London Office: 10a Soho Square London. W.1

Vol. XVI



Edited by

Gerrard 2136. 2137




No. 186.


The Movement Competition

THE competition announced last August in which we invited readers to nominate their favourite movements in symphonies has been one of the most successful we have held, and the response from overseas readers has been so encouraging that in future we shall always aim to include such welcome competitors. I confess I got a thrill to find readers from Vancouver and Northern Rhodesia matched against readers from Tasmania an0 New Zealand, the United States competing with the Commonwealth of Australia, and in Europe Denmark, Portugal, Italy and Holland ignoring all plebiscites except a musical plebiscite. In the result no readeT succeeded in establishing or gaining an unmistakable victory and the prize has to be divided between the four who managed to nominate eight of the twelve movements.

These are: Mr. J. F. I . Whittell, Schoolhouse, Kirkheaton, nr. Huddersfield.

Mr. Thos. A. Mowl, 51 Aldridge Road Villas, Westbourne Park, W. 1 I .

Mr. D. K. Paton, 302 Montford Avenue, Bankhead, Rutherglen, Glasgow.

Mr. T. J. B.Heelas, 6 West View, Hatfield, Herts. I am afraid we cannot run to a symphony apiece for the winners, but we shall be glad to send them each two twelve-inch records of their own choice.

Six readers had seven correct choices, and among these was a Portuguese competitor from Lisbon, and another from New York. Seven competitors manage'd six COTrect guesses, and these included a reader from Travancore, and another from Bloemfontein.

An analysis of the voting is interesting. 47 First Movements were mentioned, 47 Seconds, 54 Thirds and 5 I Fourths. The difference is not great, but i t is sufficient to establish the fact that most people are more definite about the first half of a symphony than the second. The most popular First Movement was the Beethoven Fifth, though i t was only one vote in front of Schubert's Unfinished which in turn was eight votes ahead of the Eroica, itself SL,{ votes in front of Mozart's G Minor. Then there was a big drop before Beethoven's Seventh, which was closely followed by Brahms' Fourth and Beethoven's Ninth equal

In the voting for Second Movements Beethoven's Seventh was four votes ahead of Dvorak's New \"'orld. After which, a considerable way behind, came Beethoven's Eroica, one vote in front of Schubert's Unfinished which itself was only three votes ahead of the same composer's C major. This was closely followed by Tchaikovsky's Fifth. Brahms' Fourth, and Beethoven's Fifth.

In the voting for Third IVlovements, Beethoven's Seventh was again successful, but the ~otes i t received would not have given i t more than fourth place in First Movements and third place in Second Movements. Beethoven's Seventh was one vote ahead of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique and this in turn was four votes ahead of Mozart's E flat major. Beethoven's Fifth and Ninth t ied for fourth place with Mozart's G minor, the Eroica and Brahms' Second following in that order.

Brahms' First received most votes among the Fourth Movements, but with not enough votes to have carried i t into a place in the voting for the first two movements. Two votes behind Brahms' First came Mozart's Jupiter, and two votes behind that Beethoven's Fifth followed after a long gap by Brahms' Fourth, then Beethoven's Ninth, the Eroica and Schubert's C major equal, and then Tchaikovsky's Fifth.

I should imagine that the reason why Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony received comparatively so few votes was that competitors were unable to isolate in their minds the separate movements as easily as they could isolate some of the others. The fourth movement of the Pastoral received a certain amount of support, but clearly the competitors were right in not trying to break up that symphony. The lack of support for Cesar Franck's Symphony surprised me. The first movement got six votes, the second movement not a single one, and the third and fourth one apiece. Another point of interest was the heavy volume of support for the third and fourth movements of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony and the comparatively slight support the first two movements received. The fourth movement ofTchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony was fairly well supported, but the other three movements achieved only three votes between them, and I