Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor (includes 'Death in Venice' adagietto)
Gustav Mahler

34

Listen to this piece at composed.com now

The highest of Mahler's 5 entries in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This peaked at number 6 in 1998.

Mahler is famous for the way in which he stretched classical music to its limits. Principally, this happened through his huge symphonies, which nearly all require a very large orchestra and often last for over an hour. Indeed, in the case of this work, Mahler even adds a fifth movement, not content with any convention that dictated the fourth movement to be the finale. And yet, despite all this grandness of scale and depth, the main reason for the enduring popularity of his Symphony No. 5 is the exquisite, ten-minute 'Adagietto' that forms the fourth movement and which, more presciently, was put to such powerful use in the film Death in Venice.