Thursday, September 19, 2013

New Series on the Symphony

Last year Tom Service at the Guardian did an excellent series of fifty articles on contemporary composers. He is just starting a similarly ambitious series on the symphony. He writes well and knows quite a lot about his subject, both refreshingly rare qualities among journalists. So I recommend following his weekly articles. I will be and from time to time I'm sure I will post some comments.


Rickard Dahl said...

On the topic of good information about music you should check out PBS' Keeping Score series, it's available online:

Already watched several of the episodes and it's very fascinating.

Bryan Townsend said...

Thanks, Rickard, I'll have a look at the PBS series.

Rickard Dahl said...

I'm really curious which symphonies he will choose. Sure 50 symphonies is alot but Haydn alone has over 100 for instance. Anyways, what would you like to see him choose (any specific favorites)?

As for me some of my favorites (some of which he will most likely not pick) are: Mozart's 28th Symphony, Beethoven's 6th, 7th and 9th, some of Schubert's symphonies, Bruckner's 1st, 4th and 9th, Dvorak's 6th(if I remember the correct number), Rimsky-Korsakov's symphonies, Alexander Borodin's symphonies, Brahm's 2nd, Mahler's 1st, any of Sibelius' symphonies, Nielsen's 4th and 5th, Shostakovich's 4th, 5th, 7th, 11th & 12th, Atterberg's 6th, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger's 3rd (if I remember the right number), Eduard Tubin's 3rd.

Bryan Townsend said...

I'm sure it will be an interesting list. The number, 50, was chosen probably because it is about a year, a good span for such a topic and it matches up with last year's project on contemporary composers.

Some of the ones you mention, like the symphony by Eduard Tubin, I don't even know! I would choose among the Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart symphonies and after that, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Mahler and Bruckner. This is because of their historic stature. But I hope that Tom Service surprises us a bit!