View Poll Results: Choosing Your Favorite First Symphony(ies) (or what you deem as mighty impressive)

Voters
73. You may not vote on this poll
  • Franz Schubert: Symphony No. I in D major (1813)

    7 9.59%
  • Johan Svendsen: Symphony No. I in D major (1867)

    3 4.11%
  • Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. I in D major (1887-1888)

    42 57.53%
  • Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. I in C minor (1855-1876)

    42 57.53%
  • Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. I in G minor (1866)

    20 27.40%
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony no. I in D Minor (1895)

    15 20.55%
  • Alexander Glazunov: Symphony no. I in E major (1881)

    6 8.22%
  • Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony no. I in F minor (1924-1925)

    17 23.29%
  • Sir William Walton: Symphony no. I in in B♭ minor (1934-1935)

    14 19.18%
  • Sir Edward Elgar: Symphony No. I in A-flat major (1907-1908)

    19 26.03%
  • Alexander Scriabin: Symphony no. I in E major (1899)

    10 13.70%
  • Erno Dohnanyi: Symphony no. I in D major (1901)

    4 5.48%
  • Anton Bruckner: Symphony no. I in C major (1865-1866, rev. 1890-1891)

    13 17.81%
  • Samuel Barber: Symphony no. I (1936)

    20 27.40%
  • Other(s)?

    17 23.29%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 68

Thread: Choosing Your Favorite First Symphony(ies) (or what you deem mighty impressive)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Orfeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Washington, DC area
    Posts
    2,138
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Choosing Your Favorite First Symphony(ies) (or what you deem mighty impressive)

    Being both encouraged and enlightened by your responses re. your favorite Eighth Symphonies (and the Fifth posted back in September), I thought I continue on in regards to the First, which really points to the composers we wind up knowing. And it is safe to say, that there are many impressive First Symphonies worth considering, worth praising, and worth enjoying. Among those in my mind include, say,

    • Johan Svendsen
    • Ludwig van Beethoven
    • Franz Schubert
    • Erno Dohnanyi
    • Johannes Brahms
    • Pyotr Tchaikovsky
    • Alexander Glazunov
    • Sergei Rachmaninoff
    • Eduard Tubin
    • Jean Sibelius
    • Leevi Madetoja
    • Gustav Mahler
    • Alexander Scriabin
    • Boris Lyatoshynsky
    • Dmitry Shostakovich
    • Adolfs Skulte
    • Sir Edward Elgar
    • Vissarion Shebalin
    • Howard Hanson
    • Gavriil Popov
    • Mily Balakirev
    • Artur Kapp

    And so forth (and I mean, and so forth). You get the idea, I'm sure. Not only are many of these premiere symphonies impressive, but they're also bold (consider, say, the first symphonies of Walton, Nielsen, Barber, Diamond, and even Elgar, the latter that shook the English establishment like no other, or...Mahler's and Rachmaninoff's, which challenged the mindsets of their respective conservative environments). The boldness (or daringness), on the one hand, went further with more boldness and greater individualism (Walton, Nielsen, Lyatoshynsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Berwald to name a few), while on the other hand, such boldness yielded to either staying on course, traditionally speaking (Goldmark, Gade, Atterberg, Alfven), or clamping down due to societal pressures, or personal doubts, misgivings, and so forth (like, say, Rachmaninoff, Popov, Hanson, Creston). Either way the first symphony yielded, it is that premiere musical essay that I often find gripping, even masterful in handling of thematic ideas, form, melodic inventions, you name it.

    I wish I could've listed more on the poll, but I was limited to fifteen. So, please forgive me if you find your composer(s) not listed. With that said, please, what say you?
    Last edited by Orfeo; Feb-19-2016 at 22:32.
    David A. Hollingsworth (dholling)

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

  2. Likes hpowders, Kivimees, clavichorder and 1 others liked this post
  3. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    60
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Shame that Beethoven 1 is not on the list! As his first essay in the genre, it well merits a closer listening. Bruckner 1 too.

  4. Likes Orfeo liked this post
  5. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    18,933
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    My favorite first symphony is "off the charts":

    The sparkling, witty, poignant, delightfully impressive Prokofiev Symphony No. 1.

  6. Likes Orfeo, Strange Magic, SONNET CLV and 3 others liked this post
  7. #4
    Senior Member Fugue Meister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Atlanta GA.
    Posts
    891
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Walton's first symphony is an astounding work, it's too bad he had so little to say musically after writing it.

  8. Likes SONNET CLV liked this post
  9. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio
    Posts
    162
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy Popsicle View Post
    Shame that Beethoven 1 is not on the list! As his first essay in the genre, it well merits a closer listening. Bruckner 1 too.
    He included Bruckner in his list, and I agree with you about the Beethoven. Absolutely delightful. Another delightful first that could have been on his list would be the First Symphony of Charles Ives.

  10. #6
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Nova Caesarea
    Posts
    6,154
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Martinu Symphony #1. Ditto Schumann, Sibelius.
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Feb-19-2016 at 19:11.

  11. Likes hpowders, Orfeo, clavichorder and 1 others liked this post
  12. #7
    Senior Member Sloe's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    3,514
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I really like Edvard Elgar´s first symphony.
    This time it seems like I am in minority.

  13. Likes Orfeo, clavichorder, Avey and 1 others liked this post
  14. #8
    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cph, Denmark
    Posts
    6,021
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Ouch, overlooked the Elgar option. Disaster

    Voted Bruckner, Mahler, Walton, Scriabin & others. Rachmaninov could have made it too.

    Would have included, among others, Sibelius, Bax, Schnittke, Henze etc.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Feb-19-2016 at 19:18.

  15. Likes Orfeo, Sloe, clavichorder and 1 others liked this post
  16. #9
    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    WA, U.S.
    Posts
    5,059
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    One of my favorite topics in all of classical music to talk about for some reason. The inspiration present Winter Day Dreams of a feverish pitch. He really nailed that one in the ways he knew best.

    Brahms 1st is a close second, and certainly the greater piece, though relatively speaking a marginally less impressive feat with ages considered.

    The one not on the list, that I really think should start making lots of lists, is the 1st of Carl Nielsen. The 1st movement in particular is on fire, and in total it fully demonstrates his musical personality. I tend to prefer it to the 2nd, which is structurally a sounder work also assisted by an innovative programmatic idea, but still lacking that white hot inspiration of no. 1 in G minor.

    At risk of removing the spotlight from Nielsen, who really deserves it, Haydn's first little numbered Symphony in D major strikes me as very fresh. He may not have extended his forms much at that point, but already he is on par with the best the mannheim composers had written, and is flexing his Haydnisms very recognizably. It is a thoroughly charming, sparkling gem.

    Another masterpiece likely to be forgotten is the first of Dutilleux.

    Probably more to say. Mahler's is undeniably highly impressive, and Bruckner's is one I really love, also inspired and interesting in that it is less spacious, helping to provide a close to a missing link between Bruckner and everyone else as possible. I also think it was a mistake not to include Beethoven and an oversight not to include Schumann or Prokofiev. And Georges Bizet too! But I see you made up for it in the Op.
    Last edited by clavichorder; Feb-19-2016 at 19:28.

  17. Likes Orfeo, Skilmarilion, drnlaw and 2 others liked this post
  18. #10
    Senior Member Kivimees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Southern Estonia
    Posts
    942
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I would add Roussel's first.

  19. #11
    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    WA, U.S.
    Posts
    5,059
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    Martinu Symphony #1. Ditto Schumann, Sibelius.
    Forgot about Martinu 1! Another fresh one.

  20. #12
    Senior Member Kivimees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Southern Estonia
    Posts
    942
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Adding Lepo Sumera as well.

  21. #13
    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    WA, U.S.
    Posts
    5,059
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    I think we can safely omit Dvorak's valiant but naive effort from this one. Unless we go by the old numbering, in which case 5 is 1 and we are off to a great start. Doesn't usually work that way in people's minds these days though.

  22. #14
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    4,311
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Ralph Vaughan Williams - Sea Symphony

    Do we get to count Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique as his first?

  23. Likes Kivimees, Arsakes, Orfeo and 3 others liked this post
  24. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio
    Posts
    162
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Goodness, yes, the Vaughan Williams, Martinu, Nielsen, Sibelius -- and I'd even have to disagree with clavichorder on the Dvorak -- it's amazing how good so many first shots at the form were.
    Last edited by drnlaw; Feb-19-2016 at 19:53.

  25. Likes clavichorder, Arsakes, Orfeo liked this post
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Most moving/impressive piece
    By bor in forum Orchestral Music
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: Feb-10-2018, 01:29
  2. Choosing your Favorite Eighth Symphony(ies)
    By Orfeo in forum Classical Music Discussion Polls
    Replies: 62
    Last Post: Nov-22-2016, 13:38
  3. Replies: 39
    Last Post: Aug-06-2016, 01:26
  4. What's the most impressive opera tradition?
    By Almaviva in forum Opera
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: Mar-15-2016, 06:16
  5. $$$How $ is $ the $ mighty $ fallen!$$$$$
    By Andante in forum Community Forum
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: Nov-04-2008, 21:21

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •