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#2056148 - 03/29/13 10:43 AM Top 10/10 Best Mozart and Haydn symphonies?
BWV 846 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 103
Loc: Silver Spring, Maryland
I am an adult beginner and I'm trying to listen to a lot of classical music -- keyboard and non-keyboard -- to increase my knowledge. But there's SO much out there.

As far as symphonies, figuring out Beethoven's top 10 is pretty easy. With Mozart and Haydn, it's a bit tougher. So I would appreciate any recommendations or sources on the 10 best Mozart and Haydn symphonies -- to give me a good starting point. Danke.

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#2056152 - 03/29/13 10:50 AM Re: Top 10/10 Best Mozart and Haydn symphonies? [Re: BWV 846]
boo1234 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 512
For Mozart, I'd say the symphonies in the 30s through the Jupiter.

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#2056174 - 03/29/13 11:21 AM Re: Top 10/10 Best Mozart and Haydn symphonies? [Re: BWV 846]
the nosy ape Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 715
Loc: Westford, MA
The problem with ranking the "greatness" of music is that everyone has different criteria. Most would probably pick the ones they are the most familiar with. For the symphonies of Mozart and Haydn you might as well pick ones out of a hat. There is not a bad one in the bunch. Just go to YouTube and give them a listen, then you will have a better idea of the ones that deserve listening to a better recording.

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#2056187 - 03/29/13 11:38 AM Re: Top 10/10 Best Mozart and Haydn symphonies? [Re: boo1234]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4806
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: boo1234
For Mozart, I'd say the symphonies in the 30s through the Jupiter.

I agree. For Mozart, I'm especially fond of #35, 39, 40 and 41. I can't think of any specific ones for Haydn. There are so many. Every one I've heard, (and I haven't heard them all), is wonderful.
_________________________
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#2056194 - 03/29/13 11:43 AM Re: Top 10/10 Best Mozart and Haydn symphonies? [Re: the nosy ape]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: the nosy ape
The problem with ranking the "greatness" of music is that everyone has different criteria.

For this question there's a bigger problem: Few people know more than 10 of Mozart or of Haydn. Few know as many as 10. (I don't.)

Quote:
Most would probably pick the ones they are the most familiar with....

Absolutely. How could we not? grin

Or, maybe not necessarily. I hear that the voters on the Oscars haven't even necessarily seen what they vote for. Some joker said that what they do is, they vote for what they think they would have liked most if they'd seen it. ha

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#2056210 - 03/29/13 12:06 PM Re: Top 10/10 Best Mozart and Haydn symphonies? [Re: BWV 846]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21674
Loc: Oakland
Start with the last, and work towards the earlier symphonies. Most composers got better with experience.
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#2056232 - 03/29/13 12:47 PM Re: Top 10/10 Best Mozart and Haydn symphonies? [Re: BWV 846]
mermilylumpkin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 121
I've never been a big fan of "Top Ten Best" lists personally. Each piece of classical music is its own separate experience to me and I've never felt that I wanted to compare them and rank them. Somehow it's a little sad thinking of "Beethoven's top ten" because what about all the other interesting and fascinating little things that are not so monumental, but still special and great? Though on reflection I guess it is easy to choose which ten symphonies are Beethoven's best, since he only wrote 9 didn't he?

For me, one of the ways I got really really into classical music was trolling around on YouTube. A friend of mine sent me a link to Martha Argerich playing Jeux d'eau and in the sidebar there's always another dozen historical virtuoso piano recordings to listen to. Most of the time they are wonderful and frequently they are new to me.

If you're trying to stoke your own interest, I'd say follow your own inclinations and desires to listen to such-and-such a piece instead of listening to what you feel like you're supposed to like because it's on a list.


Edited by mermilylumpkin (03/29/13 12:52 PM)

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#2056233 - 03/29/13 12:54 PM Re: Top 10/10 Best Mozart and Haydn symphonies? [Re: BDB]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 778
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
Start with the last, and work towards the earlier symphonies. Most composers got better with experience.

I agree - with one exception: Mozart 25 in G Minor, K.183, notably the 1st movement. Don't wait to work your way back. It opens with a wonderfully rousing theme, and a somewhat "jarring" 3rd interval (for Mozart, anyway), followed by a haunting echo of the theme by the oboe. It's got a driving rhythm, and makes for a beautiful morning wakeup piece. Crank up the volume! smile

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#2056238 - 03/29/13 01:08 PM Re: Top 10/10 Best Mozart and Haydn symphonies? [Re: Old Man]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Old Man
.....Mozart 25 in G Minor, K.183, notably the 1st movement....

Thanks for the advertisement! grin

I went right away to check it out. Was it in the movie Amadeus? For sure it has at least a phrase from this -- the very striking opening of the 1st theme (right after the 4 bar 'intro'); or maybe did Mozart use that same thing in one of his OPERAS? I remember that when I heard it in Amadeus I mostly assumed it was from an opera.

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#2056300 - 03/29/13 02:56 PM Re: Top 10/10 Best Mozart and Haydn symphonies? [Re: BWV 846]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5281
For Mozart, No.25 (his 'Little G minor') and No.40 ('Big G minor'), both in the Sturm und Drang manner (but far transcending most other such pieces by other composers), are good introductions to his early-ish and late period symphonies. For No.25's first movement, you definitely want to listen to a performance which has the first and second violins divided left and right: the motifs get tossed from one to the other, in glorious Technicolor stereo grin. (Try the Wiener Philharmoniker/James Levine performance).

Then you might want to try No.29, then No.41 (Jupiter), whose finale contains contrapuntal ingenuity of the sort even the great JSB might envy (five different tunes introduced separately, then miraculously combined in the amazing coda....).
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2056304 - 03/29/13 02:59 PM Re: Top 10/10 Best Mozart and Haydn symphonies? [Re: Mark_C]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 778
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Old Man
.....Mozart 25 in G Minor, K.183, notably the 1st movement....

Thanks for the advertisement! grin

I went right away to check it out. Was it in the movie Amadeus? For sure it has at least a phrase from this -- the very striking opening of the 1st theme (right after the 4 bar 'intro'); or maybe did Mozart use that same thing in one of his OPERAS? I remember that when I heard it in Amadeus I mostly assumed it was from an opera.

Now that you mention it, I think you're right! I must have caught the original ear worm from Amadeus. (Thanks for the diagnosis, doc. Whad I owe ya?" grin ) All I know is that I would hear it as background from time to time (e.g. the classical cable channel), and never bothered to track down the title. Then while driving one day, I popped in a CD from my set of Mozart symphonies, and voila, there it was. Never forgot the title after that.

BTW, when I used the phrase "3rd interval", I meant in the ordinal sense - i.e. the 3rd and 4th notes of the introduction. confused Not really "jarring", but let's say "delightfully unexpected". Here's a good version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFsvK-A_HV8. Lenny does a nice job of keeping a tight rein on the tempo, unlike some conductors who let the horses run wild.

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