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Chris, you rascal!

True, Mahler went from virtually forgotten to a popular fad, thanks to Leonard Bernstein and a few other crusaders. But the League of American Orchestras publishes the most performed list every year, and Mahler symphonies do not figure prominently. Here is the list from 2010-2011:

1. Brahms, Symphony No. 1
2. Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition
3. Tchaikovsky, Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra
4. Beethoven, Concerto No. 4 for Piano and Orchestra
5. Beethoven, Symphony No. 7
6. Liszt, Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra
7. Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique
8. Sibelius, Concerto in D minor for Violin and Orchestra
9. Tchaikovsky, Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra
10. Brahms, Symphony No. 4

In most years, Beethoven's 5th ranks very high, as does Smetana's The Bartered Bride and Glinka's Ruslan and Lyudmila overture, Berlioz' Le Corsair overture, and some others not on this particular top ten list. But it seems many of the same top 50 cycle in and out of the top ten list year by year. The length of Mahler symphonies probably keeps them from being programmed more often.

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