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 Post subject: 100 Greatest Symphonies
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:48 pm 
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100 Greatest Symphonies

1. Symphony No. 9 in D minor "Choral" – Ludwig Van Beethoven
2. Symphony No. 5 in C minor – Ludwig Van Beethoven
3. Symphony No. 3 in E flat major "Eroica" – Ludwig Van Beethoven
4. Symphony No. 6 in B minor "Pathetique" – Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
5. Symphony No. 41 in C major "Jupiter" – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
6. Symphony No. 9 in E minor "From The New World" – Antonin Dvorak
7. Symphony No. 6 in F major "Pastorale" – Ludwig Van Beethoven
8. Symphony No. 40 in G minor – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
9. Symphony No. 4 in E minor – Johannes Brahms
10. Symphony No. 9 in C major "The Great" – Franz Schubert
11. Symphonie Fantastique – Hector Berlioz
12. Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor – Gustav Mahler
13. Symphony No. 8 in B minor "Unfinished" – Franz Schubert
14. Symphony No. 2 in D major – Jean Sibelius
15. Symphony No. 7 in A major – Ludwig Van Beethoven
16. Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection" – Gustav Mahler
17. Symphony No. 10 in E minor – Dmitri Shostakovich
18. Symphony No. 5 in D minor – Dmitri Shostakovich
19. Symphony No. 3 in F major – Johannes Brahms
20. Symphony No. 39 in E flat major – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
21. Symphony No. 7 in E major “Lyric” – Anton Bruckner
22. Symphony No. 4 in F minor – Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
23. Symphony No. 1 in C minor – Johannes Brahms
24. Symphony No. 9 in D major – Gustav Mahler
25. Symphony No. 4 in E flat major "Romantic" – Anton Bruckner
26. Symphony No. 4 in A major "Italian" – Felix Mendelssohn
27. Symphony No. 38 in D major "Prague" – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
28. Symphony No. 3 in C minor "Organ" – Camille Saint Saens
29. Symphony No. 94 in G major "Surprise" – Joseph Haydn
30. Symphony No. 101 in D major "The Clock" – Joseph Haydn
31. Symphony No. 5 in B flat major – Serge Prokofiev
32. Symphony No. 5 in E minor – Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
33. Symphony No. 104 in D major "London" – Joseph Haydn
34. Symphony No. 9 in D minor – Anton Bruckner
35. Symphony No. 5 in E flat major – Jean Sibelius
36. Mathis der Maler – Paul Hindemith
37. Symphony No. 1 in D major "Classical" – Serge Prokofiev
38. Symphony No. 8 in C minor – Anton Bruckner
39. Symphony No. 8 in G major – Antonin Dvorak
40. Symphony No. 7 in D minor – Antonin Dvorak
41. Symphony No. 2 in D major – Johannes Brahms
42. Symphony No. 3 in E flat major "Rhenish" – Robert Schumann
43. Symphony No. 2 in E minor – Sergei Rachmaninoff
44. Symphony No. 4 in B flat major – Ludwig Van Beethoven
45. Symphony in D minor – Cesar Franck
46. Symphony No. 100 in G major "Military" – Joseph Haydn
47. Symphony No. 4 in D major – Gustav Mahler
48. Symphony No. 8 in E flat major "Symphony Of A Thousand" – Gustav Mahler
49. Symphony No. 2 in G major "London" – Ralph Vaughan Williams
50. Symphony No. 1 "Titan" in D major – Gustav Mahler
51. Symphony No. 103 in E flat major "Drum Roll" – Joseph Haydn
52. Symphony No. 8 in F major – Ludwig Van Beethoven
53. Symphony No. 5 – Carl Nielsen
54. Symphony No. 5 in D major – Ralph Vaughan Williams
55. Symphony No. 3 in A minor "Scottish" – Felix Mendelssohn
56. Symphony No. 1 in F minor – Dmitri Shostakovich
57. Symphony No. 7 in C major – Jean Sibelius
58. Symphony No. 4 in F minor – Ralph Vaughan Williams
59. Symphony No. 1 in B flat major "Spring" – Robert Schumann
60. Symphony No. 45 in F sharp minor "Farewell" – Joseph Haydn
61. Symphony No. 3 in D minor – Gustav Mahler
62. Symphony No. 92 in G major "Oxford" – Joseph Haydn
63. Symphony No. 3 “The Camp Meeting” – Charles Ives
64. Symphony No. 35 in D major "Haffner" – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
65. Symphony No. 1 in E minor – Jean Sibelius
66. Symphony No. 4 in A minor – Jean Sibelius
67. Symphony No. 88 in G major – Joseph Haydn
68. Symphony No. 1 in A flat major – Edward Elgar
69. Symphony No. 6 in A minor "Tragic" – Gustav Mahler
70. Symphony No. 7 in E minor "Song of the Night" – Gustav Mahler
71. Symphony No. 4 – Charles Ives
72. Symphony No. 4 in D minor – Robert Schumann
73. Symphony No. 3 – Aaron Copland
74. Symphony No. 29 in A major – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
75. Symphony No. 4 “Inextinguishable” – Carl Nielsen
76. Symphony in Three Movements – Igor Stravinsky
77. Symphony No. 5 in B flat major – Franz Schubert
78. Symphony No. 36 in C major "Linzer" – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
79. Symphony No. 1 in B flat minor – William Walton
80. Turangalila Symphony – Oliver Messiaen
81. Symphony No. 102 in B flat major – Joseph Haydn
82. Symphony No. 3 “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” – Henryk Gorecki
83. Harold en Italie – Hector Berlioz
84. Symphony No. 5 in B flat major – Anton Bruckner
85. Symphony No. 2 in C major – Robert Schumann
86. Faust Symphony – Franz Liszt
87. Symphony in C major – Georges Bizet
88. Symphony No. 3 “Sinfonia Espansiva” – Carl Nielsen
89. Symphony No. 4 in C major “Poem of Ecstasy” – Alexander Scriabin
90. Symphony No. 2 – Charles Ives
91. Symphony No. 2 in D major – Ludwig Van Beethoven
92. Symphony No. 1 in C major – Ludwig Van Beethoven
93. Symphony No. 2 in B minor – Alexander Borodin
94. Symphony No. 3 for soprano or tenor & orchestra "Pastoral" – Ralph Vaughan Williams
95. Symphony No. 7 in C major "Leningrad" – Dmitri Shostakovich
96. Symphony No. 6 in E minor – Ralph Vaughan Williams
97. Chamber Symphony No. 1 in E major – Arnold Schoenberg
98. Symphony No. 2 in E flat major – Edward Elgar **
99. Symphony No. 8 in C minor "Stalingrad" – Dmitri Shostakovich
100. Symphony No. 99 in E flat major – Joseph Haydn **
101. Symphony No. 6 in D minor – Antonin Dvorak
102. Symphony No. 5 in D minor "Reformation" – Felix Mendelssohn **
103. Symphony in C – Igor Stravinsky **
104. Symphony No. 96 in D major “Miracle” – Joseph Haydn **
105. Symphony No. 3 – Roy Harris **
106. Symphony No. 14 for soprano, bass, strings, and percussion – Dmitri Shostakovich
107. Symphony No. 2 “The Age of Anxiety” – Leonard Bernstein **
108. Symphony in B flat major – Ernest Chausson **
109. Symphony No. 6 “Fantaisies symphoniques” – Bohuslav Martinu **
110. Symphony No. 2 – Michael Tippett **
111. Symphony No. 3 in A minor – Sergei Rachmaninoff **
112. Symphony No. 3 “Symphonie liturgique” – Arthur Honegger **
113. Symphony No. 83 in G minor “Poule” – Joseph Haydn **
114. Symphony No. 2 “Romantic” – Howard Hanson **
115. Symphony for Chamber Orchestra – Anton Webern **
116. Symphony No. 6 in A major – Anton Bruckner **
117. Symphony No. 3 in C major – Jean Sibelius **
118. Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor – Serge Prokofiev **
119. Symphony No. 4 – Alexander Glazunov **
120. Symphony No. 3 in C minor “Le Divin Poeme” – Alexander Scriabin **

** indicates new entries


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:23 pm 
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Reserved for possible future revision


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:23 pm 
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Seems like Mahler should come in a lot sooner than #13, but I dunno. But two Schubert symphonies before one Mahler?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:19 pm 
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I think Mahler's reputation is from writing so many great symphonies, but he doesn't have that one symphony that clearly stands above the others. Schubert appears twice before Mahler does, but all 9 Mahler symphonies appear before a 3rd Schubert symphony appears.

BTW, I'm planning on expanding this list to 120 soon, so for anyone interested, look for me to post the ones I'm considering adding sometime in the next few days.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:47 pm 
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I guess I don't have as much regard for Schubert the symphonist. He shines in smaller genres. If it were my list, most or all nine Mahler symphonies would appear before The Great, but I know it's not my list.

I've become a huge fan of Mahler's 6th recently. It's such an emotional experience. My two favorite recordings are the Bernstein/NY Phil and Boulez/Vienna Phil. Also, the more I hear Boulez the conductor the more I like him.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:26 am 
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Great list. Man, you put a lot work in this.

I'd love to see Liszt's DANTE Symphony included somewhere. It is Wagnerian in it's majesty and scope and has that tragic beauty and heavyness of the Parsifal overture or the 2nd movement of Bruckner's sublime 8th Symphony.

Please include this in there just as a respectful nod to Wagner's influence into the symphony realm even though he composed no symphonies. I'm sure both Franz and Anton would agree since they dedicated both the above works to good ol' Richard.


PS. I believe even the great Von Karajan held the Dante Symphony in high esteem.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:26 pm 
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Thanks Africa, and thanks also for your comments in the solo piano thread.

I don't find that Liszt's Dante symphony is generally considered all that great a symphony, not on a scale of top 100 of all time. In fact, I will soon extend this list to 120, and it looks to me like there are more than 20 symphonies that would be better choices to add. And with the list already including 9 Mahler Symphonies, 5 Bruckner symphonies, and a Franck symphony, I'd say the list already does a lot of respectful nodding to Wagner's influence.

Below are the 20 symphonies I propose to add. I primarily looked for what I thought were the symphonies most recognized for their excellence, but when in doubt, I generally went for symphonies by composers not already on the list. In tentative order, the 20 are:

Symphony No. 2 in E flat major – Edward Elgar
Symphony No. 99 in E flat major – Joseph Haydn
Symphony No. 5 in D minor "Reformation" – Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony in C – Igor Stravinsky
Symphony No. 96 in D major “Miracle” – Joseph Haydn
Symphony No. 3 – Roy Harris
Symphony No. 2 “The Age of Anxiety” – Leonard Bernstein
Symphony in B flat major – Ernest Chausson
Symphony No. 6 “Fantaisies symphoniques” – Bohuslav Martinu
Symphony No. 2 – Michael Tippett
Symphony No. 3 in A minor – Sergei Rachmaninoff
Symphony No. 3 “Symphonie liturgique” – Arthur Honegger
Symphony No. 83 in G minor “Poule” – Joseph Haydn
Symphony for Chamber Orchestra – Anton Webern
Symphony No. 6 in A major – Anton Bruckner
Symphony No. 2 “Romantic” – Howard Hanson
Symphony No. 3 in C major – Jean Sibelius
Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor – Serge Prokofiev
Symphony No. 4 – Alexander Glazunov
Symphony No. 3 in C minor “Le Divin Poeme” – Alexander Scriabin

There's a good chance that 2 of the first 3 will edge into the lower part of the top 100, and Shostakovich 14 will probably drop into the 101-120 range.

There were 9 others that I thought were very close, and am willing to consider substituting for some of the above works. Except for Honegger, all of the composers below already have at least 3 symphonies on the list, which is part of why I am inclined to leave them out. Roughly in order, these other 9 are:

Symphony No. 4 in C minor "Tragic" – Franz Schubert
Symphony No. 6 in B minor – Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 31 in D major "Paris" – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 2 “The Four Temperaments” – Carl Nielsen
Symphony No. 6 in D minor – Jean Sibelius
Symphony No. 2 for String Orchestra – Arthur Honegger
Symphony No. 15 in A major – Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 3 in D major – Franz Schubert
Symphony No. 3 in D minor "Wagner" – Anton Bruckner

I'm also willing to consider a good case made for a minor change to the upper part of the list, but I'm primarily interested in the additions to the list. Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:52 pm 
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Brian wrote:
Thanks Africa, and thanks also for your comments in the solo piano thread.

I don't find that Liszt's Dante symphony is generally considered all that great a symphony, not on a scale of top 100 of all time. In fact, I will soon extend this list to 120, and it looks to me like there are more than 20 symphonies that would be better choices to add. And with the list already including 9 Mahler Symphonies, 5 Bruckner symphonies, and a Franck symphony, I'd say the list already does a lot of respectful nodding to Wagner's influence.

Below are the 20 symphonies I propose to add. I primarily looked for what I thought were the symphonies most recognized for their excellence, but when in doubt, I generally went for symphonies by composers not already on the list. In tentative order, the 20 are:

Symphony No. 2 in E flat major – Edward Elgar
Symphony No. 99 in E flat major – Joseph Haydn
Symphony No. 5 in D minor "Reformation" – Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony in C – Igor Stravinsky
Symphony No. 96 in D major “Miracle” – Joseph Haydn
Symphony No. 3 – Roy Harris
Symphony No. 2 “The Age of Anxiety” – Leonard Bernstein
Symphony in B flat major – Ernest Chausson
Symphony No. 6 “Fantaisies symphoniques” – Bohuslav Martinu
Symphony No. 2 – Michael Tippett
Symphony No. 3 in A minor – Sergei Rachmaninoff
Symphony No. 3 “Symphonie liturgique” – Arthur Honegger
Symphony No. 83 in G minor “Poule” – Joseph Haydn
Symphony for Chamber Orchestra – Anton Webern
Symphony No. 6 in A major – Anton Bruckner
Symphony No. 2 “Romantic” – Howard Hanson
Symphony No. 3 in C major – Jean Sibelius
Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor – Serge Prokofiev
Symphony No. 4 – Alexander Glazunov
Symphony No. 3 in C minor “Le Divin Poeme” – Alexander Scriabin

There's a good chance that 2 of the first 3 will edge into the lower part of the top 100, and Shostakovich 14 will probably drop into the 101-120 range.

There were 9 others that I thought were very close, and am willing to consider substituting for some of the above works. Except for Honegger, all of the composers below already have at least 3 symphonies on the list, which is part of why I am inclined to leave them out. Roughly in order, these other 9 are:

Symphony No. 4 in C minor "Tragic" – Franz Schubert
Symphony No. 6 in B minor – Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 31 in D major "Paris" – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 2 “The Four Temperaments” – Carl Nielsen
Symphony No. 6 in D minor – Jean Sibelius
Symphony No. 2 for String Orchestra – Arthur Honegger
Symphony No. 15 in A major – Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 3 in D major – Franz Schubert
Symphony No. 3 in D minor "Wagner" – Anton Bruckner

I'm also willing to consider a good case made for a minor change to the upper part of the list, but I'm primarily interested in the additions to the list. Thoughts?



I disagree with you on whether Liszt's Dante Symphony is as you say "not considerd all that great"

Yes, it's not included in most orchestral repertories today, but was in the 19th century.

Even Beethoven's 9th was controversial because of his innovation of adding a choral movement into a symphony just as Liszt did with his Dante Symphony and look where Ludwig Van's 9th stands today !

I guess I'm biased, I love the Dante work...much too underrated today. I'm doing my part to elevate its status for modern audiences and perhaps it will be appreciated like Beethoven's only choral symphony as well :dance: I know it's a long shot, but what the heck...I gave it a shot.


Article from Britain's Guardian:

Completed in 1856, Liszt's Dante Symphony is one of the most talked-about 19th-century scores, but one of the least frequently played. Controversy still rages over the ending.....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/ju ... cbs-chorus


Yes, you're right, there is enough there on the list that was influenced by Wagner.
I must admit that I'm not familiar with a lot of works on the list so I can't comment on many of the others. So much music and so little time to take it all in. There's alot there to start sampling. Keep up the good work.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies (current list)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:18 pm 
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I posted a revision in the 2nd post. The top 80 is the same except that I flipped Mahler and Schubert at 12 & 13. So the revison consists primarily of adding 20 new works and some rearrangement of what had been 81-100. Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies (current list)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:08 pm 
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No Mozart no.25? Even at 120-t place?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies (current list)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:44 pm 
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If another Mozart symphony were added, I think that his 31st has more of a reputation for greatness than his 25th, and that the 31st is borderline.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:06 am 
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Thank you for this list! I have discovered many great symphonies by going through the list.

There is a typo at position 117. It's supposed to say Sibelius Symphony No. 3

Of course such a list is always a matter of taste, but I would vote for
Reinhold Gliere - Symphony 3
Allan Pettersson - Symphony 7
Josef Suk - Asrael Symphony
Prokofiev - Symphony 2
Alfred Schnittke - Symphony 1 and 8
Shostakovich - Symphony 11 and 15


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:20 pm 
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You're welcome bowman, and welcome to DDD!

You're right about Sibelius. I'll fix that on this page, and tell Lew to fix it on the main page. Thanks for catching that.

On the list, I tried to represent the generally held views of the greatness of these works. But even so, I came very close to including Shostakovich 15. One thing that worked against it was that there are several Shostys already on the list, and from the borderline works I gave the benefit of the doubt to composers who were so far unrepresented on the list.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:35 pm 
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Shouldn't the Eroica be above the 5th? Beethoven's fifth is more famous, but his 3rd was far more revolutionary.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Symphonies
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:44 am 
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...No Allan Pettersson, no George Lloyd, no Vagn Holmboe, no Edward Rubbra, no Eduard Tubin, no Hans Werner Henze, no Alfred Schnittke...Bohuslav Martinu on the list, Alexander Glazunov on the list, Michael Tippett on the list. I have all symphonies of each composer I listed. There's no comparison between the depth of those I state in the first sentence and the lightweight symphonies of the composers I note that are on the list. I'm amazed that Prokofiev has (I believe) 3 in the top 120. I don't even include him in my top 10 symphony composers of the 20th century because they're so uneven. Oh well.
I see bowman cites Pettersson's 7th, which I think is a good start for exploring his richly brooding/dark/deep/complex symphonies.
Brian, I assume you use reference materials to assist you with the list(?). How does a person try to influence any alterations to this list? I know you put a lot of work into it and appreciate it very much. I'm thinking the references (I assume you use) are very much out of touch with a lot of brilliant symphonies out there. Just my thoughts...


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