Posted by Jeffrey Bradbury on October 31, 1999 at 20:07:34:
In Reply to: Beethoven symphonies posted by Steve Chamberlin on July 21, 1999 at 23:45:03:
: Any thoughts on which is the "greatest" Beethoven symphony? And is that symphony (whichever one you choose) the "greatest ever"?
As a Viola major in college, i have performed Beethovens First, Second, Third, Fifth, and Sixth Symphony's. If I were to say witch was the greatest symphony to play, and to rehearse and to persorm, I would have to agree that the Third Symphony would be his greatest. It is a symphony witch makes you mentaly drained as well as physicallly drained after the night is over. The movements on average (not counting the third movement) are about 16 minutes long, and that wears a string players backout. I think the single "greatest" movement that Beethoven ever composed was the second movement in this symphony. It's full of darkness, and it's full of bass texture. The third movement is short in context of the whole, but very complex to play. It starts on a pickup, but since the movement is in a three beat, it sounds as if the first measure was in four. As a player you must not get lost. Then the transition into the fourth movement is a sudden change of tempo and character. Truly Beethovens third symphony is truly his greatest work that i have performed.
However If I were to put a gesture out to the symphony that has helped me through alot of hard times, It would have to be his fifth symphony. Starting out harsh in C minor, and resurecting it'self in the powerful home key of C major just keeps me on my feet when i play this as well as listen to it.
So i would first put my money on his third symphony being the greatest and secondly his fifth.
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