(Original post by silverjonny)
I've played 1 and 2 and will have an opportunity to play 3 and 5 in the next year. 7 is quite moving (I'm going to put it on now!) but 5 is my favourite by a long way: the way the final brass tune erupts from the string mist and grows and grows and grows and comes to a great big climax....holds you just on the edge for a second.....bang! etc
The first time I heard Sibelius 5 I don't think I breathed for the second half of the last movement! I have a feeling I know what those final couple of minutes is trying to portray.
For sheer orchestral might, the first movement of Tchaikovsky 4 features high on my list. Apparently this was when he was in a total mess after trying to cover up his homosexuality by marrying a woman, who he split up with after two weeks
To me, Mozart is unimaginative dross, I'm afraid. I do concede that some is very well-written, particularly those pieces that get bashed out every ten seconds in adverts (the first movement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik comes to mind). But for someone who was born six years after Bach died, he was far from innovative with his harmony. To me all his music sounds exactly the same.