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ain't baroque! :||
Don't Fix It

The rule of three (out of four) (usually)

Okay, longtime readers. I’m going to tell you something, and I don’t want you to panic.

Last Thursday, I gave a standing ovation.

Easy! Easy! Don’t freak! I know I have famously taken a stand (see what I did there?) against the ovation, but I feel it was deserved. You see, the National Symphony Orchestra performed Beethoven’s seventh symphony – the best Beethoven symphony, and therefore the best symphony, period. Last time I heard it live, I got burned, but this time –

This time it was awesome. Especially the second movement. It was perfect. My concert-going companion thought it should’ve been a slower still, and I see his point, but having thought it through I return to my original conclusion: perfect. Because the second movement must have some bite to it. Not a lot – just a little – but enough teeth to fuel the mini-rebellion that comes in the middle of the movement. For me, the music is about resigned grief – but not resigned without a fight! You know?

So. Perfect. And I stood.

On a quasi-related note, it occurred to me that of the four movements of the seventh, the third is my least favorite (which is akin to saying that of all the Narnia books, The Silver Chair is my least favorite; I’ve still read it like eighteen times). And that thought led to another: of the four movements of Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” string quartet, the third is – wait for it – my least favorite. The Shostakovich Piano Trio No. 2? Least favorite: third movement.

In fact, no third movement springs to mind for which I harbor a particular fondness. What gives? Do you agree with my assessment? Or can you correct me with some fantastic third movement examples?

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About Jenn

Despite being the former digital marketing intern at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jenn German does not like Mozart. Beethoven could've totally beaten him up. Also she has an arts management graduate degree from American University, but this changes nothing.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “The rule of three (out of four) (usually)

  1. Marvelous. So glad you felt so inspired. Who was conducting?
    BTW, The mysterious intertwinings and disguise of the 3rd Movement in Mahler’s 2nd symph is pretty fantastic. To me, anyhoo.

    Posted by Stephen P Brown (@Stephen_P_Brown) | June 5, 2012, 8:22 am
  2. The dance movements… They are usually my least favorite as well. I still like them– in fact, I think I prefer the seventh’s dance movement above all in any Beethoven symphony. And you have to hand it to Beethoven. Of the classical symphonies, he really gave the dance movements a good make over. At least we got scherzos and faster tempos. And he really tried in the ninth (even made it movement 2, gasp!). However, that one remains my least favorite of the ninth. I think there is more freedom in the other movements for development, the third is so limited by form it’s hard to break, but they aren’t bad! Just rather stilted in comparison to the other movements.

    Posted by Sneaky | June 5, 2012, 8:40 am

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