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Thread: What is the greatest transition between movements?

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    Senior Member beetzart's Avatar
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    Default What is the greatest transition between movements?

    Which is obviously the one in Beethoven's 5th symphony but what is the 2nd best?
    I thought about this while listening to the segue from Back in the USSR to Dear Prudence. Schumann wrote one in his 4th symphony 3rd to 4th movement that works well.
    I love Muzio Clementi's music.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Beethoven's transition from the rest of the symphony into the final movement of the Choral is unusual, to say the least. But it strikes me as being a bit "literary" and maybe a bit less musically impressive for that reason.


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    Senior Member Pat Fairlea's Avatar
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    I love the transition from 2nd to 3rd movement in Beethoven's 5th piano concerto. He thinks of a thematic fragment, noodles thoughtfully a couple of times, then decides "Yes, that's the one" and Wham!

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    the Schumann #4 transition between mvt 3 and 4 is wonderful. I also like the transition in Vaughan-Williams #4....in the last mvt, first section into the final section, very powerful. Beethoven #5 is tough to beat, tho, for sure.

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    Since I first heard the first recording (Ormandy/Philly) of the Cooke version of Mahler's 10th, I wondered if the drumbeats that ended the 4th and began the 5th movements were actually intended by Mahler to eventually be a segue/transition. The Mazetti II version actually tries this -- and it works.

    Beethoven seemed to have a thing at one point about trying out transitions (4th and 5th piano concertos, fifth symphony, Op. 131 quartet). His Grosse Fuge is one long transition. So is Liszt's Sonata in b minor. Many 20th c. ballets have transitions all over the place (Romeo and Juliet, Firebird/Petrushka/Pulchinella, Appalachian Spring, Miraculous Mandarin). The transition to the last movement of Janacek's Sinfonietta is really good.

    It's not a transition per se, but the dislocation between the end of the Andante and the beginning of the Finale of Mahler's 6th (when you play the Andante third) is extraordinarily effective. Similarly between the Andante and Finale of the 4th.

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    I like how Dvorak's 9th symphony flows from the 3rd movement to the 4th.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkW View Post
    Beethoven seemed to have a thing at one point about trying out transitions (4th and 5th piano concertos, fifth symphony, Op. 131 quartet). His Grosse Fuge is one long transition. So is Liszt's Sonata in b minor. Many 20th c. ballets have transitions all over the place (Romeo and Juliet, Firebird/Petrushka/Pulchinella, Appalachian Spring, Miraculous Mandarin).
    How are you defining "transition"?

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    Senior Member David C Coleman's Avatar
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    Saint-saens organ symphony 1-2 and then 3-4, Beethoven 5 (3-4) is probably the best known example. Schumann 4, I think he had Beethoven in mind here. But the resulting finale theme is a little anti-climactic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heck148 View Post
    the Schumann #4 transition between mvt 3 and 4 is wonderful. I also like the transition in Vaughan-Williams #4....in the last mvt, first section into the final section, very powerful. Beethoven #5 is tough to beat, tho, for sure.
    Just been listening to the Schumann 4th symphony (ASMF) and tell what you mean about beautiful transitions.

    Never crossed my mind before but will listen out for more!

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    I don't know about greatest, but the transition between the cappricco-adagio (2nd mvt) and the menuet (3rd mvt) of Haydn's op.20 no.2 string quartet, is almost seamless. I have this on an old vinyl record and the gap is so small between the tracks that I often don't notice the change when I'm doing other things while listening.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    First to second movement of Mendelssohn violin concerto. Matchless!
    Last edited by DavidA; Sep-28-2017 at 17:49.

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    Senior Member Totenfeier's Avatar
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    Tie:

    -the transition between the "Urlicht" and the last movement of Mahler's Symphony #2;

    -the transition from the "Grosse Appell" and the choral entrance on "Aufersteh'n", same symphony.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    How are you defining "transition"?
    Well, obviously, I'm being pretty liberal, in the sense that both of those works could be considered either one-movement works in multiple sections, or consisting of a number of distinct movements strung together. :-)

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    Berlioz's Symphonie F. transition from 3rd to 4th. Beethoven's Waldstein from 2nd to 3rd. Cage's transition from 2nd to 3rd in 4'33" was the most seamless
    "But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying..." Peter Sinfield

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    Senior Member Botschaft's Avatar
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    The one from the third to the fourth movement of Beethoven's piano sonata no. 28.

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