The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music poll: What are The Five Most Important Symphonies of all time?

November 5, 2011
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

As listeners of classical music, we probably all the play the game of “What are my five or six favorite symphonies?

But if you are a famous conductor, the question might be well be: What are The Five most important Symphonies ever composed?

Well, a British conductor Sir Mark Elder (below, in a photo by Mark Allen) has written in The Guardian Newspaper about his choices as he prepares to start a broadcast series of performances on the BBC about important symphonies.

(Imagine PBS or some other network or cable TV station doing a similar project in the US. Wouldn’t that be agreeable and welcome?)

Anyway, here are his choices along with his reasons:

I am not sure I agree with him on all these choices.

And you might not either.

But he picks good ones and makes a good case for each one.

How many did you guess correctly?

What are your five FAVORITE symphonies?

And which ones do you think are the five MOST IMPORTANT symphonies?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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