15th
Arnold 9th

Very interesting. I agree about all three, especially the Arnold.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Madiel on October 11, 2015, 03:22:22 AM
Sibelius: Symphony 3

Gasp!

NEVER!
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 15, 2015, 12:57:18 PM
George Lloyd: Symphony 4.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on October 15, 2015, 08:43:25 PM
Let's see............

Shostakovich 6
Sibelius 3
Bruckner 5
Mahler 1
Beethoven 9
Mozart 41
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 16, 2015, 07:47:52 AM
Let's see............

Shostakovich 6
Sibelius 3
Bruckner 5
Mahler 1
Beethoven 9
Mozart 41
Think I prefer the long opening movement of the Shostakovich although I agree about all the others but don't know the Mozart well enough to comment.  :o
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: OrchestralNut on October 16, 2015, 07:50:26 AM
Let's see............

Shostakovich 6


A terrific galloping final movement indeed, although I prefer the intense opening movement.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 16, 2015, 08:17:55 AM
A terrific galloping final movement indeed, although I prefer the intense opening movement.

Yes, me too Mr Nut.  :)
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 16, 2015, 08:53:53 AM
Think I prefer the long opening movement of the Shostakovich although I agree about all the others but don't know the Mozart well enough to comment.  :o

Most of the movement is a typically high-quality Mozart sonata-form. What makes it special is a passage of about 16 bars in the coda, where five themes are combined using a technique known as invertible counterpoint. (In invertible counterpoint, each melody can also serve as the bass to another, and in this small but dazzling passage every single one of the themes is used both as bass and melody.) Contrary to reports that Mozart always composed spontaneously without sketching, this section surely cost him a lot of work!
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: jochanaan on October 16, 2015, 09:11:36 AM
Most of the movement is a typically high-quality Mozart sonata-form. What makes it special is a passage of about 16 bars in the coda, where five themes are combined using a technique known as invertible counterpoint. (In invertible counterpoint, each melody can also serve as the bass to another, and in this small but dazzling passage every single one of the themes is used both as bass and melody.) Contrary to reports that Mozart always composed spontaneously without sketching, this section surely cost him a lot of work!
There is also a passage of five-part imitative counterpoint in the exposition.  And the entire Jupiter Symphony finale shows a contrapuntal mastery we do not normally associate with Mozart but which he obviously had in full. 8)
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Jo498 on October 16, 2015, 12:22:03 PM
The Jupiter Finale might be a particularly demonstrative tour de force, but somewhat similar things are not all that rare in mature Mozart. The most famous example besides the Jupiter is probably the finale of the G major quartet K 387. But his first real piano concerto K 175 has already a finale employing elements of the "learned style", so do two early quartets (one with a rather mannered chromatic fugal theme, those two do sound a little like exercises...) and the early string quintet, all before K 200 (those last three works were probably inspired by the final fugues in Haydn's op.20, but fugal movements can also be found in works of other early classical composers, e.g. Franz Xaver Richter, a few of his quartets (alpha) and symphonies (Naxos) have been recorded). Then there is the rather demonstrative Cum sancto spiritu (I think) fugue in the c minor mass, with the theme in inversion.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 16, 2015, 02:58:19 PM
Most of the movement is a typically high-quality Mozart sonata-form. What makes it special is a passage of about 16 bars in the coda, where five themes are combined using a technique known as invertible counterpoint. (In invertible counterpoint, each melody can also serve as the bass to another, and in this small but dazzling passage every single one of the themes is used both as bass and melody.) Contrary to reports that Mozart always composed spontaneously without sketching, this section surely cost him a lot of work!
Thank you!
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 16, 2015, 03:01:28 PM
I agree about all the others but don't know the Mozart well enough to comment.  :o

Get thee to the Jupiter, pronto! Seriously, that last movement is terrific.

Sarge
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on October 16, 2015, 03:03:28 PM
Get thee to the Jupiter, pronto! Seriously, that last movement is terrific.

Sarge
VMT Sarge ( very many thanks ).  :)
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on October 16, 2015, 03:58:55 PM
I would actually say the second movement is on par with the fourth of Mozart's 41st....but those are two of my favourite symphonic movements ever composed so I had to mention it. 8)
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: jochanaan on October 16, 2015, 06:14:39 PM
I would actually say the second movement is on par with the fourth of Mozart's 41st....but those are two of my favourite symphonic movements ever composed so I had to mention it. 8)
No argument from me.  That Andante cantabile is truly some of the loveliest music ever. ;D
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Jo498 on October 17, 2015, 01:16:37 AM
yes, the andante is also great it's the first and 3rd mvmts of #41 that feel somewhat generic (of course still on a very high level - "standard" mature Mozart is still better than a lot of other artist's supreme efforts) compared to e.g. the ones from 39 and especially 40. Maybe Mozart wrote a slightly bland first movement on purpose so that the great finale would really shine...
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on October 17, 2015, 01:25:03 AM
yes, the andante is also great it's the first and 3rd mvmts of #41 that feel somewhat generic (of course still on a very high level - "standard" mature Mozart is still better than a lot of other artist's supreme efforts) compared to e.g. the ones from 39 and especially 40. Maybe Mozart wrote a slightly bland first movement on purpose so that the great finale would really shine...

I actually find the first and third movements of 41 to be much more interesting than all of no. 40...and all of his other symphonies. And all of Haydn's and Beethoven's symphonies too whilst I'm at it!
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on October 21, 2015, 08:52:49 AM
Brahms 1
Dvorak 9
Sibelius 6
Mahler 4
Mahler 5 (don't care yet much for the other movements, in fact)
Haydn 45 or Beethoven 5
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on December 03, 2015, 05:59:25 AM
+ C.V. Stanford symphonies 3 and 5.

Vaughan Williams: 'A Sea Symphony' by far the best movement.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: kyjo on September 27, 2017, 08:23:30 PM
Sibelius 5
Mahler 1/3/9
Tchaikovsky 6
Rachmaninoff 1
Braga Santos 4
Tubin 4
 
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 28, 2017, 03:05:46 PM
I'm very sure about these ones:

Brahms 4
Bruckner 9
Glière 3
Mahler 2
Saint-Saëns 3
Sibelius 2
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: kyjo on August 05, 2020, 01:34:58 PM
Trying to avoid ones that have already been mentioned:

Atterberg 3
Bax 7
L. Glass 5
Goldmark Rustic Wedding
Parry 3
Rachmaninoff 1
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: André on August 05, 2020, 02:18:02 PM
Haydn 82
Schumann 4
Brahms 3
Bruckner 1, 5
Mahler 9
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Symphonic Addict on August 05, 2020, 04:17:37 PM
Updating...

Elgar 1
Holmboe 8
Mahler 6
Nielsen 4
Raid 1
Steinberg 2
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on August 05, 2020, 09:11:00 PM
Updating...

Elgar 1
Holmboe 8
Mahler 6
Nielsen 4
Raid 1
Steinberg 2
Great choices Cesar and nice to see the Steinberg included with its 'tolling bell' redemptive conclusion. I'd totally forgotten that I started this thread  ::)
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on August 06, 2020, 01:43:18 AM
Gliere: Symphony 3 'Ilya Muromets'
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: relm1 on August 06, 2020, 04:22:35 AM
Bruckner 4
Shostakovich 4, 15
Sibelius 7
Prokofiev 7
RVW 9
Mahler 2
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on August 06, 2020, 06:58:53 AM
Bruckner 4
Shostakovich 4, 15
Sibelius 7
Prokofiev 7
RVW 9
Mahler 2
With VW Symphony No.9 the first and especially the last movements are the best.
+1 for both Shostakovich symphonies as well.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on July 18, 2021, 04:30:23 AM
Let me see (again  ::))

Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony
Bax: Symphony No.3
Rootham: Symphony No.2
Moroi: Symphony 3
Sibelius: Symphony No.3
Rubbra: Symphony 7
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: relm1 on July 18, 2021, 05:12:52 AM
Let me see (again  ::))

Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony
Bax: Symphony No.3
Rootham: Symphony No.2
Moroi: Symphony 3
Sibelius: Symphony No.3
Rubbra: Symphony 7

One thing I am struggling with from your list is RVW Sea Symphony.  Not because the final movement isn't wonderful but part of what makes it so wonderful is it's the powerful and transcendent culmination of what preceded it. It's such a natural and mature transition from the other works that I see it as the culmination of the other movements, something very rare.  Not that it isn't the best but it's even greater when heard in its contextual totality. 
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Mirror Image on July 18, 2021, 05:18:51 AM
One thing I am struggling with from your list is RVW Sea Symphony.  Not because the final movement isn't wonderful but part of what makes it so wonderful is it's the powerful and transcendent culmination of what preceded it. It's such a natural and mature transition from the other works that I see it as the culmination of the other movements, something very rare.  Not that it isn't the best but it's even greater when heard in its contextual totality.

I remember a member here telling me something similar about Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. It’s a work that must be heard in its entirety to understand how it all comes together. And my response was that I didn’t care. If I want to play Der Abschied, which is one of Mahler’s most compelling musical utterances, and that’s all I want to listen to, then I will. One doesn’t need context to enjoy a piece of music in purely abstract terms. I don’t care what anyone else says. The same applies with Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony. I never liked this piece, but I think the last movement is miraculous and worth the price of admission.
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: Symphonic Addict on July 18, 2021, 03:37:10 PM
Let's see...

Raid 1
Braga Santos 4
Hindemith Mathis der Maler
Atterberg 3
Glière 3
Brahms 4
Title: Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
Post by: vandermolen on July 19, 2021, 12:14:22 PM
One thing I am struggling with from your list is RVW Sea Symphony.  Not because the final movement isn't wonderful but part of what makes it so wonderful is it's the powerful and transcendent culmination of what preceded it. It's such a natural and mature transition from the other works that I see it as the culmination of the other movements, something very rare.  Not that it isn't the best but it's even greater when heard in its contextual totality.
I see what you mean - it's just that I think that the finale contains the best music and I wouldn't want to hear it out of context. Very much agree with Cesar about Gliere's Third Symphony.