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TheMizwaOfMuzzyTah
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 1129
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:14 am 
 

This thread is for exclusive discussion of the symphonic form of music. It is one of the most beloved, and there is a large repertoire to discuss. Not to mention many masterpieces.

I guess I'll start. Whose works better to discuss than those of the elephant in the room? Beethoven's 3rd, "Eroica", is absolutely massive. I can't admit to having fully digested this monstrously genius work, but it never fails to enrapture me when I give it a good listen. The second movement, Marcia funebre, particularly catches my attention for what sounds quite like Bach in parts. Perhaps intentionally? It's hard to say. Beethoven was a known admirer of Bach. Or so says some random bullshit website from the internet.

Either way, Beethoven is sometimes intimidating. Does anyone agree? Provided the World Doesn't End In 2012, I've planned to see the Detroit Symphony Orchestra put on all 9 symphonies downtown. I'm taking my girl to see. My best experiences with Beefoven have been with a bowl of weed, Bose headphones, and Horowitz playing his sonatas - or Von Karajan giving the fifth a good once-over. The obvious cuts, and the oft-report bliss these genius, economic pieces have earned. But to take on All Nine Symphonies, Live And In Person, After Having Survived Timewave Fuckit, I think I may breakdown into fits of tearful euphoria.

The 9th! The 9th! Ode to Joy is too much to write about, really. The 9th Symphony will always be beyond words. Beyond anything I can comprehend, anyhow. I'm not fit to judge that piece of music.

Meanwhile, In Finland, Sibelius is Rocking Socks, and Getting Panties Into Knots. His 4 symphonies sound unique, but they maintain powerful structural force and propel force with grace. Sibelius, more than any other composer I can think of, captures the musical sounds of snow better than anyone to attempt to do so in the musical form. Sibelius was on to the aesthetic a lot of metal bands from that area of our planet now try to capture a long time ago. Of course, I don't really know much as far as that is concerned - I live in the Toilet Bowl Detroit took a Massive Shit into, and all observations of mine are from the sad mind of a confused, disgruntled, and recently poor suburbanite.

What are your favorite symphonies? How did you fall in love with them? Etc.

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jute
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:30 am
Posts: 146
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:57 pm 
 

Sibelius composed seven symphonies, not four. At least a few of those probably make my top 10. I've never been fond of Beethoven. I'll probably respond more after some thought.
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TheMizwaOfMuzzyTah
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 1129
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:06 am 
 

I actually knew that, I just have a recording of the first four by von Karajan and the Berlin Phjilharmoniker that is one of my favorites and I just always think of it as 'the four...'

I heard somewhere there is a lost 8th symphony of his.

You know who was a surprisingly lackluster symphonist, given his unbelievable talnet? Scriabin. He was much better at tone poems and the like.

I don't understand how you can't like Beethoven, but I guess different strokes and the such.

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PhilosophicalFrog
The Hypercube

Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 7:08 pm
Posts: 5493
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:57 am 
 

Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over. I never heard of Sibelius, and listening to the entirety of his first symphony: I wept. Like a child before a disappointed mother, I wept. Perfect fuel for the act of contemplation. Thank you again.
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DeathfareDevil
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:30 am
Posts: 524
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:16 am 
 

For the longest time I felt that Beethoven's Fifth wasn't just the best symphony, but the most perfect piece of pure music ever composed -- and maybe if I lean more on that word, "pure," that still holds true; however after paying more attention to the Eroica, and allowing for an appeal to my emotionalism that trumps any intellectual appreciation for abstract form and structure, then yeah, the Third would be the best.

Would be. Problem is, Franz Schubert left behind two movements that manage to form the symphony, his Eighth, which pretty much obliterates anything else I've heard. For whatever reason, Schubert's themes -- not just in his symphonies, don't even get me started on his songs -- resonate with me in a way unlike those of any other composer. I can't use his stuff as background music because I'll find my eyes losing focus and my mind going to that comfortably misty place that admits no multitasking. The "unfinished" Eighth turns Schubert's usually intimate lyricism into something cosmic and eternal, and the cycle I own, Bohm's with the Berlin Phil., more than lives up to that challenge.

The composers that bridge the Classical and the Romantic, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, et al., tend to be the ones who "speak" to me most directly, but Shostakovich (his 10th is incendiary) gets his fair share of time in my CD player. As do the composers known for symphonic poems, e.g.: Liszt, Franck, Smetana, Berlioz.

Actually Franck's Accursed Huntsman was the first "classical" piece that really opened up my mind to how powerful and useful this music can be. I think I was 14 or 15 at the time, listening to Public Radio on my Walkman in bed, and after returning from wherever Mssr. Franck had taken me, I had one of those "whoa" Keanu moments. It's no surprise that around that same time I was likewise making the transition from horrible glam rock to more inspired metal like King Diamond, Savatage, and Dark Angel.

All this time, though, and I still haven't seen an orchestral performance in the flesh. Need to rectify that.

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ScandalfTheShite
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:46 am
Posts: 392
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:42 am 
 

I used the CD consisting of Sibelius' 6th and 7th symphonies and opus Tapiola as my night-time album for quite some time. Next to get is probably The Swan of Tuonela. Never heard the peace of death put so well into music.
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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
Posts: 3637
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:45 am 
 

I recently got an 85 CD Beethoven collection. Jesus Christ.

The 1913 recording of his 5th is pretty interesting.

I really like Rachmaninov's symphonic stuff, despite being known primarily for his piano works.
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inhumanist
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:09 pm
Posts: 4136
Location: 50 Forts Along The Rhine
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:10 am 
 

Any love for Dvořák? His fourth ninth is currently my favourite symphony. Not sure what to say about it... uh... parts of it are really catchy...
It's also totally epic and engrossing. And every note of it seems perfectly placed for dramatic effect. Most dramatic piece of music I've heard to be honest.
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Last edited by inhumanist on Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TheMizwaOfMuzzyTah
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 1129
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:30 pm 
 

PhilosophicalFrog wrote:
Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over. I never heard of Sibelius, and listening to the entirety of his first symphony: I wept. Like a child before a disappointed mother, I wept. Perfect fuel for the act of contemplation. Thank you again.


:) I'm glad you got so much out of it. It is a wonderful piece of music.


@ inhumanist: I only know the biggie, the 9th, but it is indeed mighty.

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inhumanist
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:09 pm
Posts: 4136
Location: 50 Forts Along The Rhine
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:38 pm 
 

Sorry, I did mean the ninth. I was confused by the album which is labeled no. 4 (in a series of CDs). :boo: I also have his 8th but only since recently.
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Celtic Frosted Flakes wrote:
Compared to how it is here in Sweden, fascism sounds like paradise.
Metantoine wrote:
If Summoning is the sugar of fantasy metal, is Manowar the bacon?

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PhilosophicalFrog
The Hypercube

Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 7:08 pm
Posts: 5493
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:10 am 
 

Ok, been listening to Sibelius fairly regularly, and each listen reveals another layer. It's like the order of the heavens, completely concentrated into Western music. It's perfect, for lack of any better word. If I love him, who else would I enjoy?

Again, thank you, from the bottom of my soul for bringing him up. Each movement tugs at my heart strings, bringing me closer and closer to this obscured idea of perfection. I cannot stress to you how much I enjoy him.
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jute
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:30 am
Posts: 146
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:26 am 
 

If you like Sibelius, you would like a lot of 20th-century British music: Bax, Moeran, Vaughan Williams, etc. I seem to remember you saying you liked Moeran so this might be old news to you. Sibelius was also a big influence on 20c. American composers like Roy Harris (who then influenced Willian Schuman), but the tone is understandably different. There are some other Scandinavians who you might like: Nielsen, Atterberg, Alfven, Stenhammer, Tveitt. Of these I have the most familiarity with the first and last, both of whom I recommend.

You could probably get some good suggestions by searching this forum for a keyword like "Sibelian". Their composer index is a good way to find discussions about composers you're interested in: http://www.good-music-guide.com/communi ... 229.0.html
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TheMizwaOfMuzzyTah
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 1129
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:40 pm 
 

I just wanted to mention Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique!

I listened to it last night, and the night before, and was absolutely stunned into mental stillness by it. A radical piece of endless excitement, boundless shade and color, and the perfect taste of a Frenchman. Though it broods and simmers with melancholy and explosive rage, it maintains a bizarre boyish quality that moves the entire piece along rapidly. And so much lyricism; one of the greatest Romantic symphonies to be sure. For me, at least.

The first movement, Reveries - Passions, is perhaps my favorite, but who can deny the gripping power of the infamous FIFTH movement (then unheard of in symphonic format, I believe) - Dreams of a Witches' Sabbath? Hold your breath while you listen.

I'll listen to this one again tonight, and for years to come.

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inhumanist
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:09 pm
Posts: 4136
Location: 50 Forts Along The Rhine
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:59 pm 
 

Magnificent! Thank you for the tip!
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Celtic Frosted Flakes wrote:
Compared to how it is here in Sweden, fascism sounds like paradise.
Metantoine wrote:
If Summoning is the sugar of fantasy metal, is Manowar the bacon?

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Iron_Boyz
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:55 am
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:39 pm 
 

only heard Mahler's 5th on any regular basis. Thought it was lengthy and dynamic, a good example of the power of symphonies.

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orionmetalhead
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:54 am
Posts: 2446
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:20 am 
 

Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring is definitely my favorite classical piece. I love the atonality of many of the sections and the imagery the movements create is incredibly.
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Mr_Belvedere
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:42 pm
Posts: 1602
Location: Austria
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:24 am 
 

Bittersweet Symphony !
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TheMizwaOfMuzzyTah
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 1129
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:32 pm 
 

Nope. Has anyone listened to any of Anton Bruckner's symphonies, though? Absolutely monstrous. He out-Wagners Wagner.

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bucephalus
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:06 am
Posts: 27
Location: far, far away
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:58 am 
 

That one by Maurice Ravel (my favorite classical composer, btw).
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orionmetalhead
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:54 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:36 am 
 

TheMizwaOfMuzzyTah wrote:
I just wanted to mention Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique!


Berlioz gets very little credit but he's written some incredible compositions.
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