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Thread: What is your favorite single movement from a symphony?

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    Default What is your favorite single movement from a symphony?

    What is your single favorite movement of any symphony? I was thinking earlier today how tough it would be to answer in my case. After pondering it some more, I'll have to come back to this with an answer later.

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    The vocals in German on Beethoven's 9th.
    Last edited by Clouds Weep Snowflakes; Apr-16-2019 at 02:10.
    "For the Lord himself shall come down from heaven with commandment, and with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead who are in Christ, shall rise first." (1 Thessalonians 4:15)

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    Rachmaninov's 2nd Symphony movement 3.

    I'm a romantic through and through

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    Oh man, don't make this so hard! One example I'm thinking of right now is the 1st movement from the Walton's wonderful 1st Symphony. Just for that movement I rank that symphony very very high. It's a formidable creation, full of tension and epicness. I love it. Also, the 1st movement from my favorite Scandinavian symphony, the Nielsen's 5th Symphony. It's a movement I find awe-inspiring and intriguing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyAlcott View Post
    What is your single favorite movement of any symphony? I was thinking earlier today how tough it would be to answer in my case. After pondering it some more, I'll have to come back to this with an answer later.
    Good idea, will do
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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    I prefer to listen to symphonies completely, not in terms of single movements. There is one though where one movement is so much better than the rest (to my taste) that I'll mention it here:

    Mahler's adagietto from the fifth.
    Und Morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen......

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    I'll go with the last movement of Mahler's symphony no. 4 - a wonderful blend of heaven and nature.

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    I choose the finale IV movement of Beethoven's symphony 7. It's so wonderfully passionate, and it stirs the blood in me so much, from start to finish. Other candidates for my favorite are Mahler's final movement in his 3rd symphony, Brahms 1st movement from his 4th symphony and Elgar's second symphony, 4th movement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyAlcott View Post
    I choose the finale IV movement of Beethoven's symphony 7. It's so wonderfully passionate, and it stirs the blood in me so much, from start to finish.
    I'm too lazy to look up the exact quote, but Grove says the finale of the 7th, like Carlyle's Ram Dass, has enough fire in its belly to burn up the world.


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    Difficult choice, certainly, for there are so many great "movements" which stay in the consciousness long after the orchestra has ceased playing. I can't give a definitive answer.

    But, the first "movement" that sprang to my mind upon reading this post was the Second Movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, long a beloved favorite of mine.

    A moment later the Third Movement of Tchaikovsky's Sixth jumped into the ranking, followed shortly after by the Final Movement of Brahms's First Symphony. Then rose the Finale of Mahler's Second. And it wasn't long before I was captured fully by the thought of the Scherzo of Bruckner's Seventh ….*

    * Since this will become a never ending commentary, I will break off at this point … just as the Third Movement of William Alwyn's Fourth Symphony comes to mind ….

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    Senior Member DeepR's Avatar
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    among others:
    Mozart 42 mov. 4
    Bruckner 9 mov. 1
    Sibelius 7

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    Hard choice but I'll go with the final movement of Brahms Symphony No. 2

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    The first movement of Beethoven's 7th is my favourite single movement. I use it as a benchmark when I start my Beethoven Symphony cycle reviews. Anyone who can get the start of the 7th right usually knocks out a decent cycle (but not always).

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    For me, it's a coin-flip between the Funeral March of the "Eroica" and the final movement of Mahler's Third. If I could cheat, I'd include the last three (conjoined) movements of Beethoven's "Pastoral" as a runner-up.

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    1) the first movement of Beethoven's 5th
    2) the second movement of Tchaikovsky's 1st
    3) the first movement of Mahler's 2nd
    4) the first movement of Schubert's 8th
    5) the second movement of Bruckner's 9th
    6) the fourth movement of Dvořák's 9th
    7) the second movement of Beethoven's 7th
    8) the third movement of Brahms 3rd
    9) the first movement of Shostakovich's 8th
    10) the third movement of Beethoven's 5th
    11) the first movement of Mendelssohn's 4th
    12) the first movement of Mozart's 25th

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