On Radio 3 this morning at 11 o'clock, the presenter played Sibelius 3rd Symphony. He likened the third movement to a juggernaut moving down the motorway and said something else about huge wheels. My instant reaction was, that doesn't sound right, but I listened on wondering if I had missed something. I hadn't. But he had. Sibelius' music is simply not juggernaut-ish. Juggernauts are fearfull, unstoppable monsters that will mow you down without even noticing that they have done so. No matter how powerfull Sibelius' music is, and it can be very powerful, it never looses its humanity, its awareness of the listener. It is highly communicative music, and endlessly subtle. So I am sorry Mr Presenter, but, to quote Salieri in the film Amadeus, of the Musical Emperor "Actually, the poor man has no ear at all."
Describing a piece of music as a juggernaut is perfectly valid. I was going to ask for suggestions, but it sudddenly occurs to me: Land of Hope and Glory, that is certainly a juggernaut. Obviously highly nationalist pieces fit the bill. That's what I can think of. Can anybody think of anything else?