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Thread: Lesser known composers deserving more recognition

  1. #46
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    Today I caught a few minutes of a 'Romantic' Concerto for piano and orchestra by André Mathieu. There were moments that reminded me of Rachmaninov, Gershwin, and to a lesser extent, Debussy and Stravinsky. He was born in Montreal, was a child prodigy and died young (late thirties.)

    I`d never heard anything by him before; what I did hear sounded good. Folks who like Rach. and Gershwin may want to check Mathieu`s stuff out...
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


  2. #47
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    To be honest it all depends where you are in the world...

    For me Hans Christian Lymbye deserves more recognition... He was the 'father' of the Galop...

  3. #48
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Hi Pizza,

    I hadn't heard of this composer until today ... so I did a little research, oddly enough he was routienely labeled as the "Strauss of Denmark". I'm going to have to find some discography on this composer.

    Even this older musician can still learn things from the younger generation. Thanks for a great post.
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  4. #49
    Midshipman, Forte
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    I know Ferde Grofe is kind of like a one hit wonder guy but his other stuff is some great truly American work. I have no idea if Ferde Grofe is a recognized popular composer or not someone want to help me out.

  5. #50
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    I think you`re refering to his 'Grand Canyon Suite'. I actually don`t think Grofe is that well known, aside from that work. It`s the only work of his that I know...can`t speak for others though. So which of his other works do you recommend, LBG?
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


  6. #51
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    I did some research on Ferde Grofe (1882-1972) An American composer who had a light classical insterest with some strong jazz influences. Among the Grand Canyon Suite (On The Trail) he also wrote:
    The 'Showboat' tune "Ol' Man River", The Mississippi Suite, Death Valley Suite and wrote the orchestration for Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.
    Grofe was also a Viola player in the Los Angeles Symphony as well as a Jazz Pianist in Paul Whiteman's Orchestra.
    Source of info: (www)classical-composers.org
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  7. #52
    Midshipman, Forte
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    thanks Krummhorn, I like all of those pieces. Ferde Grofe's orchestration can be so clever. He's one of the few composers that can make me laugh. I'm a fan of the two river suites the mississipi river suite and the hudson river suite. There is another suite called the Hollywood suite which has some really funny orchestrations, and some really good jazz. It has numbers like, "On the set-sweepers" "Carpenters and Electricians," its a really great piece.

    The Death Valley suite has some fantastic orchestration also. He really captures the mood of being stranded without water. There is also a Niagra Falls suite which has some nice parts, but hasn't been my favorite so far.
    Each one of Grofe's pieces is like a fun journey, the way he creates images with his orchestration can be very humorous and fun. As always the Grand Canyon suite, his most famous work. "On the trail" is a beautiful beautiful work.

    ^ yeah Gerswhin and Grofe did a lot of work together, not only did he orchestrate Rhapsody in Blue, but he also orchestrated Gershwin's Second Rhapsody, a piece that I love, that is way underrated.

    Apparently he also wrote a piano concerto in D. I'd like to get a copy of it.

  8. #53
    Captain of Water Music Art Rock's Avatar
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    Interesting - this is one of the topics in my blog. So far I have posted Takemitsu, Barber, Moeran, Lilburn, Bax, Diepenbrock, Piazzola, Alwyn, Suk, Sculthorpe, Bantock, Rautavaara, Maxwell Davies, Arnold, Sallinen, Raff, Gubaidulina, Martinu, Harty, Bryars, Delius.

  9. #54
    Apprentice, Piano
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    Michael Haydn--Joe's little brother. His best stuff is just as good as big brother's "B" list.

    Boris Blacher--I heard a violin concerto of his years ago on public radio and I still can hear the descending oboe riff in my head. Very beautiful.

  10. #55
    Recruit, Pianissimo Hexameron's Avatar
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    I have a preference for the underrated piano composers of the Romantic period. Here's some composers I believe deserve more recognition:

    Sigismond Thalberg (1812-1871) - The piano virtuoso most often associated with "dueling" Liszt. Thanks to the fine pianist, Franceso Nicolosi, and the Marco Polo/Naxos label, many of Thalberg's fantasies are now available... and they are surprisingly worthy compositions. Fantasia on Rossini's Moise, Verdi's Il Trovatore, Bellini's La Sonnambula, and the Casta Diva from Norma are all exceptional. The finest I think I heard was his Grande Fantasia on themes from Beethoven's 7th.

    Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1888) - Probably the strongest case for the most unjustified neglect given to any composer ever. This man composed some of the most original piano music in the entire 19th century, even though he was certainly influenced by Chopin and Liszt. Busoni placed him after Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann and Chopin as the greatest piano composer. Thanks to Ronald Smith, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Bernard Ringeissen, Laurent Martin and Jack Gibbons, we have an exceptional discography now. The Op. 35 and 39 Etudes, the Grande Sonate Op. 33, the Preludes Op. 31, and the Souvenirs Op. 15 are amazing contributions to the piano literature.

    Adolf Henselt (1814-1889) - This is another astounding piano composer, almost never played, and whom Schumann called the "Chopin of the North." His Op. 2 and Op. 5 etudes are highly original and inventive. His piano trio and duo are the best examples of the form in the mid 19th century after Brahms. But sadly, many of his works are never recorded.

    Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894) - Succeeded Liszt as the most popular and perhaps the greatest piano virtuoso. He looked like Beethoven and seemed to embrace both sides in the War of the Romantics. Although he shunned Wagner, he played both Liszt and Brahms at his concerts. His music is stunning in its quality. It combines the lyricism of Chopin and the rhythmic powers of Schumann. His piano sonatas, his colossal 45 minute long Theme and Variations, and many of his Barcarolles and Etudes are just a taste of what he has to offer. I find his Piano Concertos pretty stellar as well.

  11. #56
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    Hi there, Hexameron; welcome here!

    I`m going to add Nikolai Medtner to the list; very fine music, for example his 'Forgotten Melodies' Piano Sonata. I wonder if his Piano Quintet will ever be heard; now that would be something.
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


  12. #57
    Commodore de Cavaille-Coll
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    Lesser known composers...

    I would like to mention two very excellent composers:

    Georgii Sviridov: Wrote fabulous vocal music such as *St. Petersburg* and *Aufbrechendes Russland* plus many other songs and dramatic works.

    German Germanovich Galynin: Piano Cto's 1 & 3 and much more.


    Cheers!

    Giovanni

  13. #58
    Captain of Water Music Ouled Nails's Avatar
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    The answer largely depends on one's assessment of "neglect". Gustav Holst, for instance, is not really neglected with his Planets but a good deal of his other works deserve more widespread recognition. I have been trying to acquire more works from Nicola Miaskovsky who is relatively well known in eastern Europe because of his role as mentor and, of course, his 27 symphonies and 13 string quartets. He is the individual who reportedly offered his coat to Moshei Weinberg when the young Jewish-Polish composer fled eastward from the Nazis during World War II. Weinberg was an extremely prolific composer who declared to be a student of Shostakovich without actually ever studying with the Soviet master. They both endeavored to keep up with each other as they created one string quartet after another. But many other composers are more neglected than these masters; perhaps 90% of all classical music composers do not survive the erosion of time.

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