Banner: The symphonic suite Cantabile

View Poll Results: Which movement?

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  • First movement: Allegro

    21 52.50%
  • Second movement: Adagio

    4 10.00%
  • Third movement: Minuet and Trio

    4 10.00%
  • Fourth movement: Finale - Presto

    11 27.50%
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Thread: Favourite Movements of Symphonies!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ramako's Avatar
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    Default Favourite Movements of Symphonies!

    It is of course, a horribly stupid idea to say of the entire symphonic output, written over the course of 200 years "I like the x movements best". Hence the poll.

    So, in general, do you enjoy symphonic first movements best? or slow movements? Or dances? Or finales? I have taken the standard four movement format, though of course the middle two movements especially are sometimes swapped around: the type/tempo of the movement matters more than the order.

    Despite being a Haydn fan, where the slow movements (particularly in the London symphonies) are often the highlight, I like first movements best. They set the scene for the whole symphony, and still typically have a strong ending, giving them a well-rounded form. Often symphonies can feel like a first movement, followed by the other three collectively: I have no problem with this. It is this movement that has to grab the audience's attention. A failed first movement means the audience gets bored and detached, and the others have a hard time if this is the case. It has to be good.
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    Senior Member TrazomGangflow's Avatar
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    I enjoy the allegro movement the most. Its usually lively, energetic, causes me to anticipate the later movements. The finale is be my second favorite movement especially when it is very grand. If I really enjoy the symphony the finale almost saddens me, as if I must say goodbye to the symphony.
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    I believe in first things first.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Olias's Avatar
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    Finales.......dessert is the best part of a meal.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Arsakes's Avatar
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    I voted Adagio because of its kind in Bruckner (3th~8th), Dvorak (3th), Beethoven (3th,7th) and Schubert symphonies.

    Finales and the beginning are tied as second. Who doesn't like them?! Brahms' 4th, Dvorak's 1th, 6th, 7th and 9th have best of both.

    But scherzos are brief and loud experience. Mostly fun in a symphony, but least favorite among 4 movements! My most favorite Scherzo is Dvorak's Symphony No.2 second movement.

    Many Symphonies actually don't look like the poll. For example there are Andantes rather Adagios, and Menuettos rather Scherzos.
    Last edited by Arsakes; Aug-17-2012 at 13:27.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Krisena's Avatar
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    I never understood those damn menuets. What's the point of them? They're never interesting. Please explain to me what I'm missing, because it seems to me that the main trait of the menuet is that it has to be boring.

    Other than that, I have lots of good examples of the other movement types, which makes it difficult to choose between them. Scherzos tend to be a little too light to give me any deeper satisfaction, but the scherzo of Johan Svendsens first symphony almost weighs up for that. There are a ton of beautiful slow movements and even more awesome finales.

    I think I'm a Finale, slow movement, first movement and scherzo man, in that order.
    Last edited by Krisena; Aug-17-2012 at 20:39.
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    Senior Member Vesteralen's Avatar
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    Much as I believe that nothing beats a really great finale, I had to go with the First Movement. It basically sets the tone for everything else. I can think of a number of symphonies I basically listen to only because of the First Movement, and only a handful that I listen to only for one of the others.

    For me: Allegro / Finale / Menuet / Adagio

    I'm not a slow movement guy. I usually am impatient to get them over with. Some minuets are so-so, but some (Mozart's 39th, for example) are very entertaining.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ramako's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krisena View Post
    I never understood those damn menuets. What's the point of them? They're never interesting. Please explain to me what I'm missing, because it seems to me that the main trait of the menuet is that it has to be boring.
    I agree. But I also believe that what people don't like can be just as essential to the piece as the bits people do like. If it was lacking - then we'd notice the difference.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ComposerOfAvantGarde's Avatar
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    I like the X movement.

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    Senior Member Krisena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramako View Post
    I agree. But I also believe that what people don't like can be just as essential to the piece as the bits people do like. If it was lacking - then we'd notice the difference.
    Weirdly enought, this makes perfect sense. I interpret what you say as that you sometimes need a boring movement to attain perfect form or balance on the whole.
    Last edited by Krisena; Aug-18-2012 at 09:54.
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    Ramako, I agree with your comment about generalising the entire repertoire of symphonies. I don't know how I could choose one movement from each of all the pieces I've listened to before. Sometimes there are multiple movements that I enjoy. Thus, when I listen to a piece for the first time, I like to do so without bias (well, to as far an extent as possible). Seeing that I've probably only listened to about thirty, or so, symphonies, this isn't so hard, though.
    Last edited by OpusEleven; Aug-18-2012 at 11:28. Reason: Forgot to refer to a particular user.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    I'm a sucker for adagios.
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    Usually finales and scherzi have the most appeal to me. But in some cases the adagio movement gains significant appeal to me. For instance: Bruckner 4, 7, 8, Beethoven 9 (never was particularly fond of his 7th symphony adagietto). I find that first movements often tend to be the least appealing ones. At least in the case of Bruckner.
    Last edited by Nuukeer; Aug-23-2012 at 03:11.

  14. #14
    Senior Member MaestroViolinist's Avatar
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    It was very hard to decide between the second movement and the finale, but I eventually went for second.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member jani's Avatar
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    Thanks to Beethoven i can't choose, but its usually the adagio movement what is my least favorite.
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