I switched on my car radio this pm and was reminded that the oft neglected no 3 is my favourite by a country mile.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Barenboim, showing that elbows are not a prerequisite for conducting a 40 minute symphony - looks tiring to me.
3,4,2,1 in order of preference.
Actually, come to think of it, it is nearly a tie with 4.
Can't stand the opening of 1. That banging timp does my head in. SHUT UP.
See what I mean. If you play the horn, that can be right behind your head, smacking away. To be fair it picks up considerably after that.
Horn players get their own back by overblowing the solo in the last movement employing a nasty thin brassy sound to strip the paint off the back wall of the concert hall. Yuck, and Brahms wrote so well for the instrument.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CuhupQyS5Y&feature=related It's always the first note...
http://www.youtu.be/watch?v=PX51X1cs2XI&feature=related About as good as it gets and an Alex 103.
Two always makes me think of youth orchestras and you have to memorise the solo in the 2nd movement because it's horn in H.