Discussion:
Greatest First Symphony?
(too old to reply)
bpnjensen
2006-05-03 16:36:04 UTC
Permalink
Hi, all.

Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar? Would it be a product
of youthful inspiration, or the work of a seasoned composer who waited
until he/she felt that the time was truly ripe for an attack on this
musical form?

Vaughan-Williams, in my mind, gets a lot right in his Symphony No. 1 "A
Sea Symphony" - it has tremendous power, unflagging interest (which to
my mind means, in part, pretty good construction) and a fine lot of
melody. Very satisfying, and I believe a contender (although I admit a
really fond spot for V-W in general and his symphonies in particular -
when I hear his music, it sounds like a special present, composed just
for me, by a dear friend). Any other thoughts?

Bruce Jensen
bpnjensen
2006-05-03 16:43:53 UTC
Permalink
To toss a few more into the mix that may deserve consideration -
Sibelius, Mahler, Prokofiev, Shostakovich - each of these 1sts seems to
be the product of a mature and highly creative musical mind, fully
formed and inspired in its own right.

Bruce Jensen
rkhalona
2006-05-03 16:55:54 UTC
Permalink
The 1st symphony I listen to most often is Brahms', but it couldn't
have happened without Beethoven (especially Beethoven's 9th).
Shostakovich's 1st symphony gets my vote for most original symphonic
entry by any composer.
Prokofiev's would be a close 2nd.
I also have a soft spot for Bizet's symphony.

RK
Joe Martin
2006-05-03 17:06:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by rkhalona
The 1st symphony I listen to most often is Brahms', but it couldn't
have happened without Beethoven (especially Beethoven's 9th).
Shostakovich's 1st symphony gets my vote for most original symphonic
entry by any composer.
Prokofiev's would be a close 2nd.
I also have a soft spot for Bizet's symphony.
RK
Most original has got to be Berlioz's SF, though Mahler (and perhaps
DSCH) surely deserves an honorable mention.

JM
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-03 20:08:53 UTC
Permalink
"Joe Martin" <***@yahoo.com> appears to have caused the following
letters to be typed in news:1146675968.413736.8320
Post by Joe Martin
Post by rkhalona
The 1st symphony I listen to most often is Brahms', but it couldn't
have happened without Beethoven (especially Beethoven's 9th).
Shostakovich's 1st symphony gets my vote for most original symphonic
entry by any composer.
Prokofiev's would be a close 2nd.
I also have a soft spot for Bizet's symphony.
Most original has got to be Berlioz's SF, though Mahler (and perhaps
DSCH) surely deserves an honorable mention.
Those would be my choices too, though I'd rank them Berlioz, Shostakovich,
and Mahler in that order. Originality counts! Note that Berlioz and
Mahler revised their firsts a few times.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Alan Cooper
2006-05-03 17:10:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by rkhalona
I also have a soft spot for Bizet's symphony.
Me too. I like a bunch of one-off symphonies. Aside from Bizet, esp.
Cherubini, Vorisek, Chausson, and Dukas--but definitely *not* Franck
:-)

AC
rkhalona
2006-05-03 17:16:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by rkhalona
I also have a soft spot for Bizet's symphony.
Me too. I like a bunch of one-off symphonies. Aside from Bizet, esp.
Cherubini, Vorisek, Chausson, and Dukas--but definitely *not* Franck
:-)
AC
Wow! Total agreement, especially on the Franck! :-) :-) :-)

RK
makropulos
2006-05-03 17:31:23 UTC
Permalink
Nice list of one-off symphonies, to which might be added Arriaga as
well.

I'm surely not the only person that thinks the Franck can be terrific
(in the right hands)?
Alan Cooper
2006-05-03 18:46:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by makropulos
Nice list of one-off symphonies, to which might be added Arriaga as
well.
I'm surely not the only person that thinks the Franck can be terrific
(in the right hands)?
Yes to Arriaga, of course. So which Franck do you recommend? (Don't
say Monteux, because that's the one that I used to own, and it didn't
work for me.)

AC
j***@aol.com
2006-05-03 19:06:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by makropulos
Nice list of one-off symphonies, to which might be added Arriaga as
well.
I'm surely not the only person that thinks the Franck can be terrific
(in the right hands)?
Yes to Arriaga, of course. So which Franck do you recommend? (Don't
say Monteux, because that's the one that I used to own, and it didn't
work for me.)
AC
I find it works in many versions (perhaps that's not the Case for
Makropulos). The "right hands" are not so hard to come by--Muti,
Fournet, Celibidache, Bernstein, Barenboim, Monteux, Munch, Stokowski,
Ormandy, Desormiere, Barbirolli, Cantelli, Toscanini, Bychkov, Ancerl,
Kondrashin, Beecham....they and others have all worked for me. Maybe
you are temperamentally a bad fit for the piece. Try De Sabata if you
get a chance. If his doesn't work, it's hopeless.

--Jeff
makropulos
2006-05-03 19:58:04 UTC
Permalink
"I find it works in many versions (perhaps that's not the Case for
Makropulos). The "right hands" are not so hard to come by--Muti,
Fournet, Celibidache, Bernstein, Barenboim, Monteux, Munch, Stokowski,
Ormandy, Desormiere, Barbirolli, Cantelli, Toscanini, Bychkov, Ancerl,
Kondrashin, Beecham....they and others have all worked for me. Maybe
you are temperamentally a bad fit for the piece. Try De Sabata if you
get a chance. If his doesn't work, it's hopeless."

I'm with you all the way on a lot of these, especially Bernstein,
Munch, Stoki, Desormière, Cantelli, Toscanini - all very different
but effective. I haven't heard Kondrashin (and would love to - do you
have the details?) nor de Sabata, but clearly that's a must. I also
have a soft spot for the slightly weird (and often derided)
Furtwängler/Decca performance.
j***@aol.com
2006-05-03 20:19:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by makropulos
"I find it works in many versions (perhaps that's not the Case for
Makropulos). The "right hands" are not so hard to come by--Muti,
Fournet, Celibidache, Bernstein, Barenboim, Monteux, Munch, Stokowski,
Ormandy, Desormiere, Barbirolli, Cantelli, Toscanini, Bychkov, Ancerl,
Kondrashin, Beecham....they and others have all worked for me. Maybe
you are temperamentally a bad fit for the piece. Try De Sabata if you
get a chance. If his doesn't work, it's hopeless."
I'm with you all the way on a lot of these, especially Bernstein,
Munch, Stoki, Desormière, Cantelli, Toscanini - all very different
but effective. I haven't heard Kondrashin (and would love to - do you
have the details?) nor de Sabata, but clearly that's a must. I also
have a soft spot for the slightly weird (and often derided)
Furtwängler/Decca performance.
Kondrashin is on Tahra, I believe. I seem to remember another release
on Philips, but memory is hazy.

--Jeff
Gerard
2006-05-03 20:35:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
Kondrashin is on Tahra, I believe. I seem to remember another release
on Philips, but memory is hazy.
Right, there's one on Philips too.
I think I've heard that one on LP. As far as I remember he played it very
'light'.
Paul Goldstein
2006-05-03 20:14:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by makropulos
Nice list of one-off symphonies, to which might be added Arriaga as
well.
I'm surely not the only person that thinks the Franck can be terrific
(in the right hands)?
Yes to Arriaga, of course. So which Franck do you recommend? (Don't
say Monteux, because that's the one that I used to own, and it didn't
work for me.)
AC
I find it works in many versions (perhaps that's not the Case for
Makropulos). The "right hands" are not so hard to come by--Muti,
Fournet, Celibidache, Bernstein, Barenboim, Monteux, Munch, Stokowski,
Ormandy, Desormiere, Barbirolli, Cantelli, Toscanini, Bychkov, Ancerl,
Kondrashin, Beecham....they and others have all worked for me. Maybe
you are temperamentally a bad fit for the piece. Try De Sabata if you
get a chance. If his doesn't work, it's hopeless.
Interestingly, this comprehensive list does not include the first Franck I
heard, and still my favorite: Giulini/Philharmonia.
--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth
j***@aol.com
2006-05-03 21:08:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Goldstein
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by makropulos
Nice list of one-off symphonies, to which might be added Arriaga as
well.
I'm surely not the only person that thinks the Franck can be terrific
(in the right hands)?
Yes to Arriaga, of course. So which Franck do you recommend? (Don't
say Monteux, because that's the one that I used to own, and it didn't
work for me.)
AC
I find it works in many versions (perhaps that's not the Case for
Makropulos). The "right hands" are not so hard to come by--Muti,
Fournet, Celibidache, Bernstein, Barenboim, Monteux, Munch, Stokowski,
Ormandy, Desormiere, Barbirolli, Cantelli, Toscanini, Bychkov, Ancerl,
Kondrashin, Beecham....they and others have all worked for me. Maybe
you are temperamentally a bad fit for the piece. Try De Sabata if you
get a chance. If his doesn't work, it's hopeless.
Interestingly, this comprehensive list does not include the first Franck I
heard, and still my favorite: Giulini/Philharmonia.
Nor does it include several of my very favorites, Commissiona,
Rodzinsky, van Otterloo, Paray, or perhaps my all time fave, the
600-pound gorilla in the room that practically no one
mentions...Mengelberg! Whoever put that list together was just not
thinking.

--Jeff
makropulos
2006-05-03 21:16:00 UTC
Permalink
Paray's great, and Mengelberg is a kind of one-off wooly monster in the
Franck. It's good to be reminded how many conductors have made a great
job of this symphony.

And further to the list of single-symphony composers who died young,
Kalinnikov was another, even though he did manage a Symphony No.2.

A one-off that certainly needs a mention is Messiaen's Turangalîla
Symphony.
Paul Goldstein
2006-05-03 21:23:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
Nor does it include several of my very favorites, Commissiona,
Rodzinsky, van Otterloo, Paray, or perhaps my all time fave, the
600-pound gorilla in the room that practically no one
mentions...Mengelberg!
A wonderful performance, true, but if I recall it correctly, remarkably
restrained considering the source.
--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-04 02:11:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Goldstein
Interestingly, this comprehensive list does not include the first Franck
I heard, and still my favorite: Giulini/Philharmonia.
A very fine reading, which I've only recently heard, in its current edition
(with other French music plus a DVD).
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Steven de Mena
2006-05-04 03:50:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Paul Goldstein
Interestingly, this comprehensive list does not include the first Franck
I heard, and still my favorite: Giulini/Philharmonia.
A very fine reading, which I've only recently heard, in its current edition
(with other French music plus a DVD).
I wonder how it compares with his BPO (DG, 80s) and VPO (Sony, 90s)
recordings?

Steve
Paul Goldstein
2006-05-04 14:39:01 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@comcast.com>, Steven de Mena
says...
Post by Steven de Mena
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Paul Goldstein
Interestingly, this comprehensive list does not include the first Franck
I heard, and still my favorite: Giulini/Philharmonia.
A very fine reading, which I've only recently heard, in its current edition
(with other French music plus a DVD).
I wonder how it compares with his BPO (DG, 80s) and VPO (Sony, 90s)
recordings?
It compares the way most of his Philharmonia recordings compare to his late
remakes: much more incisive, with quicker tempi and less swooning.
--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth
Ward Hardman
2006-05-04 00:59:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Alan Cooper
So which Franck do you recommend? (Don't
say Monteux, because that's the one that I used to own, and it didn't
work for me.)
I find it works in many versions (perhaps that's not the Case for
Makropulos). The "right hands" are not so hard to come by--Muti,
Fournet, Celibidache, Bernstein, Barenboim, Monteux, Munch, Stokowski,
Ormandy, Desormiere, Barbirolli, Cantelli, Toscanini, Bychkov, Ancerl,
Kondrashin, Beecham....they and others have all worked for me. Maybe
you are temperamentally a bad fit for the piece. Try De Sabata if you
get a chance. If his doesn't work, it's hopeless.
How about Bartholomee/Liege?

--Ward Hardman

"The older I get, the more I admire and crave competence, just
simple competence, in any field from adultery to zoology."
- H.L. Mencken
j***@aol.com
2006-05-04 05:41:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ward Hardman
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Alan Cooper
So which Franck do you recommend? (Don't
say Monteux, because that's the one that I used to own, and it didn't
work for me.)
I find it works in many versions (perhaps that's not the Case for
Makropulos). The "right hands" are not so hard to come by--Muti,
Fournet, Celibidache, Bernstein, Barenboim, Monteux, Munch, Stokowski,
Ormandy, Desormiere, Barbirolli, Cantelli, Toscanini, Bychkov, Ancerl,
Kondrashin, Beecham....they and others have all worked for me. Maybe
you are temperamentally a bad fit for the piece. Try De Sabata if you
get a chance. If his doesn't work, it's hopeless.
How about Bartholomee/Liege?
At least one review was very enthusiastic, but I haven't heard it yet.

--Jeff
Frank Berger
2006-05-03 19:46:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by makropulos
Nice list of one-off symphonies, to which might be added Arriaga as
well.
I'm surely not the only person that thinks the Franck can be terrific
(in the right hands)?
Yes to Arriaga, of course. So which Franck do you recommend? (Don't
say Monteux, because that's the one that I used to own, and it didn't
work for me.)
AC
Last night I had the Boult GCOC playing in the background. The Franck got
my attention. I resolved to listen to it more closely.
Bob Lombard
2006-05-03 19:03:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by makropulos
Nice list of one-off symphonies, to which might be added Arriaga as
well.
I'm surely not the only person that thinks the Franck can be terrific
(in the right hands)?
The Franck was a favorite 'affirmation-of-self-worth' symphony for me a
half century (+) ago, along with the PIT 5th. However I think a 'great
first' ought to be an early work, otherwise it's just another opus
number. Shostakovich's and Prokofieff's rank 1 & 2 I'd say. The Berlioz
and the Mahler are ponderous in comparison. The Bizet is too
conservative.

bl
bpnjensen
2006-05-03 19:16:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Lombard
The Franck was a favorite 'affirmation-of-self-worth' symphony for me a
half century (+) ago, along with the PIT 5th. However I think a 'great
first' ought to be an early work, otherwise it's just another opus
number. Shostakovich's and Prokofieff's rank 1 & 2 I'd say. The Berlioz

and the Mahler are ponderous in comparison. The Bizet is too
conservative.

bl<

I like the Franck, but it doesn't stack up alongside Vaughan-Williams,
Brahms, Sibelius or Mahler for me.

Berlioz's SF is great, I love it, but it has always struck me as more
of tone-poem, like R-K's Scheherazade, than a formal symphony.

Speaking of Tchaikovsky, whose music is also dear to me, his No. 1
Winter Dreams is really a lovely piece, but is not one I count among
the great firsts. Constructionally, it seems more a set of only
semi-related pieces, or at best a suite (not unlike a ballet suite,
which he obviously excelled at, or one of his orchestral suites). His
Serenade for Strings strikes me as more formally symphonic than his
three early symphonies. It is a favorite of mine.

I also like the Sibelius First alot - I am very fond of Mariss Janson's
Oslo recording on EMI (coupled with a great Karelia Suite that just
won't quit). I have not been able to warm to Elgar's 1st yet.

Bruce Jensen
Alan Cooper
2006-05-03 19:36:00 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 3 May 2006 15:03:33 -0400, "Bob Lombard"
Post by Bob Lombard
Post by makropulos
Nice list of one-off symphonies, to which might be added Arriaga as
well.
I'm surely not the only person that thinks the Franck can be terrific
(in the right hands)?
The Franck was a favorite 'affirmation-of-self-worth' symphony for me a
half century (+) ago, along with the PIT 5th. However I think a 'great
first' ought to be an early work, otherwise it's just another opus
number.
Probably I don't have to tell you this, Bob, but *everything* that
Vorisek, Bizet, and (especially) Arriaga composed was "early".
Chausson made it into his early 40s, so I guess you could say he
almost had a middle period :-)

And what is an affirmation-of-self-worth symphony, anyway?

AC
Bob Lombard
2006-05-03 19:59:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Cooper
On Wed, 3 May 2006 15:03:33 -0400, "Bob Lombard"
And what is an affirmation-of-self-worth symphony, anyway?
It's a work that helped me prepare for a gut-check situation. One of
those that recurred every year in high school was the interclass
basketball tournament. I was (and am) poorly coordinated, couldn't
dribble or shoot worth a hoot, and quite self-conscious about revealing
my acne riddled shoulders to the spectators - but the class never had
more than 6 boys willing to do it, so.... Each year the experience
seemed to get worse, but Franck helped. The music makes a strong
statement. Yes it makes that statement, ah, several times, and the
conductor/orchestra has to work to keep any sort of freshness in it, but
I adapted that statement to my own ends.

Sorry, but you did ask, Alan.

bl
Seth
2006-05-03 20:11:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Lombard
Post by Alan Cooper
On Wed, 3 May 2006 15:03:33 -0400, "Bob Lombard"
And what is an affirmation-of-self-worth symphony, anyway?
It's a work that helped me prepare for a gut-check situation. One of
those that recurred every year in high school was the interclass
basketball tournament. I was (and am) poorly coordinated, couldn't
dribble or shoot worth a hoot, and quite self-conscious about revealing
my acne riddled shoulders to the spectators - but the class never had
more than 6 boys willing to do it, so.... Each year the experience
seemed to get worse, but Franck helped. The music makes a strong
statement. Yes it makes that statement, ah, several times, and the
conductor/orchestra has to work to keep any sort of freshness in it, but
I adapted that statement to my own ends.
Sorry, but you did ask, Alan.
bl
Er, Alan, please be careful what you ask for.

Seth
Alan Cooper
2006-05-03 20:31:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Seth
Post by Bob Lombard
Post by Alan Cooper
On Wed, 3 May 2006 15:03:33 -0400, "Bob Lombard"
And what is an affirmation-of-self-worth symphony, anyway?
It's a work that helped me prepare for a gut-check situation. One of
those that recurred every year in high school was the interclass
basketball tournament. I was (and am) poorly coordinated, couldn't
dribble or shoot worth a hoot, and quite self-conscious about revealing
my acne riddled shoulders to the spectators - but the class never had
more than 6 boys willing to do it, so.... Each year the experience
seemed to get worse, but Franck helped. The music makes a strong
statement. Yes it makes that statement, ah, several times, and the
conductor/orchestra has to work to keep any sort of freshness in it, but
I adapted that statement to my own ends.
Sorry, but you did ask, Alan.
bl
Er, Alan, please be careful what you ask for.
You're not kidding! I thought Bob meant that composing the symphony
was an act of self-affirmation by the composer (in which case Brahms
#1 would take the cake, I suppose). Little did I know!

AC
Post by Seth
Seth
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-03 20:08:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Lombard
Post by makropulos
Nice list of one-off symphonies, to which might be added Arriaga as
well.
I'm surely not the only person that thinks the Franck can be terrific
(in the right hands)?
The Franck was a favorite 'affirmation-of-self-worth' symphony for me a
half century (+) ago, along with the PIT 5th.
Heck, Bob, I have a great deal of respect for your worth right now. That
obviously in spite of our political disagreements.
Post by Bob Lombard
However I think a 'great first' ought to be an early work, otherwise it's
just another opus number. Shostakovich's and Prokofieff's rank 1 & 2 I'd
say. The Berlioz and the Mahler are ponderous in comparison. The Bizet is
too conservative.
Avoiding boggling at your use of the words "too conservative," I'll just
note that the Bizet is a pretty close knock-off of Gounod's first.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Paul Goldstein
2006-05-03 18:49:58 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@g10g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>, makropulos
says...
Post by makropulos
Nice list of one-off symphonies, to which might be added Arriaga as
well.
I'm surely not the only person that thinks the Franck can be terrific
(in the right hands)?
Hell no.
--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth
Gene Poon
2006-05-03 19:11:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by makropulos
I'm surely not the only person that thinks the Franck can be terrific
(in the right hands)?
No, you are surely not the only one.

-GP
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-03 20:08:55 UTC
Permalink
"makropulos" <***@gmail.com> appears to have caused the following
letters to be typed in news:1146677483.332817.202560
Post by makropulos
Nice list of one-off symphonies, to which might be added Arriaga as
well.
I'm surely not the only person that thinks the Franck can be terrific
(in the right hands)?
You are not. Google my thread a while back, "Chaste or slutty?" for my
thoughts on varying schools of interpretation of this and other works.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Paul Kintzele
2006-05-04 02:39:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by makropulos
I'm surely not the only person that thinks the Franck can be terrific
(in the right hands)?
No, you're not. Just heard Cantelli/NBC the other day--wonderful.

Paul
Gerard
2006-05-03 17:34:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by rkhalona
I also have a soft spot for Bizet's symphony.
Me too. I like a bunch of one-off symphonies. Aside from Bizet, esp.
Cherubini, Vorisek, Chausson, and Dukas--but definitely *not* Franck
I just wanted to mention Franck.
j***@aol.com
2006-05-03 18:59:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by rkhalona
I also have a soft spot for Bizet's symphony.
Me too. I like a bunch of one-off symphonies. Aside from Bizet, esp.
Cherubini, Vorisek, Chausson, and Dukas--but definitely *not* Franck
I just wanted to mention Franck.
So many people seem to hate the Franck, but it appears to have been
quite influential, all the same.

--Jeff
Gerard
2006-05-03 20:24:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Gerard
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by rkhalona
I also have a soft spot for Bizet's symphony.
Me too. I like a bunch of one-off symphonies. Aside from Bizet,
esp. Cherubini, Vorisek, Chausson, and Dukas--but definitely
*not* Franck
I just wanted to mention Franck.
So many people seem to hate the Franck, but it appears to have been
quite influential, all the same.
It looks like it's popular, to hate his symphony, in this newsgroup.
I don't get it why they don't get it, or why they like to write about
something they don't like.
Does not matter much. People are free to like what they like (as long it does
not hurt anybody).
Wayne Reimer
2006-05-04 00:02:57 UTC
Permalink
<...>
Post by Gerard
It looks like it's popular, to hate his symphony, in this newsgroup.
I don't get it why they don't get it, or why they like to write about
something they don't like.
That is an interesting question, the one about why they (we) like to
write about something we don't like. In one way, it's like voting.
It's also a way of thinking about music, especially if there's some
articulation of thought about the source of the dislike. It's also a
signalling of one's esthetic preferences to others, who may or may not
find them interesting - for example, some of the folks who barfed all
over the Pletnev Concertgebouw recital have revealed a lot about their
identities as listeners, I think.

wr
j***@aol.com
2006-05-04 16:39:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Gerard
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by rkhalona
I also have a soft spot for Bizet's symphony.
Me too. I like a bunch of one-off symphonies. Aside from Bizet,
esp. Cherubini, Vorisek, Chausson, and Dukas--but definitely
*not* Franck
I just wanted to mention Franck.
So many people seem to hate the Franck, but it appears to have been
quite influential, all the same.
It looks like it's popular, to hate his symphony, in this newsgroup.
I don't get it why they don't get it, or why they like to write about
something they don't like.
Does not matter much. People are free to like what they like (as long it does
not hurt anybody).
I never quite realized what was dislikeable about the Franck until I
played it. The repetition bothers some people. Lugubrious texture and
argument gets others. Once you get into the style, however, the piece
sweeps you along.

--Jeff
Gerard
2006-05-04 17:58:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
I never quite realized what was dislikeable about the Franck until I
played it.
The might explain a lot about the difference of appreciation between 'players'
and non-players.
The last ones only experience how music sounds. There's no sweat involved.
j***@earthlink.net
2006-05-04 00:12:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by rkhalona
I also have a soft spot for Bizet's symphony.
Me too. I like a bunch of one-off symphonies. Aside from Bizet, esp.
Cherubini, Vorisek, Chausson, and Dukas--but definitely *not* Franck
:-)
AC
What about Korngold or Bernard Hermann?

jy
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-04 02:11:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@earthlink.net
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by rkhalona
I also have a soft spot for Bizet's symphony.
Me too. I like a bunch of one-off symphonies. Aside from Bizet, esp.
Cherubini, Vorisek, Chausson, and Dukas--but definitely *not* Franck
:-)
What about Korngold or Bernard Hermann?
Most assuredly. Am I alone in liking Barber's Symphony #1, conservative
though it is? (And it isn't really a one-off, as there was a #2 which was
withdrawn by the composer.)
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
j***@earthlink.net
2006-05-04 03:43:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Am I alone in liking Barber's Symphony #1, conservative
though it is?
Not at all. Any particular recordings you favor?

jy
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-04 05:34:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@earthlink.net
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Am I alone in liking Barber's Symphony #1, conservative
though it is?
Not at all. Any particular recordings you favor?
Slatkin, and Walter (despite it being the original unrevised version, and
the mess-ups in the chords at the end).
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
j***@earthlink.net
2006-05-04 12:15:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by j***@earthlink.net
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Am I alone in liking Barber's Symphony #1, conservative
though it is?
Not at all. Any particular recordings you favor?
Slatkin, and Walter (despite it being the original unrevised version, and
the mess-ups in the chords at the end).
Have you heard Hanson's recording?

jy
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-04 14:23:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@earthlink.net
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by j***@earthlink.net
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Am I alone in liking Barber's Symphony #1, conservative
though it is?
Not at all. Any particular recordings you favor?
Slatkin, and Walter (despite it being the original unrevised version,
and the mess-ups in the chords at the end).
Have you heard Hanson's recording?
No; still available?
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-04 18:46:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by j***@earthlink.net
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by j***@earthlink.net
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Am I alone in liking Barber's Symphony #1, conservative
though it is?
Not at all. Any particular recordings you favor?
Slatkin, and Walter (despite it being the original unrevised version,
and the mess-ups in the chords at the end).
Have you heard Hanson's recording?
No; still available?
Only from the captains.
AAAHHRRR! Matey.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Frank Berger
2006-05-04 18:53:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by j***@earthlink.net
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by j***@earthlink.net
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Am I alone in liking Barber's Symphony #1, conservative
though it is?
Not at all. Any particular recordings you favor?
Slatkin, and Walter (despite it being the original unrevised version,
and the mess-ups in the chords at the end).
Have you heard Hanson's recording?
No; still available?
Only from the captains.
AAAHHRRR! Matey.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
More specifically,

http://www.haydnhouse.com/HH1.htm
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-04 19:33:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by j***@earthlink.net
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by j***@earthlink.net
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Am I alone in liking Barber's Symphony #1, conservative
though it is?
Not at all. Any particular recordings you favor?
Slatkin, and Walter (despite it being the original unrevised version,
and the mess-ups in the chords at the end).
Have you heard Hanson's recording?
No; still available?
Only from the captains.
AAAHHRRR! Matey.
More specifically,
http://www.haydnhouse.com/HH1.htm
Avast!
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-04 22:25:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by j***@earthlink.net
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by j***@earthlink.net
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Am I alone in liking Barber's Symphony #1, conservative
though it is?
Not at all. Any particular recordings you favor?
Slatkin, and Walter (despite it being the original unrevised version,
and the mess-ups in the chords at the end).
Have you heard Hanson's recording?
No; still available?
Only from the captains.
AAAHHRRR! Matey.
More specifically,
http://www.haydnhouse.com/HH1.htm
Avast!
A fine transfer it is, too.
...and if any be disagreein' wi' me, he can walk the plank
and sleep wi' Davy Jones!
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Steven de Mena
2006-05-04 03:53:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by j***@earthlink.net
What about Korngold or Bernard Hermann?
Most assuredly. Am I alone in liking Barber's Symphony #1, conservative
though it is? (And it isn't really a one-off, as there was a #2 which was
withdrawn by the composer.)
Speaking of conservative, and I am might also be alone in liking, is the
Ives Symphony No.1 (Mehta/LA Phil, Decca).

Steve
Russ and/or Martha Oppenheim
2006-05-04 12:39:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven de Mena
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by j***@earthlink.net
What about Korngold or Bernard Hermann?
Most assuredly. Am I alone in liking Barber's Symphony #1, conservative
though it is? (And it isn't really a one-off, as there was a #2 which was
withdrawn by the composer.)
Speaking of conservative, and I am might also be alone in liking, is the
Ives Symphony No.1 (Mehta/LA Phil, Decca).
Nope, I like it too (Gould/CSO). I sure don't get #4, except for that one
hymn-like movt which is totally out of character with the remainder of the
work.

Russ (not Martha)
Alan Cooper
2006-05-04 15:42:42 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 04 May 2006 12:39:22 GMT, "Russ and/or Martha Oppenheim"
Post by Russ and/or Martha Oppenheim
Post by Steven de Mena
Speaking of conservative, and I am might also be alone in liking, is the
Ives Symphony No.1 (Mehta/LA Phil, Decca).
Nope, I like it too (Gould/CSO). I sure don't get #4, except for that one
hymn-like movt which is totally out of character with the remainder of the
work.
. . . and which sounds much better in its original incarnation as the
opening movement of Ives' String Quartet #1 (imo). I actually like #1
better than ##2 and 3, despite its occasional long-windedness, but #4
is far and away my favorite (along with Holidays, if you consider that
a symphony).

AC
EM
2006-05-03 17:58:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by rkhalona
The 1st symphony I listen to most often is Brahms'
Same here.

EM

Inviato da X-Privat.Org - Registrazione gratuita http://www.x-privat.org/join.php
tomdeacon
2006-05-04 15:35:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by rkhalona
Shostakovich's 1st symphony gets my vote for most original symphonic
entry by any composer.
Agreed.

TD
Heck51
2006-05-03 17:02:00 UTC
Permalink
Bruce Jensen writes:
<<Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any composer stands
out as the best of its primary class,>>

there are many, but my favorite firsts are:

Sibelius
Shostakovich
Walton

[no special order]
Paul Goldstein
2006-05-03 16:46:32 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@y43g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>, bpnjensen
says...
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar? Would it be a product
of youthful inspiration, or the work of a seasoned composer who waited
until he/she felt that the time was truly ripe for an attack on this
musical form?
Vaughan-Williams, in my mind, gets a lot right in his Symphony No. 1 "A
Sea Symphony" - it has tremendous power, unflagging interest (which to
my mind means, in part, pretty good construction) and a fine lot of
melody. Very satisfying, and I believe a contender (although I admit a
really fond spot for V-W in general and his symphonies in particular -
when I hear his music, it sounds like a special present, composed just
for me, by a dear friend). Any other thoughts?
I agree with everything you say above, but my favorite Sym. 1 by far is
Mahler's.
--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth
makropulos
2006-05-03 17:11:35 UTC
Permalink
in no particular order...

Brahms
Mahler
Sibelius
Walton
Elgar
Schumann
Prokofiev
and - surely - Beethoven, which is so much more than warmed-over
Haydn.

and I'm extremely fond of the "Sea Symphony" too.
Todd Schurk
2006-05-03 17:17:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar? Would it be a product
of youthful inspiration, or the work of a seasoned composer who waited
until he/she felt that the time was truly ripe for an attack on this
musical form?
Vaughan-Williams, in my mind, gets a lot right in his Symphony No. 1 "A
Sea Symphony" - it has tremendous power, unflagging interest (which to
my mind means, in part, pretty good construction) and a fine lot of
melody. Very satisfying, and I believe a contender (although I admit a
really fond spot for V-W in general and his symphonies in particular -
when I hear his music, it sounds like a special present, composed just
for me, by a dear friend). Any other thoughts?
Bruce Jensen
I agree about V-W...always loved the Sea symphony (and not just the
first 2 minutes)...Mahler 1 seems very original sounding to me...2 more
1st's I love are Rach & Nielsen. Todd
Alex Panda
2006-05-03 18:01:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar? Would it be a product
of youthful inspiration, or the work of a seasoned composer who waited
until he/she felt that the time was truly ripe for an attack on this
musical form?
Vaughan-Williams, in my mind, gets a lot right in his Symphony No. 1 "A
Sea Symphony" - it has tremendous power, unflagging interest (which to
my mind means, in part, pretty good construction) and a fine lot of
melody. Very satisfying, and I believe a contender (although I admit a
really fond spot for V-W in general and his symphonies in particular -
when I hear his music, it sounds like a special present, composed just
for me, by a dear friend). Any other thoughts?
Elgar and Walton.
a***@aol.com
2006-05-03 19:24:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Panda
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar? Would it be a product
of youthful inspiration, or the work of a seasoned composer who waited
until he/she felt that the time was truly ripe for an attack on this
musical form?
Vaughan-Williams, in my mind, gets a lot right in his Symphony No. 1 "A
Sea Symphony" - it has tremendous power, unflagging interest (which to
my mind means, in part, pretty good construction) and a fine lot of
melody. Very satisfying, and I believe a contender (although I admit a
really fond spot for V-W in general and his symphonies in particular -
when I hear his music, it sounds like a special present, composed just
for me, by a dear friend). Any other thoughts?
Elgar and Walton.
A random list not in order: Elgar, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky (in the
right hands this is close to a "late" symphony), Walton (a quite tough
No 1), Vaughan Williams, Nielsen, Sibelius, Beethoven, Schumann, Bizet
(sheer delight to play for everyone), Brahms, Rimsky-Korsakov (Khaikin
got it), Glazunov (come on, he was 15 I think), Simpson, Tovey, Dvorak
(once again, it has to be the "right hands", but anyway thrilling for
me and great opportunities for the orchestra so who cares!), Bruckner
(Jochum first recording for DGG makes this the great symphony I believe
it to be), Kodaly, Halvorsen, Brahms (although his most thrilling work
to play is Deutsche Requiem, in my opinion), Schulhoff (underrated I
think), Martinu, Bernstein Jeremiah, Franck ("right hands" in this
might be Furtwangler, Boult and Smetacek), Mahler, Saint-Saens (his
Opus 2 with two timpanists!).

Those are some I have encountered along the way, anyway.

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins
Paul Goldstein
2006-05-03 19:31:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@aol.com
Post by Alex Panda
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar? Would it be a product
of youthful inspiration, or the work of a seasoned composer who waited
until he/she felt that the time was truly ripe for an attack on this
musical form?
Vaughan-Williams, in my mind, gets a lot right in his Symphony No. 1 "A
Sea Symphony" - it has tremendous power, unflagging interest (which to
my mind means, in part, pretty good construction) and a fine lot of
melody. Very satisfying, and I believe a contender (although I admit a
really fond spot for V-W in general and his symphonies in particular -
when I hear his music, it sounds like a special present, composed just
for me, by a dear friend). Any other thoughts?
Elgar and Walton.
A random list not in order: Elgar, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky (in the
right hands this is close to a "late" symphony), Walton (a quite tough
No 1), Vaughan Williams, Nielsen, Sibelius, Beethoven, Schumann, Bizet
(sheer delight to play for everyone), Brahms, Rimsky-Korsakov (Khaikin
got it), Glazunov (come on, he was 15 I think . . .
Yes, Glazunov's 1st is a beautiful piece and an astonishing achievement for one
so young. (It has much more to say, for example, than the Kalinnikov mentioned
elsewhere in this thread). He isn't thought of as a prodigy like Mendelssohn
and Bizet, but he should be.
--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth
a***@aol.com
2006-05-03 20:06:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Goldstein
Post by a***@aol.com
Post by Alex Panda
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar? Would it be a product
of youthful inspiration, or the work of a seasoned composer who waited
until he/she felt that the time was truly ripe for an attack on this
musical form?
Vaughan-Williams, in my mind, gets a lot right in his Symphony No. 1 "A
Sea Symphony" - it has tremendous power, unflagging interest (which to
my mind means, in part, pretty good construction) and a fine lot of
melody. Very satisfying, and I believe a contender (although I admit a
really fond spot for V-W in general and his symphonies in particular -
when I hear his music, it sounds like a special present, composed just
for me, by a dear friend). Any other thoughts?
Elgar and Walton.
A random list not in order: Elgar, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky (in the
right hands this is close to a "late" symphony), Walton (a quite tough
No 1), Vaughan Williams, Nielsen, Sibelius, Beethoven, Schumann, Bizet
(sheer delight to play for everyone), Brahms, Rimsky-Korsakov (Khaikin
got it), Glazunov (come on, he was 15 I think . . .
Yes, Glazunov's 1st is a beautiful piece and an astonishing achievement for one
so young. (It has much more to say, for example, than the Kalinnikov mentioned
elsewhere in this thread). He isn't thought of as a prodigy like Mendelssohn
and Bizet, but he should be.
I believe Mr Glazunov/Glazunoff came on stage in his school uniform to
acknowledge the applause for No 1.

And although now out of fashion, I believe No 2 has the most Russian
opening of any Russian symphony I know. See also Mr Khaikin Melodiya
at one time for same.

Although not a No 1 see also finale of Glazunov/ff No 5 for a finale
that can "bring the house down" as Mr Smetacek managed on a number of
occasions. It's the "swing" which gets them, I believe.

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins
makropulos
2006-05-03 20:20:48 UTC
Permalink
Nice list - except Simpson who seems to me to have announced himself
as a ponderous dud from the outset, and (I say this tongue-in-cheek)
Martinu - arguably he wrote the same symphony six times, so it
doesn't really matter which one is playing.

Very glad you like Furtwangler's Franch, and equally glad you mention
Boult's performance as I agree it's terrific (and very
under-appreciated).
bpnjensen
2006-05-03 21:20:44 UTC
Permalink
Tchaikovsky (in the right hands this is close to a "late" symphony)<
Alan, have you an opinion on whose "hands" might be the "right" ones?
I have the Bernstein/NYPhil, which I enjoy, but I have heard few
others...

Thanks,
Bruce Jensen
makropulos
2006-05-03 21:30:15 UTC
Permalink
I might be misremembering, but wasn't one of MTT's first Deutsche
Grammophon records a very good Tchaik Symphony No.1? I like Bernstein a
lot too.
Paul Goldstein
2006-05-03 22:22:41 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@j33g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, makropulos
says...
Post by makropulos
I might be misremembering, but wasn't one of MTT's first Deutsche
Grammophon records a very good Tchaik Symphony No.1? I like Bernstein a
lot too.
You are correct, wth the BSO, and very good too. I sure wish Melodiya would
reissue the spelbinding Ivanov on CD.
--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth
Frank Berger
2006-05-04 01:55:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Goldstein
says...
Post by makropulos
I might be misremembering, but wasn't one of MTT's first Deutsche
Grammophon records a very good Tchaik Symphony No.1? I like Bernstein a
lot too.
You are correct, wth the BSO, and very good too. I sure wish Melodiya would
reissue the spelbinding Ivanov on CD.
--
There's this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4871076177&category=307&fkxs=1#ebayphotohosting
Paul Goldstein
2006-05-04 04:05:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Paul Goldstein
says...
Post by makropulos
I might be misremembering, but wasn't one of MTT's first Deutsche
Grammophon records a very good Tchaik Symphony No.1? I like Bernstein a
lot too.
You are correct, wth the BSO, and very good too. I sure wish Melodiya would
reissue the spelbinding Ivanov on CD.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4871076177&category=307&fkxs=1#ebayphotohosting
Have you heard the transfer? Is it any good?
--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth
a***@aol.com
2006-05-03 22:19:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by bpnjensen
Tchaikovsky (in the right hands this is close to a "late" symphony)<
Alan, have you an opinion on whose "hands" might be the "right" ones?
I have the Bernstein/NYPhil, which I enjoy, but I have heard few
others...
Thanks,
Bruce Jensen
Yes, Smetacek live and on a LP and on another recording Svetlanov on
tour in Japan with the USSR Symphony box set for Canyon Classics (CD)
It can be deadly dull but if "you go for it" I don't think it is.

In fact, I think it a masterpiece. More recently with Jiri Kout.

What a thrilling piece:):) Surely one of the most magical openings of
all Tchaikovsky symphonies?

Utterly Russian, or so I think, and played well up there with 4/5/6 (a
personal opinion).

I would say Svetlanov on tour in Japan. Marvellous playing by the
orchestra before the whole edifice fell down.

At the time they were still Russian.

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins
ansermetniac
2006-05-03 19:07:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar? Would it be a product
of youthful inspiration, or the work of a seasoned composer who waited
until he/she felt that the time was truly ripe for an attack on this
musical form?
Vaughan-Williams, in my mind, gets a lot right in his Symphony No. 1 "A
Sea Symphony" - it has tremendous power, unflagging interest (which to
my mind means, in part, pretty good construction) and a fine lot of
melody. Very satisfying, and I believe a contender (although I admit a
really fond spot for V-W in general and his symphonies in particular -
when I hear his music, it sounds like a special present, composed just
for me, by a dear friend). Any other thoughts?
Bruce Jensen
Kalinikov



Abbedd

Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
- HL Mencken
rkhalona
2006-05-03 19:10:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by ansermetniac
Kalinikov
Why not Popov?

RK
Alan Cooper
2006-05-03 19:40:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by rkhalona
Post by ansermetniac
Kalinikov
Why not Popov?
Yes, Popov #1 is fabulous. Too bad he went into decline almost
immediately.

AC
Michael Lehrman
2006-05-03 22:16:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by rkhalona
Post by ansermetniac
Kalinikov
Why not Popov?
Why not Kalashnikov?
ML
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-03 19:12:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by ansermetniac
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar? Would it be a product
of youthful inspiration, or the work of a seasoned composer who waited
until he/she felt that the time was truly ripe for an attack on this
musical form?
Vaughan-Williams, in my mind, gets a lot right in his Symphony No. 1 "A
Sea Symphony" - it has tremendous power, unflagging interest (which to
my mind means, in part, pretty good construction) and a fine lot of
melody. Very satisfying, and I believe a contender (although I admit a
really fond spot for V-W in general and his symphonies in particular -
when I hear his music, it sounds like a special present, composed just
for me, by a dear friend). Any other thoughts?
Bruce Jensen
Kalinikov
Nah. This one pales in comparison with its model...Tchaikovsky's 1st.

If forced to pick one, the obvious choice for me is Brahms.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
a***@aol.com
2006-05-03 20:26:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by ansermetniac
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar? Would it be a product
of youthful inspiration, or the work of a seasoned composer who waited
until he/she felt that the time was truly ripe for an attack on this
musical form?
Vaughan-Williams, in my mind, gets a lot right in his Symphony No. 1 "A
Sea Symphony" - it has tremendous power, unflagging interest (which to
my mind means, in part, pretty good construction) and a fine lot of
melody. Very satisfying, and I believe a contender (although I admit a
really fond spot for V-W in general and his symphonies in particular -
when I hear his music, it sounds like a special present, composed just
for me, by a dear friend). Any other thoughts?
Bruce Jensen
Kalinikov
Nah. This one pales in comparison with its model...Tchaikovsky's 1st.
If forced to pick one, the obvious choice for me is Brahms.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
I believe Tchaikovsky Symphony No 1 to be a great symphony right up
there with anything he wrote provided it is done without the cuts
(which it doesn't need if you have the right conductor).

The same might be said, of course, of Piano Concerto No 2 (without the
cuts).

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins
Frank Berger
2006-05-03 19:49:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by ansermetniac
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar? Would it be a product
of youthful inspiration, or the work of a seasoned composer who waited
until he/she felt that the time was truly ripe for an attack on this
musical form?
Vaughan-Williams, in my mind, gets a lot right in his Symphony No. 1 "A
Sea Symphony" - it has tremendous power, unflagging interest (which to
my mind means, in part, pretty good construction) and a fine lot of
melody. Very satisfying, and I believe a contender (although I admit a
really fond spot for V-W in general and his symphonies in particular -
when I hear his music, it sounds like a special present, composed just
for me, by a dear friend). Any other thoughts?
Bruce Jensen
Kalinikov
Especially Golovanov.

I think Kalinnikov is usually spelled.....like that.

I b
Post by ansermetniac
Abbedd
Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
- HL Mencken
makropulos
2006-05-03 20:00:05 UTC
Permalink
Kalinnikov - hell yes, it's a glorious piece. I like Kondrashin a lot
too (recently reissued on a Melodyia CD in the UK).
Andy Evans
2006-05-03 21:12:30 UTC
Permalink
I haven't seen Stravinsky here - he certainly wrote some masterpieces.
But which was his first one?
makropulos
2006-05-03 21:28:59 UTC
Permalink
Stravinsky's first effort is the very early Symphony in E flat - which
is quite charming but certainly doesn't count as one of the Stravinsky
symphonies that are masterpieces. Nor, I suppose, does the Symphonies
of Wind Instruments since it really and truly isn't a symphony (nor did
Strav. think of it as one). So the earliest masterpiece would be the
Symphony of Psalms.
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-04 01:57:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frank Berger
Post by ansermetniac
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar? Would it be a product
of youthful inspiration, or the work of a seasoned composer who waited
until he/she felt that the time was truly ripe for an attack on this
musical form?
Vaughan-Williams, in my mind, gets a lot right in his Symphony No. 1 "A
Sea Symphony" - it has tremendous power, unflagging interest (which to
my mind means, in part, pretty good construction) and a fine lot of
melody. Very satisfying, and I believe a contender (although I admit a
really fond spot for V-W in general and his symphonies in particular -
when I hear his music, it sounds like a special present, composed just
for me, by a dear friend). Any other thoughts?
Bruce Jensen
Kalinikov
Especially Golovanov.
I think Kalinnikov is usually spelled.....like that.
I b
Post by ansermetniac
Abbedd
Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see
them misunderstood.
- HL Mencken
Arensky's 1st symphony is very nice. I love those braying trombones at the
opening.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Michael Lehrman
2006-05-03 22:11:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar?
[snip]
It is Brahms, and also 2, 3, and 4.
ML
Al Eisner
2006-05-04 21:53:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Lehrman
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar?
[snip]
It is Brahms, and also 2, 3, and 4.
If I were making just a single choice, I would also pick Brahms #1.
But: couldn't Brahms have chosen to label one of his earlier works a
symphony? His #1 was already quite a mature work.

Mahler #1 would be close, for me. Also perhaps Berlioz (if it's fair to
count S.F. as a true symphony), then Sibelius, ....
--
Al Eisner
San Mateo Co., CA
Raymond Hall
2006-05-03 23:38:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece? Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar? Would it be a product
of youthful inspiration, or the work of a seasoned composer who waited
until he/she felt that the time was truly ripe for an attack on this
musical form?
Vaughan-Williams, in my mind, gets a lot right in his Symphony No. 1 "A
Sea Symphony" - it has tremendous power, unflagging interest (which to
my mind means, in part, pretty good construction) and a fine lot of
melody. Very satisfying, and I believe a contender (although I admit a
really fond spot for V-W in general and his symphonies in particular -
when I hear his music, it sounds like a special present, composed just
for me, by a dear friend). Any other thoughts?
Shostakovich and Mahler were the most startlingly original in most respects
wrt to their 1st symphonies. RVW's is good, but not on a par with the two
mentioned.

Before them, then Berlioz with his Fantastique would be up there. And maybe
Walton.

Ray H
Taree
Norman M. Schwartz
2006-05-04 15:20:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Raymond Hall
Before them, then Berlioz with his Fantastique would be up there.
Any recommendations for Berlioz's second symphony? ;-)
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-04 15:52:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Norman M. Schwartz
Post by Raymond Hall
Before them, then Berlioz with his Fantastique would be up there.
Any recommendations for Berlioz's second symphony? ;-)
Any of Primrose's recordings of it (Koussevitzky, two Toscanini broadcasts,
Beecham, Munch), Cooley with Toscanini/NBCSO, or Josef Suk with Fischer-
Dieskau/Czech Philharmonic.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Ian Pace
2006-05-03 23:49:24 UTC
Permalink
Greatest first symphony of all time - Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique.
Close second - Beethoven 1st.
Brahms 1st is not a personal favourite so much, but I can see its
magisterial qualities.

Bizet, Franck both very interesting.

Mahler, Shostakovich - not that fond of either of their firsts.

Can anyone tell me what Haydn's Symphony No. 1 is like?

Ian
Vaneyes
2006-05-04 00:09:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Pace
Greatest first symphony of all time - Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique.
Close second - Beethoven 1st.
Brahms 1st is not a personal favourite so much, but I can see its
magisterial qualities.
Bizet, Franck both very interesting.
Mahler, Shostakovich - not that fond of either of their firsts.
Can anyone tell me what Haydn's Symphony No. 1 is like?
No mention of Scriabin Sym. 1.

Re Haydn No. 1...

A brief history--

http://www.daytonphilharmonic.com/content.jsp?articleId=397

Goodman clips--

http://tinyurl.com/oeu6x

Regards
Andy Evans
2006-05-04 00:20:50 UTC
Permalink
No mention of Scriabin Sym. 1. >>

And what about Schumann?

Did JS Bach ever write anything that could be construed as a Symphony?
Vaneyes
2006-05-04 01:07:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andy Evans
Post by Andy Evans
No mention of Scriabin Sym. 1. >>
And what about Schumann?
Did JS Bach ever write anything that could be construed as a Symphony?
Someone mentioned Schumann early on.

Re JS Bach, no...Orchestral Suites probably being the closest.

Regards
Johannes Roehl
2006-05-04 07:02:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Pace
Greatest first symphony of all time - Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique.
Close second - Beethoven 1st.
Now this is interesting; I think myself that the first 2 Beethoven
symphonies are somewhat underrated, but wouldn't have placed the 1st so
high.
Post by Ian Pace
Brahms 1st is not a personal favourite so much, but I can see its
magisterial qualities.
Bizet, Franck both very interesting.
Mahler, Shostakovich - not that fond of either of their firsts.
Can anyone tell me what Haydn's Symphony No. 1 is like?
Nice, but not all that great, IMO. (One reason may be that the genre
simply didn't have the ambition then it achieved after Haydn's middle
and late symphonies.)
As for the orignal question, I'd name Brahms as a favorite, Mahler and
Berlioz as the most original.
A lesser known, but worthwhile piece is Balakirevs first (not an early
work or at least heavily edited later on, so it may not qualify anyway)

Johannes
JR
2006-05-04 01:30:47 UTC
Permalink
Did anyone mention Barber No. 1?
Post by bpnjensen
Bruce Jensen
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-04 01:58:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by JR
Did anyone mention Barber No. 1?
No, and I can't believe I didn't think of it.
I LOVE that piece.

I change my answer to Barber.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-04 02:11:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by JR
Did anyone mention Barber No. 1?
Dang! You beat me to it!
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Gerard
2006-05-04 15:22:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by JR
Did anyone mention Barber No. 1?
Or Balakirev?
Satid S.
2006-05-04 03:51:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by bpnjensen
Hi, all.
Every composer who has written symphonies, somewhere along the line,
wrote a first one. Is there a consensus on which first symphony by any
composer stands out as the best of its primary class, perhaps even a
bonafide masterpiece?
Bruce Jensen
In the past few years, I have had a chance to discover lesser-known
first symphonies of the following composers: Glazunov, Mendelssohn,
Kalinnikov, Rachmaninov, and Gounod. These works are in classical or
early romantic style which is not original in any way but still full of
predictable ear-pleasing tunes that is enjoyable to get to know of
their existences. Among these, Rach's and Kalinnikov's are my favorite
(both happen to be Russian and they both use recurring themes !).

For those who like Bizet's symphony, listening to Gounod #1, which is
the "template" for Bizet's better Symphony in C, can tell U how Bizet
creatively used his master's work to admirably created a better one. A
student should create a better work than his master so that evolution
is kept flowing.

Satid S.
RX-01
2006-05-04 09:24:14 UTC
Permalink
In objective terms only I think Beethoven 1st is a true great 1st
symphony. But then again all Beethoven's symphonies are great, in my
opinion.

Barber's 1st is also another favourite of mine, with great melodies,
and a very cohesive, organic structure (not that different from
Sibelius's 7th).

In subjective terms Mahler's first is OK, meaning that I like it even
though it might not be classified as great due to the silly 3rd
movement (which is rather amusing though).


RX-01
Norman M. Schwartz
2006-05-04 15:03:07 UTC
Permalink
I haven't noticed it mentioned, not great, but certainly a fav 1st of mine;
Mendelssohn; Lane/SonyCBS and F. D'avalos/IMP + other obscure recordings.
a***@aol.com
2006-05-04 22:59:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by RX-01
In objective terms only I think Beethoven 1st is a true great 1st
symphony. But then again all Beethoven's symphonies are great, in my
opinion.
Barber's 1st is also another favourite of mine, with great melodies,
and a very cohesive, organic structure (not that different from
Sibelius's 7th).
In subjective terms Mahler's first is OK, meaning that I like it even
though it might not be classified as great due to the silly 3rd
movement (which is rather amusing though).
RX-01
Movement III of Mahler 1 is not so "silly" if you are playing it.
Rather original, I think, or at least a decent parody.

Depending on the hall acoustic slightly "tricky" for the two people at
the beginning as they are usually a long way away from each other and
if No 2 decides to "swing" it you have to as well.

I have a particular player in mind here who did it quite
deliberately:):) It was a sort of private joke between us.

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins

Starobin
2006-05-04 15:44:19 UTC
Permalink
Berlioz: Sym. Fantastique
Wolpe: Symphony
Schoenberg: Op. 9
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