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Thread: Hi - need help rounding out a symphonic journey

  1. #91
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    Feels like I should give an update.

    I am trying really hard to fully appreciate Suk's Asrael. I've listened to it probably close to 20 times. Sometimes I can't focus on every movement in the way I know that I need to. I feel like I would really like all the moments that pass me by. There is so much about it I like. The violin and harp parts are exquisite. The grandeur. At times it feels like John Williams stole from it, it has the epic feel of intergalactic struggle.

    But time marches on. Yet I am dedicated to this. So I go back and listen to Beethoven's 9th, and I also listen to Brahms 1st. And even Mozart's 25th to prep for next week.

    This is difficult, but still extremely pleasant. It's a matter of making the listening to a symphonic work a singular priority. That is not always easy, even when it could be played to accompany normal tasks.

    At this moment, if I had to rank them in terms of instant dopamine reward, I'd rank as so:

    Haydn's 104th
    Beethoven's 9th
    Suk Asrael
    Mozart's 25th
    Brahms' 1st

    If I had to rank in terms of food for a desert island, I'd rank:

    Beethoven's 9th
    Suk's Asrael
    Brahms 1st
    Mozart's 25th
    Haydn 104th

    What is odd is that I expect to find a certain addictive quality in music that I haven't found as I had hoped to this point. Only the Haydn and the 2d movement of the 9th have that earworm quality to it. Yes, I want to feel like I need to nod my head or dance a jig! I want rapture!

    I also know that this feeling I describe, of finding obsession and rapture, can take effort on my part. I've done this, I understand that it can be unpacked from within complexity.

    But that comes down to the concentration and priority and time.

    I should also be working on my piano repertoire, I haven't yet mastered the Bach fugue I'm working on, even if I have the notes memorized.

    So if I have a point, and I doubt that, it would be that I am taking this quite seriously but perhaps I need to take it more seriously. And this demands sacrifice that I thought would be easier.

  2. #92
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    So you listened to the Asrael symphony 20 times and still don't think you're taking it seriously? To me it sounds like you should move around more until you find the pieces you like. Classical music isn't supposed to be punishment, and you can always return to something later.

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  4. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndorFoldes View Post
    So you listened to the Asrael symphony 20 times and still don't think you're taking it seriously? To me it sounds like you should move around more until you find the pieces you like. Classical music isn't supposed to be punishment, and you can always return to something later.
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by hawgdriver View Post
    What is odd is that I expect to find a certain addictive quality in music that I haven't found as I had hoped to this point. Only the Haydn and the 2d movement of the 9th have that earworm quality to it. Yes, I want to feel like I need to nod my head or dance a jig! I want rapture!
    Listen to this and this. Thank me later.
    Last edited by Xisten267; Sep-25-2021 at 20:18.

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  6. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xisten267 View Post
    Listen to this and this. Thank me later.
    Great suggestions. I'm going to make some too. The links are to movements, but you can always explore the rest of each work. Something similar to Haydn's Symphony No. 104, which you liked:

    Karajan - Haydn - First movement from Symphony No. 82

    You mentioned intergalactic struggle, and while this is not a symphony, I can't think of anything that would be more appropriate:

    Dutoit - Holst - Mars from The Planets

    As for that intoxicating feeling you're looking for, this is something to consider. First one is a Scherzo like the Beethoven:

    Previn - Walton - Second movement from Symphony No. 1
    Previn - Walton - First movement from Symphony No. 1

    And here is another one:

    Levine - Schumann - Third movement from Symphony No. 4
    Last edited by AndorFoldes; Sep-25-2021 at 22:05.

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  8. #95
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    While it is admirable to spend so much time with a comparably tough work (that most people would put in tier 2-3), in 20 hours you could have listened to all of the other Beethoven (1-8) and a dozen of Haydn symphonies twice over.

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  10. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kreisler jr View Post
    While it is admirable to spend so much time with a comparably tough work (that most people would put in tier 2-3), in 20 hours you could have listened to all of the other Beethoven (1-8) and a dozen of Haydn symphonies twice over.
    I regret nothing!

  11. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndorFoldes View Post
    So you listened to the Asrael symphony 20 times and still don't think you're taking it seriously? To me it sounds like you should move around more until you find the pieces you like. Classical music isn't supposed to be punishment, and you can always return to something later.
    I just feel like I'm about to really gel with Asrael, more and more of it opens up each time.

    I am engaged in a bit of self-flagellation, there's no way around it. I feel like with a lot of music, even outside of classical, you have to sort of pay your dues before you find the treasure within.

    But it's a healthy suggesting you offer. The more fun it is, the more it is self-sustaining. The less I have to 'apply discipline' as it were.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndorFoldes View Post
    Great suggestions. I'm going to make some too. The links are to movements, but you can always explore the rest of each work. Something similar to Haydn's Symphony No. 104, which you liked:

    Karajan - Haydn - First movement from Symphony No. 82

    You mentioned intergalactic struggle, and while this is not a symphony, I can't think of anything that would be more appropriate:

    Dutoit - Holst - Mars from The Planets

    As for that intoxicating feeling you're looking for, this is something to consider. First one is a Scherzo like the Beethoven:

    Previn - Walton - Second movement from Symphony No. 1
    Previn - Walton - First movement from Symphony No. 1

    And here is another one:

    Levine - Schumann - Third movement from Symphony No. 4
    Thanks for the suggestions! I am very curious about the Walton, it's been borderline on the list. And the Haydn...well, I wasn't expecting to love his stuff as much as I did, so I expect to dive deeply into his oeuvre in the coming years.

  12. #98
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    ^

    Just realized I had included the Walton No. 1 at the 11th hour. The list is still wet concrete, btw. Oh wait, no, at 11:01 it appears I replaced it with Brahms #2. Hm. I might reverse that.

    I've thought about expanding this journey into two-week marinations, it really takes me quite a bit longer than I expected to be able to 'come home' so to speak, with some of these works. The Mozart and Haydn can be digested more quickly, but the other three require more time.

    I thought about expanding it to two weeks each, but I think I'd rather just keep it as is and hope that I'll have enough time over the year to revisit and form a more complete evaluation of each.

    For convenience, this is the slate (the numbers are a guess/feeling about 'ranking')

    50 - Haydn #104
    2 - Beethoven #9
    44 - Suk Azrael
    9 - Brahms #1
    45 - Mozart #25
    5 - Mahler #2
    49 - Dvorak #7
    13 - Mozart #40
    30 - Messaien Turanglila
    24 - Sibelius #2
    28 - Gorecki #3
    14 - Dvorak #9
    21 - Schumann #3
    18 - Beethoven #5
    40 - Hindemith Mathis der Maler
    17 - Beethoven #7
    38 - Nielsen #4
    12 - Shostakovich #5
    31 - Vaughan Williams #2
    19 - Schubert #8
    25 - Rachmaninoff #2
    33 - Mahler #6
    22 - Brahms #2 or Walton #1
    43 - Saint-Saen #3
    35 - Copland #3
    11 - Mahler #3
    46 - Prokofiev #5
    23 - Bruckner #7
    39 - Gliere #3
    20 - Beethoven #6
    41 - Brahms #3
    27 - Shostakovich #10
    34 - Mendelssohn #4
    32 - Haydn #39
    36 - Borodin #2
    XX - Chausson
    26 - Bruckner #9
    16 - Sibelius #7
    8 - Schubert #9
    47 - Tchaikovsky #5
    42 - Franck Symphony in Dm
    37 - Martinu #6
    3 - Mozart #41
    29 - Nielsen #5
    15 - Bruckner #8
    10 - Tchaikovsky #6
    6 - Brahms #4
    4 - Mahler #9
    7 - Berlioz SF
    1 - Beethoven #3

    Next up is Mahler #2, which I have heard several times when I was on a Mahler kick. That will help me a bit in terms of the time constraint. I'm looking forward to it.

    The Mozart #25 is a terrific symphony, but I find myself spending more time with the Brahms #1. I am so curious about why he spent so long on it, why it was too much like Beethoven, and because it was from around the same time he composed his 2d piano concerto (iirc). Brahms, well, I'd just like to understand him better.

    Here's a list of the works that might replace a given symphony depending on how it goes:

    An additional work by any of the following composers:

    Beethoven
    Haydn (maybe sub in something instead of my odd choice of 39)
    Mozart
    Brahms 2 (if I go with the Walton)
    Schumann
    Sibelius
    Shosty
    Tchaikovsky
    Bruckner
    Elgar
    Ives

    Also these specific works:

    Dvorak 8
    Mendelssohn 3
    Glazunov 4
    Scriabin 3
    Berwald 3
    Bizet C maj
    Reinecke 2

    Thanks for all the help!

  13. #99
    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Just thought - can't remember if you've consulted this, to help with your ranking:

    The 20 Greatest Symphonies of all time


    https://www.classical-music.com/feat...nies-all-time/
    Last edited by Forster; Oct-01-2021 at 09:20.

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  15. #100
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    I though Haydn's 104 was a personal favorite of yours, what does #50 mean then?

    From your list, I'd consider Gorecki, Gliere, Copland, Chausson, Walton, Martinu, Suk as comparably "exotic" but I'd stick with it because most replacements would not be obvious "improvements" although I'd personally include e.g. Bizet before any of these. But I don't think it is worth spending now any more effort on editing the list instead of just listening

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  17. #101
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    There's always the TC 150 Most Recommended Symphonies list as a reference as well. Looking at it you'll notice that Mahler's #2, the next symphony in your project, is one of the best loved and more admired works in the genre around here.

  18. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Just thought - can't remember if you've consulted this, to help with your ranking:

    The 20 Greatest Symphonies of all time


    https://www.classical-music.com/feat...nies-all-time/
    It looks familiar, but I can't be sure... I looked at about 10 or so sources similar to this, but weighted the TC list highest. I am happy to see that all or nearly all of those 20 are on my list.

  19. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kreisler jr View Post
    I though Haydn's 104 was a personal favorite of yours, what does #50 mean then?

    From your list, I'd consider Gorecki, Gliere, Copland, Chausson, Walton, Martinu, Suk as comparably "exotic" but I'd stick with it because most replacements would not be obvious "improvements" although I'd personally include e.g. Bizet before any of these. But I don't think it is worth spending now any more effort on editing the list instead of just listening
    The #50 was the internal 'objective' ranking based on several sources and my own expectation of what would rise to the top. It was a pleasant surprise to find I liked it as much as I did.

  20. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kreisler jr View Post
    From your list, I'd consider Gorecki, Gliere, Copland, Chausson, Walton, Martinu, Suk as comparably "exotic" but I'd stick with it because most replacements would not be obvious "improvements" although I'd personally include e.g. Bizet before any of these. But I don't think it is worth spending now any more effort on editing the list instead of just listening
    Yeah, it probably tilts too exotic, but I'm on a quest for pleasant surprises.

    The Chausson in particular, and you could extend that to the rest just as well. But then, things speak for themselves, and ideas like a ranking are pretty silly in the end.

    I'm very curious about the Bizet. I think my (highly unenlightened and superficial) reluctance towards the Bizet is because I don't like what Rimsky-Korsikov did with Mussorgsky's Pictures. Also not a fan of Ravel's piano concerto. I think Bizet was of that era.

  21. #105
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    So I really like Mahler's #2. It goes on a bit, sometimes it's a scheduling issue, like I need to arrange my day around it, but it might be my favorite so far. I don't know that the final movement lives up to the promise of the first movement, but it's satisfying all the same. I'll be curious how it shakes out in the end, but I might end up feeling that Mahler>Beethoven in this medium.

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