Letter: Beethoven tops symphony league

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The Independent Online
Beethoven tops symphony league

Sir: Analysis of all symphonies performed during 1996 at London's Royal Albert, Royal Festival, Barbican and Queen Elizabeth Halls and at St John's, Smith Square, shows that Beethoven maintains his lead with 44, while Mahler is runner-up with 22 and one-fifth (Adagio from No 10).

Mozart follows with 22 and Bruckner leaps in with 20. Shostakovich scores 18, Tchaikovsky 15 and Sibelius 13, including two Kullervos. Thanks to one movement of his New World symphony at an Ernest Read Children's Concert, Dvorak scores 11 and a quarter, pushing Haydn into ninth place with 11.

Brahms and Schubert tie with 10 each, but Brahms will do better in 1997, his centenary year. One strange omission: Beethoven's No 2 did not get a single performance.

DAVID CHESTERMAN

Chorleywood, Hertfordshire

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