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Thread: Some Great Lesser Known Symphonies You Should Hear

  1. #301
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    Virgil Thomson's Symphonies
    Don Gillis' Symphonies
    Randall Thompson's Symphonies
    Marc Blitzstein "The Airborne"
    George Lloyd's Symphonies
    Malcom Arnold's Symphonies
    Last edited by PeterKC; Jan-02-2017 at 23:18.

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  3. #302
    Senior Member Rhinotop's Avatar
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    For now I can recommend:

    Aarre Merikanto (mainly the Nr. 2)
    Zemlinsky (Nr. 2)
    Farrenc (all)
    Dietrich (his unique symphony)
    Bruch (all)
    Berwald (mainly 1-3)
    Raff (all)
    Lalo (his unique symphony)
    Rubinstein (specially 4-6)
    Balakirev (all)
    Svendsen (all)
    Rimsky-Korsakov (1st and mainly his 2nd)
    Bendix (1-4)
    Taneyev (1-4)
    Rott (his unique symphony)
    Emmanuel (all)
    de Boeck (his unique symphony)
    Karlowicz (his unique symphony)
    Stenhammar (all)
    Bowen (Nr. 2)
    Freitas Branco (1-4)
    Atterberg (all)
    Hindemith (Symphony in E-flat, Die Harmonie der Welt, Symphonia Serena)
    Chávez (mainly his 2nd)
    Creston (2 & 3)
    Herrmann (his unique symphony)
    Simpson (2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10)
    Last edited by Rhinotop; Jan-03-2017 at 06:06.

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  5. #303
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Symphony No.8 by Laszlo Lajtha is a beauty! The orchestration is exquisite.
    "When a man is treated like a beast, he says, 'After all, I'm human.' When he behaves like a beast, he says, 'After all, I'm only human.' " - Karl Kraus

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  7. #304
    Senior Member Blancrocher's Avatar
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    Malcolm Arnold's 4th symphony is knocking me out right now.

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    George Lloyd's 11th symphony is a sparkling piece of music with a real humdinger of a finale. While on the subject of 11ths, I'd also say that Hovhaness' 11th is superb - such a shame it's so very hard to find.
    There will come a time soon when Youtube won't let us do this...

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  11. #306
    Senior Member Rhinotop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by techniquest View Post
    George Lloyd's 11th symphony is a sparkling piece of music with a real humdinger of a finale. While on the subject of 11ths, I'd also say that Hovhaness' 11th is superb - such a shame it's so very hard to find.
    Lloyd is a composer that I must listen to this year, I have read many references of his symphonies and I have found them quite attractive.

  12. #307
    Senior Member Rhinotop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blancrocher View Post
    Malcolm Arnold's 4th symphony is knocking me out right now.
    I have many composers for listening yet and one of them is Arnold. I have listened to some fragments of his works and they are so catchy.

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  14. #308
    Senior Member Gabriel Ortiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid James View Post
    A composer whose disc I bought in the bargain bin of a classical cd shop here in Sydney was the Israeli Josef Tal. All of his symphonies are on cpo (two seperate discs - I got the first one). His music has elements of atonality, but freely applied, and some of it sounds very "Jewish" - a bit like Ernest Bloch combined with the second Viennese school. His orchestration sounds pretty good as well.

    Speaking of orchestration, I really like the symphonies of Lutoslawski. I've got the 2nd and 3rd so far. The 2nd sounds more avant-garde, here his use of chance elements is quite obvious. The 3rd quotes the first movement theme of Beethoven's 5th symphony, but it is "hidden" (for example, Lutoslawski starts off by rapidly firing off Beethoven's 4 note theme, but you have to listen carefully to pick it up).

    Another Pole, Penderecki, has also written some fine symphonies. I've got the 1st, 3rd & 8th. The 1st is the most "radical" of the set, it's all about texture and colour. I really like it how he begins (and ends) with the rhythm provided by an orchestral whip. The 3rd does not grab me as much, it is kind of neo Romantic, as is the 8th, which uses vocal soloists and choir, in the tradition of Mahler.

    The Mexican Chavez was also a very fine symphonist. His cycle of 6 is definitely among the best produced on the American continent. The 1st, 2nd & 4th are the easiest to get into, they are basically monothematic (the first two are in one movement). The 1st is after the Greek tragedy of Antigone, and is quite dramatic and dark, and uses ancient Greek modes. The 2nd, Sinfonia India, uses traditional Mexican idioms. It reminds me of music in old American cowboy films. The first movement of the 4th, called Sinfonia Romantica, reminds me of the big open air sound of Copland, and the slow movement has a Brucknerian gracefulness. I've basically understood these, but the others (3, 5, 6) are harder to get my head around. He seems to build up themes from virtually nothing, and his counterpoint is pretty complex. I have the LSO conducted by the late Eduardo Mata, which is a good recording, but Chavez's own recordings had this earthiness and grittiness which I liked as well.
    Penderecki terrifies me! Therenody for the victims of Hiroshima is good drinking music, though... If you were blackout drunk maybe..

  15. #309
    Senior Member Rhinotop's Avatar
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    Bantock: A Celtic Symphony

    This is a "musical orgasm". Simply beautiful in extremis What a piece of a symphony! It was overwhelming

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  17. #310
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    Justin Heinrich Knecht: Le Portrait Musical de la Nature, also known as Grande Symphonie (1785). A lovely pastoral-style symphony which may have influenced Beethoven's own contribution to the genre.


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  19. #311
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    I've been exploring your list and finding a lot I really enjoy. What do you think of Franz Schmidt?

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  21. #312
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    Raff - Symphony No. 8 sounds of spring. The 1st movement is pure Joy and beauty distilled! Actually any symphony of Raff's is quite a pleasureful experience. Try No. 9, 10, 2, 4, 5 & 3.

    Ferdinand Ries - Symphony No. 5 in D minor. A wonderful tribute to Beethoven with quotations from the masters' Symphony No. 5 & 3.

    Klughardt - Symphony No. 5 - a very striking C minor symphony as far removed from the sound world of Brahms as possible.

    Rufinatscha - Symphony No. 1, 4, 5 - These symphonies [the only one's I have heard so far] are superbly crafted musical compositions following up on the ides of Beethoven and Schubert.

    Joseph Marx - Eine Herbstsymphonie.

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  23. #313
    Senior Member Oldhoosierdude's Avatar
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    Great, great thread! Found some of this on Amazon prime.

  24. #314
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    Wish I'd seen this earlier. Schmidt is one of absolute favorite composers. Vastly underrated, tragically neglected by orchestras. The 4th symphony is a stunning masterpiece that I dearly love. Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln is tremendous. The chamber music first-rate. I'll admit that Schmidt isn't for everyone. Not as flashy as R Strauss, as emotional as Mahler. On record he's been fortunate: only a few bits he wrote in his youth haven't been recorded. Anyone looking for solid, dignified, deeply felt music should try it.

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  26. #315
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    Wish I'd seen this earlier. Schmidt is one of absolute favorite composers. Vastly underrated, tragically neglected by orchestras. The 4th symphony is a stunning masterpiece that I dearly love. Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln is tremendous. The chamber music first-rate. I'll admit that Schmidt isn't for everyone. Not as flashy as R Strauss, as emotional as Mahler. On record he's been fortunate: only a few bits he wrote in his youth haven't been recorded. Anyone looking for solid, dignified, deeply felt music should try it.
    Total agreement! I just ranted about Schmidt elsewhere.. glad to see this.

    From the OP I picked up also Franz Berwald. Incredible music, it's hard to understand this man composed his symphonies decades before Brahms.. And was totally ignored.

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