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Thread: Recommend me symphonies

  1. #1
    mutton mutton's Avatar
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    Default Recommend me symphonies

    As a new listener to classical music in general, I've listened to these symphonies so far:

    Mozart 25, 40, 41
    Beethoven 3, 5, 6, 7, 9
    Schubert 9
    Brahms 2, 3, 4
    Dvorak 8, 9
    Mahler 2, 6
    Bruckner 9
    Shostakovich 5

    A lot of this is from the top of the list at Talk Classical. I did research on which recordings have the best reviews for each symphony.


    My favourite right now is Beethoven 3. Beethoven 5 and Dvorak 9 also kick ass, with the latter being the most immediately accessible.

    Mozart is great, but I can't listen to him for too long because it feels same-y after a while. I guess it's less dynamic than Romantic symphonies? The most dynamic seems to be Mahler 2; the first time I listened to that, I kept raising and lowering the volume, not expecting it to get so incredibly loud. The Mahler symphonies are very long, so it'll take me a lot more listens to grasp them. I'm also not into choral music, and Mahler 2 has that obstacle as well. Beethoven 9's choir, I can deal with.

    Brahms 2 and 4 are excellent. I'm not so fond of Brahms 3; it's supposed to be beautiful, yet I'm finding it slow.

    The only one I dislike is Shostakovich 5. It sounds really militaristic, and not in a way that I relate to.

    As second movements tend to be slow, I often lose focus on the music and more on whatever else I'm doing at the time. I'm still developing my patience—a year ago, I wouldn't have been able to listen to this much classical music.


    To avoid making a mess out of tagging the movements, I've been following the guide at MusicBrainz.

    If you'd like to talk about pieces that are not symphonies, let's do it in a separate thread.

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    Ghost Poaster Woofness's Avatar
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    Sibelius's 5th has a cracking brass line in the last movement, builds up to a great finish. I am not very familiar with the rest of it but should be worth a listen.

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    Cock Blancmange LargeDuck's Avatar
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    Tchaikovsky's 5th is pretty damn good. I have played it in an orchestra with Woofness which probably makes me pretty biased. I'm quite sure it is a fantastic symphony in its own right however.

    The 2nd movement is actually one of my favourites. There is a lot going on, beautiful string melodies punctuated by a massive brass wake up call which would more than likely bring your attention back to the music even if you somehow got bored of the initial flowing melodies (did I mention there are some nice French horn passages?).

    Get hold of it.


    EDIT: I'm about to get cracking on some Bernstein symphonies which I stole (liberated, as they were rotting in a cupboard and my offer to buy them was rejected) on vinyl from my old school. Are you into that kind of stuff? Also, I read the other day that Bernstein was buried with a copy of Mahler's 5th lying on his chest. I think his recommendation has to be worth something.
    Last edited by LargeDuck; 02-14-2012 at 10:13 AM.
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