What is your favourite symphony?

Join us again to curate together with us a set of the 100 greatest symphonies. Tell us what repertoire to put into the set, and we will find the recordings.

All you have to do, here, is to become a member of myDG and write to us in the box below. If you don't have a single favourite, tell us ALL your favourites, up to 10. Do tell us why too. Then others can read and enjoy your comments. When entering your favourites below, please tick the "Allow to publish" box. The vote will run for the whole of November, 2013. The set will be published mid-2014.

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Follow the suggestions of our DG colleagues either here in myDG, or with Soundcloud or our Spotify playlist.

Our suggestions

To help you on your way . . .

We've asked some colleagues at Deutsche Grammophon to come up with their favourites. Enjoy their choices below. Every few days we will add a further full track, representing an entire symphony.

  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4
    3rd movement: Scherzo. Pizzicato ostinato - Allegro

    "The famous “programme” of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony – involving Fate, slightly inebriated reveries and peasant revelry – was an afterthought, written by the composer at the request of his patroness; nevertheless the autobiographical element in the work cannot be simply discounted. Most immediately attractive is the brilliant balletic Scherzo, with its pizzicato strings, interrupted by the brass and the woodwind respectively in two trio sections."

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  • Schumann: Symphony No.2
    3rd movement: Adagio espressivo

    "In Schumann’s restless Second Symphony the two middle movements make the most striking immediate impression – the second a bustling Scherzo, whose obsessive rhythms can make you nervous: but the following C minor Adagio offers an altogether different kind of intensity, with a soaring angular melody, beautifully dissonant harmonies, and a marvellous dissolving of the texture at the end of sections."

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  • Beethoven: Symphony No.8
    1st movement: Allegro vivace e con brio

    "Beethoven’s Eighth, the shortest of his symphonies, sounds like a man in a hurry, especially perhaps in the first movement, where statement and theme follow each other with no padding in between. Inevitably, the music gets caught up in an obsessive ostinato rhythm that provides the necessary release, with the return of the main theme, from an explosive mixture."

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  • C.P.E. Bach: Orchestral Sinfonia
    1st movement: Allegro di molto

    "Written between 1775 and 1776, CPE Bach’s Four Orchestral Sinfonias are 10-minute works in three movements: daring, with strong contrasts in the first movements, more reposeful in the second, and openly cheerful in the third. The first movement of the First, in D major, doesn’t settle down in any key until the return of the main theme, and ends in a surprisingly subdued manner, leading almost imperceptibly into the slow movement."

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  • Mahler: Symphony No.3
    1. Kräftig. Entschieden

    "Mahler’s Third is a symphony of many wonders – five of its six movements relate what the composer was “told” by flowers, animals, night, morning bells and, finally, Love. Its gargantuan first movement, “Summer Marches In”, composed after the rest of the symphony, lasts over half an hour. Marked “Strong, decisive”, it is full of contrast and conflict – extremes of orchestral colour and thematic ideas, “with a great marching song that eventually carries the movement to a triumphant conclusion” (Donald Mitchell)."

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  • Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major
    3rd movement: Poco Allegretto

    "In his later works, not just his symphonies, Brahms had a fondness of introducing a short passage into the texture of a movement that seems to open up or suddenly encapsulate all that was being said or expressed around it – resolving conflicts, laying low tensions. Such a passage occurs in the popular Poco Allegretto third movement of the often rugged Third Symphony. Here the melancholy cello melody is already consoling, but it is the pianissimo eight-bar phrase for the strings alone, slipping suddenly from E flat major towards B major and back that takes the breath away."

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  • Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C major “Jupiter”
    2nd movement: Andante cantabile

    "Each of Mozart’s final three symphonies (nos. 39 to 41) has almost a surfeit of memorable musical experiences. The “Jupiter”, most famous of all for its tour de force contrapuntal finale, also offers soul-searching moments in its slow movement, as its second theme takes over from the melodic first section: here the harmony takes us into untrodden paths, emphasized by the strong contrast of dynamics and the syncopations of the accompaniment figures – hugely unsettling, as if Mozart had momentarily stepped out of his Classical world."

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  • Haydn: Symphony No. 48 in C major “Maria Theresia”
    1st movement: Allegro

    "Nicknamed “Maria Theresia”, no. 48 is one of several symphonies Haydn wrote in the 1760s that herald in a new age of symphonic writing in four movements. Nowhere is this more captivating than in its first movement, where impossibly high horn parts provide a rush of energy and a sense of élan that immediately raises the spirits and sets the adrenaline flowing."

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  • Spotify Playlist

    Listen to the suggestions from our DG colleagues on Spotify.

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All votes

  • Simius Mendelssohn 3rd symphony
  • Pat Smith Beethoven: 5+ 9
    Schubert: 8
    Bruckner: 9
    Mozart: 40
    Brahms: 4
  • PIXEL Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C major “Jupiter”
  • PIXEL Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C major “Jupiter”
  • Небојша Пантелић My 1 favorite and in my opinion greatest is Beethoven 6th "pastoral" (paradise land) i love it so much one time i have a problem with it I couldn't stop listening to it, and that is the only piece of music i couldn't help myselft to stop listening over and over..
  • Небојша Пантелић Beethoven 5,6,9, Mozart 25,40,41, Schubert 8,9, Dvorak 9, Sant Saens 3, Berlioz fantastic, Shostakovich 5, Tchaikovsky patetic symphony.... love them all, my favorite symphonies.
  • Roger AlfFon shostakovick.. symphony nr 5is a very beautiful work
  • J Andrés Tapia O Berio's Symphonia
    Webern's Synphony Op.21
  • tony.d.sanderson Mahler \symphony No. 2 (Resurrection)
  • Andrej Broz weblink is not working anymore....why?
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