View Poll Results: Choosing your Favorite Eighth Symphony(ies)

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  • Beethoven: Symphony no. VIII in F Major (1812)

    39 35.78%
  • Schubert: Symphony no. VIII in B Minor (1822)

    53 48.62%
  • Bruckner: Symphony no. VIII in C Minor (1884-1892)

    62 56.88%
  • Dvorak: Symphony no. VIII in G Major (1889)

    48 44.04%
  • Glazunov: Symphony no. VIII in E-flat Major (1906)

    8 7.34%
  • Mahler: Symphony no. VIII in E-flat Major (1906)

    40 36.70%
  • Shostakovich: Symphony no. VIII in C Minor (1943)

    37 33.94%
  • George Lloyd: Symphony no. VIII (1961-1965)

    6 5.50%
  • Malcolm Arnold: Symphony no. VIII (1978)

    6 5.50%
  • Allan Pettersson: Symphony no. VIII (1968-1969)

    7 6.42%
  • Ralph Vaughan-Williams: Symphony no. VIII in D Minor (1953-1955)

    20 18.35%
  • Eduard Tubin: Symphony no. VIII (1965-1966)

    9 8.26%
  • Janis Ivanovs: Symphony no. VIII in B Minor (1956)

    1 0.92%
  • Benjamin Frankel: Symphony no. VIII (1971)

    1 0.92%
  • Other(s)?

    10 9.17%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Choosing your Favorite Eighth Symphony(ies)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Orfeo's Avatar
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    Default Choosing your Favorite Eighth Symphony(ies)

    Like the Fifth Symphony, the Eighth occupies a rather special place in Classical Music (from Beethoven, through Schubert, through Bruckner, through Shostakovich). Unfortunately, many composers did not go beyond writing the Fifth (famous example is of course Sibelius, and Bax did write Spring Fire, despite stopping at number seven, numerically speaking).

    My favorite Eighths include:

    • Beethoven
    • Schubert
    • Bruckner
    • Mahler
    • Dvorak
    • Glazunov
    • Shostakovich
    • George Lloyd
    • Janis Ivanovs
    • Eduard Tubin

    Honorable mentions: Adolfs Skulte, Kurt Atterberg, Simpson, Schnittke, Weinberg, Lev Knipper, Andrei Eshpai, Myaskovsky, David Diamond, Walter Piston.

    So, what you do think?
    Last edited by Orfeo; Feb-16-2016 at 19:47.
    David A. Hollingsworth (dholling)

    ~All good art is about something deeper than it admits.
    Roger Ebert

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  3. #2
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    Hmmm well I can easily say Beethoven and Schubert's are tops for me. I used to worship Beethoven 7, and actually still do, but I've come around to thinking the 8th is better. Along with the 3rd is might be the most indispensible of all this symphonies for me. Schubert's 8th is rightfully well-regarded - whether you consider the 8th his Unfinished or Great.

    After that, I enjoy but am not infatuated with Dvorak and Shostakovich's, don't know Haydn's or Mozart's off-hand, don't know Bruckner's, and while I listen to Mahler's occasionally it's definitely my least favorite of his. I'm not terribly well-versed on symphonies as a whole anyway - I should have joined earlier so I could have done the Saturday Symphonies!

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  5. #3
    Senior Member Klassic's Avatar
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    Glad to see Pettersson on this list.

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    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    Some of the ones that were not mentioned were those by Joachim Raff, Kalevi Aho, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Aulis Sallinen, Vagn Holmboe, Robert Simpson, William Schuman, Vincent Persichetti, Peter Mennin, Roy Harris, Roger Sessions and David Maslanka.

    A recent discovery is the Eighth by Nikolai Miakovsky.

    I am embarrassed to admit that I do not get the Mahler Eighth.

    I am also ambivalent about the Pettersson.

    Oh well. No ones ears are perfect.
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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  9. #5
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    Shostakovich No. 8. No doubt about it.

    Mahler No. 8 in second place.

  10. #6
    Senior Member Klassic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arpeggio View Post
    I am embarrassed to admit that I do not get the Mahler Eighth.
    My advice is to listen to the final sections: moving, powerful, epic. If you try to wade your way all the way to the end from the outset you will probably get exhausted. Give the final sections attention, such a grand finale!

  11. #7
    Senior Member PlaySalieri's Avatar
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    Schubert - 2 of the greatest mvts ever written.
    Shame he didnt live longer then we would all be rating schubert against mozart and bach in the greatest composer stakes.

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  13. #8
    Senior Member PlaySalieri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klassic View Post
    My advice is to listen to the final sections: moving, powerful, epic. If you try to wade your way all the way to the end from the outset you will probably get exhausted. Give the final sections attention, such a grand finale!
    I start mahlers 8th - but switch off after 1 minute or so. OK - I will skip to the finale.

  14. #9
    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    From the above list it's Shostakovich, Bruckner (a clear one-two for me), Arnold, Schubert and Vaughan Williams. Other 8ths I like but aren't included are those by K.A. Hartmann, Robert Simpson and Alfred Schnittke.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

    ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνῄσκει νέος [Those whom the gods love die young] - Menander

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  16. #10
    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    Would have to revisit Tubin, Ivanovs and Frankel to judge them, but voted Pettersson, Bruckner, Shostakovitch, Lloyd, Schubert, Dvorak.

    When Petterson is low in popularity, it must be because the works simply hasn´t been heard much.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Feb-16-2016 at 19:14.

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  18. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klassic View Post
    My advice is to listen to the final sections: moving, powerful, epic. If you try to wade your way all the way to the end from the outset you will probably get exhausted. Give the final sections attention, such a grand finale!
    For me, Mahler Eight is all about that continuous build and development from start to finish. The finale doesn't have the same impact without the rest.

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  20. #12
    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klassic View Post
    My advice is to listen to the final sections: moving, powerful, epic. If you try to wade your way all the way to the end from the outset you will probably get exhausted. Give the final sections attention, such a grand finale!
    What makes you think I have not? I have been listening to this work for decades. I have actually been to a live performance. It has its moments but my flawed ears just don't get it.

    One of the reasons that I am uncomfortable with discussions like this is because I know just because I do not understand a piece of music does it mean that there is something wrong with it. Mahler is probably my favorite composer. All of us here can produce lists of great music we do not get. We have had several threads that addressed this issue.

    Maybe sometime it the future I will be listening to it and suddenly it will hit me like a four hundred pound snowball. I did not get the Schubert Unfinished until I actually performed it. For now when I hear it, it enters my right ear, rattles around in my brain and leaves by the left ear.

    There are too many around here who think that if they dislike something that it is bad. That is bull. One thing that my music education has taught me is to acknowledge great music even when I hate it.
    Last edited by arpeggio; Feb-16-2016 at 20:51. Reason: grammar
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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  22. #13
    Senior Member Chronochromie's Avatar
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    Mahler's 8th is the only one of his symphonies I've made no listening progress on since I started listening to him, I can't get into it. And I seem to be one of the few that prefers the first part and doesn't care for the rest. Now I understand how some people feel about the 7th. Maybe I need another recording...

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  24. #14
    Senior Member DeepR's Avatar
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    Can't say I've heard all of these but chances are it will stay Bruckner anyway.

  25. #15
    Senior Member musicrom's Avatar
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    For some reason, 8th symphonies seem to evade me... it seems like either I haven't heard them, I haven't heard them enough times, or I don't like them. Anyways, my vote is for Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorak, and Other (Haydn), despite none of those being my favorite symphonies by their respective composers.
    Last edited by musicrom; Feb-16-2016 at 20:07.
    “If that is a bassoon then I am a baboon!” - Camille Saint-Saëns on Stravinsky's Rite of Spring

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