Friday, February 16, 2007

greatest ever?

According to NWS marketing guy Lorenzo Lebrija, Beethoven's 3rd is "the greatest symphony ever written. By far." That was what he told me the other day, after we read the first movement with conducting fellow Steven Jarvi.

It's hard to argue with a marketing guy, so I pretty much conceded the point. I'm not completely sold though - if you could convince me that the Eroica was Beethoven's greatest symphony, that might prove it, but lately I've been partial to the 7th. Or maybe the 9th. And how about 4? and 5...

Anyway, I think it's basically a marketing expert's job to pronounce things "the best ever." Even if you don't quite believe him, it still does make you wonder. And maybe buy a ticket to hear it and decide for yourself.

3 comments:

Naomi said...

Yay, I'm so glad you're back!!!!
You should really have a comment column some day, by the way.

Here's my order of Beethoven Symphonies, in case anyone cares.
In order of biggest masterpiece to most modest, in my opinion:
6
9 (ok, I actually can't choose between 6 and 9. Or 3, really. What a geek am I.)
3
5
7
8
4
1
2

Wanna fight about it? Meetcha on the second floor...
:)
Aaron just told me there are two movements of Beethoven 10. Didn't know that!

Joe said...

With marketing, it's all about "this is the greatest, ever." That doesn't suprise me.

With that, I have to say that the 2nd movement of B3 is really something else, especially for it's time as being this intensely chromatic piece of melody and tenacious orchestration. Way cool.

My faves are the unsung B8 and B1.

Matt Heller said...

Hi Naomi and Joe -

I'll work on the sidebar comments. I agree, that would be nifty. Opinionated commenters are the best part of blogging!

Beethoven 1 and 2 definitely deserve some more love, and 8 just plain rocks. Talking about degrees of greatness just gets silly with Beethoven; it's not like you could change a few notes and make the 9th "greater". They're all pretty much perfect on their own terms - so if one or another moves you to raving geekdom then that's just...um...great.