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Thread: “Complete sets” that need editing

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Default “Complete sets” that need editing

    Suggested by a new Dvorak symphony cycle post:

    There are quite a few “sets” and “cycles” around that have members unworthy of standing in the company of their neighbors. For instance: Beethoven didn’t write 32 piano sonatas; he wrote 30 plus two sonatines intended for beginners, nice enough but of vastly less musical interest. So I propose that the Op. 49 “sonatas” be reclassified as sonatines, lose their opus number, and be relegated to the WoO listing. Then the new sonata cycle can be properly renumbered from No. 1 to No. 30.

    How about you? Want to tidy things up a bit? What sets or cycles do you think need editing?


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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Well, of course, there is the fact that Mozart didn't write a 37th Symphony, so really only 40 "canonical" ones. Is there a similar situation with Haydn, or am I imagining that? The Mahler debate has been well played-out in other threads. Mendelssohn's "Lobgesang" doesn't strike me as fitting enough for the title of his 2nd Symphony. I'm sure there are more that I'm blanking out on right now.

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    Senior Member DaddyGeorge's Avatar
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    I can think of Bruckner, I don't know the scores of his unnumbered symphonies, so I don't have a clear view of whether to include them in the cycle, but I don't like too much the numbering of symphony in D minor as #0 and sometimes even symphony in F minor as #00.
    I can also think of Schubert's (7/8) or Dvořák's (5/9) symphonies, although I know that, given the historical context, that uniformity of numbering is problematic.

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    I often wish we could eliminate the second and third symphonies from Shostakovich's set. He probably would too!

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    I certainly wouldn't mind a "complete" Mozart symphony set that only included about 20 symphonies. :-)
    Last edited by MarkW; Apr-09-2020 at 02:10.

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    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    There are quite a few “sets” and “cycles” around that have members unworthy of standing in the company of their neighbors. For instance: Beethoven didn’t write 32 piano sonatas; he wrote 30 plus two sonatines intended for beginners, nice enough but of vastly less musical interest. So I propose that the Op. 49 “sonatas” be reclassified as sonatines, lose their opus number, and be relegated to the WoO listing. Then the new sonata cycle can be properly renumbered from No. 1 to No. 30.
    The Op.49 sonatas are pretty good actually. Beethoven didn't write 32 piano sonatas; he wrote 31 sonatas and 1 "piece of monstrosity" numbered Op.106. So I propose that Op.106 be reclassified as a "monster", lose its opus number, and be relegated to the Hess listing, since it only has as much artistic value as the counterpoint exercises he did with Haydn and Albrechtsberger. Then the new sonata cycle can be properly renumbered from No. 1 to No.31.




    Of course, I'm just kidding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    Well, of course, there is the fact that Mozart didn't write a 37th Symphony, so really only 40 "canonical" ones.
    There are several numbered ones (Nos. 2, 3, 11) that are considered 'spurious', so roughly Mozart wrote like 37 "authentic" symphonies.
    "There are also several "unnumbered" symphonies from this time period. Many of them were given numbers past 41 (but not in chronological order) in an older collection of Mozart's works (Mozart-Werke, 1877–1910, referred to as "GA"), but newer collections refer to them only by their entries in the Köchel catalogue. Many of these cannot be definitively established as having been written by Mozart"
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Apr-09-2020 at 02:50.

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    Senior Member Lilijana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    I often wish we could eliminate the second and third symphonies from Shostakovich's set. He probably would too!
    NOOOO

    These are two of the best things he wrote!

    Good grief, this thread is full of some real spicy takes.

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    Senior Member SONNET CLV's Avatar
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    I'm still trying to figure out if Tchaikovsky wrote only six symphonies; or seven! Or, if Ormandy is right, a 7th in E-Flat … or is that the 8th?! Or is that actually Ormandy's First!!!

    Vr-TC1.jpg

    Vr-TC3.jpg

    Vr-TC2.jpg



    I don't even want to get into how we are supposed to spell Tchaikovsky's name. I have albums with Tchaikowsky, Tschaikowsky, Tschaikovsky, Chaikovsky, Tjajkovskij, Tchaikowski ...

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    Senior Member BrahmsWasAGreatMelodist's Avatar
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    Schubert symphonies, of course (remove no. 7).

    The book Mozart and his Piano Concertos (along with numerous other sources) disregards the first four concertos, which are transcriptions of works by other composers, and labels k. 175 (what we think of #5) as #1.

    I disagree with the post quoted in the OP regarding Beethoven's op. 49 sonatas.
    Last edited by BrahmsWasAGreatMelodist; Apr-09-2020 at 05:25.
    Casual composer, pianist, music enthusiast

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Haydn could use a little attention. He wrote 106 surviving symphonies, including Symphonies A and B. None are of doubtful attribution. So his symphonies should be re-ordered to match current estimates of their composition dates (some are quite a bit off now) with A and B placed in proper sequence and numbered accordingly. Then we’d never again have to hear that “Haydn wrote 104 symphonies” stuff!


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    Senior Member Lilijana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    Haydn could use a little attention. He wrote 106 surviving symphonies, including Symphonies A and B. None are of doubtful attribution. So his symphonies should be re-ordered to match current estimates of their composition dates (some are quite a bit off now) with A and B placed in proper sequence and numbered accordingly. Then we’d never again have to hear that “Haydn wrote 104 symphonies” stuff!
    This made me think.......

    A bunch of Segerstam symphonies are, in reality, 'orchestral diary sheets' as he originally referred to them. Perhaps we can cut down on his numbered symphonies to make it a little more manageable.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilijana View Post
    NOOOO

    These are two of the best things he wrote!

    Good grief, this thread is full of some real spicy takes.
    Now that’s a hot take. But if you insist. I’ll have to revisit those two symphonies with that in mind...

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    I would definitely consider Bruckner and numbering his Symphonies 1-11.
    Although his earlier Symphonies are considered as his study Symphonies I found them to be really likeable if not as deep as his later works. There are a couple of cycles out there which include these works but it would be great to see some of the better Bruckner conductors attempt them
    Last edited by Long02; Apr-13-2020 at 15:12. Reason: Missed first sentence

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I don't think the numbering of Bruckner's symphonies is the real problem - it's the different versions/editions for most of them which turn the cycle into a bit of a hornets nest.
    '...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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    Yeah there’s no arguing with that. If we were to do a cycle with all his versions his symphonic output might begin to look more like Haydn’s

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