Thursday, August 20, 2009

Assignment 5

Now that we only have a couple of symphonies left to read in Assignment Four, it's time to start looking ahead to Assignment Five in our ongoing study of "How to Read a Symphony Like a Book." Here are the next "baker's dozen" of symphonic stories I propose to get caught up in...
  • C.P.E. Bach's D major Symphony Wq 183:1/H 663
  • Haydn's 95th Symphony in c minor
  • Haydn's 102nd Symphony in B-flat
  • Mozart's 29th Symphony in A
  • Mozart's 31st Symphony in D, "Paris"
  • Beethoven's 1st Symphony in C
  • Schubert's 6th Symphony in C
  • Dvořák's 6th Symphony in D
  • Dvořák's 7th Symphony in d minor
  • Bruckner's 6th Symphony in A
  • Mahler's 6th Symphony in a minor
  • Sibelius' 6th Symphony in d minor
  • William Walton's 1st Symphony in b-flat minor
You'll be glad to know that I reconsidered the idea I'd had of devoting Assignment 5 to musical expressions of tragedy. I left Mahler's 6th in there, but I couldn't bring myself to add the Fourth Symphonies by Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, and Shostakovich. Not all at once. That would just be too depressing. Instead, this group of works is a sort of "Sixth Symphony Extravaganza."

Just by way of review, here are Assignment One, Assignment Two, and Assignment Three; to read what I had to say about these symphonies, and more, simply read backward through this thread. Meanwhile, do what you can to get the above 13 symphonies in your ears. They won't be hard on your ears. I'm not pushing the Twentieth Century quite so hard this time. But maybe hearing music like the Walton will begin to convince you that all 20th-century music isn't chaos and noise.

1 comment:

Robbie F. said...

FYI, the designations "Wq 183:1" and "H 663" refer to items in the Wotquenne and Helm catalogs of Emanuel Bach's works, respectively. Alas, Emanuel's symphonies are not sequentially numbered like those of later composers.