Let’s play a guessing game!

The dramatic conclusion that tens of people are looking forward to is very nearly upon us: this week the greatest symphony movement of all time will be revealed in a fiery blaze of hellbound fury and erotic tension. This has been a fun exercise, and I hope at least one thing was learned by one person somewhere or other. I’ve certainly enjoyed plowing through a bunch of really great music, so I guess I’m the real winner here.

I thought it might be fun to have a little prelude to the grand finale in which you fine folks who have been keeping up with the proceedings throw your two cents into the mix in a couple ways. First, I’m curious to hear what you think the number one choice is going to be. Second, I’d like to know what you think SHOULD reign supreme as the greatest symphony movement ever. To me the choice is incredibly obvious, and I’ve never wavered on it since the beginning of this project (if I can be so silly as to call it a project).

So let’s hear it. Comment here, do that thing where you put the @ sign with my Twitter handle so it gets to me, shout it from the top of a mountain, whatever you want…and then look forward to the epic unveiling of the one movement to rule them all.

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10 thoughts on “Let’s play a guessing game!

  1. I was expecting a Mahler or a Bruckner movement to top your list, but I doubt you’ll be repeating composers. Sibelius and Shostakovich are also off the table. I wouldn’t be surprised if a Beethoven movement tops the list, perhaps the first movement of the 5th. You have professed your love for it in these digital annals several times, so that would be my best guess.

  2. Wow, I was thinking the exact same thing as the 1st commenter. It won’t be a repeat composer, and you haven’t done Beethoven yet. And the 1st movement of the 5th symphony seems right to me. If not that, then the 1st movement of the 9th (which would be my answer if I were writing the list – who else but Beethoven can make an octave so damn dramatic?).

    Two more things:
    1) What do you have against slow movements?
    2) It is a source of great pride that I guessed that Sibelius’s 7th would make your list as a one-movement piece. I can’t recall what name I used, but I was the one who commented. So my life has some meaning after all.

  3. I’m up for Beethoven. However, I like Beethoven 9, 2nd movement scherzo-vivace. It builds, it ebbs, it flows, that awesome tympani throughout…Please say it is so! :)

  4. Well, my gut tells me it’s Haydn, but I’m thinking first movement of Beethoven 7. because that would be MY choice…

  5. I was just also thinking, Nielsen hasn’t shown up yet! I don’t know what movement it might be, but for me, it would be the first movement of the Espansiva, but I think a better contender from everyone’s favorite Dane would be the first movement from the 5th.

  6. Kind of just repeating comments from above. Before you revealed the first nine I would have guessed a movement from Mahler or Bruckner, but now I am thinking it must be something by Beethoven with the first movement of the fifth being most likely. I will suggest the second movement of the seventh as a possible alternate so that you have a shout out to a (quasi) slow movement. If it were me, as my user name attests, I would have to make it something by Dvorak (especially since he is unrepresented in the top ten). How about the third movement from the eighth?

  7. Assuming the 1st spot belongs to Beethoven, here are composers who are unrepresented on your list, and the movements I would choose (for your top 10 list, not necessarily for 1st):
    Mendelssohn: either the 1st of the Scottish, or the 4th of the Italian
    Nielsen: 1st of the 5th
    Tchaikovsky: 1st of the 4th, or 1st of the Manfred
    Dvorak: 1st of the 7th, or 4th of the New World
    Prokofiev: 2nd of the 5th

    Kick off Honneger, Strauss, and Hovhaness and put some of these in their place.

  8. While Beethoven remains most likely, Klackner is purportedly on a Schubert feast right now. Any chance he goes with the first movement of the Unfinished, very much a precursor of the Bruckner/Mahler tradition that is close to his heart?

  9. Beethoven 9, final movement. No doubt about it.

  10. It should be Jupiter`s finale (a apoteosis who turns you on even if you have a date with Condolleza Rice), but it isn’t.
    Probably it`s Beethoven. I guess its 5 – I. But 3 – I, II, 5 – IV, 9 – anyone would be a fair answer.

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