#ClassicsaDay #SymYesNo Week 5

For the month of September, the Classics a Day team chose a controversial theme. There is a small subset of symphonic works within the classical repertoire that appear misnamed. Most composers choose their titles carefully. But when the title runs counter to expectations, disagreements arise.

What does the title “symphony” mean? Can a composition be a symphony in everything but name? Or could a work titled “symphony” be a different type of composition in disguise?

For this month’s challenge, I included a poll with each post to let the readers decide. Here are the posts — and the poll results — for the final week of #ClassicsaDay #SymYesNo (Symphony? Yes/No).

09/28/21 Richard Straus – Ein Heldenleben

Strauss’ original intention was to compose a heroic symphony modeled after Beethoven’s Eroica. It eventually became a massive tone poem. But does its grandeur and complexity make it symphony after all?

Poll results: Yes 40$ No 60%


09/29/21 Franz Liszt – Faust Symphony

“A Faust Symphony in three character pictures” is the full title. So is this a symphony, or simply three interrelated tone poems strung together?

Poll results: Yes 100% No 0%


09/30/21 Berlioz – Symphonie Fantastique

Originally Berlioz called this a program symphony. Later on, he downplayed the program (but never fully got rid of it). So is this a symphony, or just the scariest valentine ever?

Poll results: Yes 100% No 0%

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