The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

18 September 2004

The last few bars

Lynn S. says that these are the greatest symphonic endings of all time:

Dvorak's Stabat Mater
Beethoven's 5th Symphony
Dvorak's 9th Symphony
Rossini's William Tell Overture
Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain (the Rimsky-Korsakov orchestration)

An impressive set. I might suggest the following for #6 and below:

  • Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 (always makes me hyperventilate)

  • Ravel's Boléro (yeah, I know, we're glad it's over)

  • Haydn's Symphony No. 60 (the fake ending after the fourth movement; there are two movements to come)

  • Holst's The Planets (pick either the end of "Mars," which is thunderous and scary, or the end of "Neptune", which is ethereal and almost as scary)

Hmmm. Wonder if next we should try beginnings?

(Update, 8:20 pm: Greg Hlatky offers his Top Ten, which duplicates none of the above.)

Posted at 12:32 AM to Listing to One Side , Screaming Memes , Tongue and Groove


Try also the climax of Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante, his eerily magnificent cello extravaganza.

It's really a pity so great a genius had to kowtow to Stalin.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at 5:07 AM on 18 September 2004