8 comments on “the 20th Century’s most thrilling musical moment?

  1. The first appearance of the ‘Swan Hymn Beyond Compare’ in the finale of Sibelius’ 5th Symphony; the Alleuia brass climax in Hindemith’s ‘Mathis der maler’ (symphony & opera); that opening G major chord at the start of the Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis that always takes my breath away every time I hear it…; the ‘Blood that is my blood’ aria finally set properly as Busoni intended in Beaumont’s completion of Doktor Faust? Take your pick!!! 🙂


  2. The close of Gerhard’s 3rd Symphony which seems to bring the piece back to the inspiration for the beginning, which was Gerhard seeing the sun rising on a aeroplane.
    The full orchestral crescendo in Wozzeck, leading to the manic bar room piano. The final grinding fugue (at least I think it’s a fugue) in Vaughan Williams 4th. The mob chanting “Peter Grimes… Grimes!!” The build-up to the final hammer in Mahler 6. The close of Schoenberg’s Variation.


    • Quite a list Matt – I’d add the tiered choral portrayal of God in Moses und Aron, and the utterly desolate close of VW6. And Shostakovich 8, the transition from the 3rd to 4th movements … as devastating as any music since the turn of the last century (Mravinsky’s 40s recording on Profil tells it as it is). Very best. Rob.


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