It’s been such a long time since I wrote a blog post that I thought I would get back into the swing with a fairly uncontroversial topic. For those who aren’t interested in the canon of great orchestral music but who want the educational message, you may want to skip to the end. Following Christopher Cook’s advice I have restricted myself to fewer than 600 words.
A couple of years ago I found a forum which asked the following: What is your personal symphonic cycle? You can choose nine symphonies (lots of composers wrote nine) but one composer’s first symphony, another’s second and so on. You are allowed numbered symphonies only. No repetition of composer and no substitutions.
For all but the most eccentric this rules out composers like Mozart and Haydn who only hit their stride when they were well beyond number nine but it includes all the major…
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