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Posted by Martin Walker on August 14, 2015, 10:23 am
Stephen Barber writes "...and it is as important for a Nordic composer to get beyond seven, because Sibelius didnít, as it is for one in the German tradition to reach nine, because Beethoven did." Wot? Leaving aside the vexed question of Schubert, who was in any case not tremendously interested in numbering his symphonic works - Schumann? Brahms? Oh yes, Raff (11 - nearly all not-so covert tone poems), Spohr (10) (who copied everyone)...Hmm...Mahler rather seems to be the exception than the rule in being obsessed with the "9". In the 20th century, there has been Henze with 10, but Hartmann, some would say the most impressive German-tradition symphonist of the 20th century, wrote 8, Krenek 5, Hindemith a couple or so - where are all those anxious niners?
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