June 29th, 2008


classical music meme

: Which five orchestral works would you say have the greatest endings of all time and why?

Like his responses, no order is implied here:

Benjamin Britten, Nocturnal After John Dowland: the way "Come, Heavy Sleep" emerges from the chaos of the variations that precede it is magnificent. I have the honor to say that I have heard Julian Bream play it... live. (OK, it's for solo guitar, not orchestral, but I don't care.)

Gustav Holst, The Planets (the end of "Neptune"): I'm a sucker for the way it floats away on the voices of a women's choir.

Ravel, Bolero: it just collapses after what, a fourteen-minute buildup? It's great because it's as far as you can get from the cliche orchestral three-"ta-da" ending, and it's indelibly bound to the hilarious "Stairway to Lenin" in my mind.

(This is a surprisingly difficult meme; it's a lot easier to remember beginnings or melodies than endings, at least for me.)

I'm going to have to stop at three, at least for now.
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