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Thread: Music by Little Known Classical Composers

  1. #1
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    Music by Little Known Classical Composers

    Music by little known classical composers - Where to start ?

    Well, here's a 12 part short series on little known masterpieces of classical music. Starting with a movement from a concerto by B.H. Crussell -

    1/12

    Bernhard Henrik Crussell (b. 1775 Finland - d. 1838 Stockholm, Sweden)
    Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in F Minor (c. 1810)
    Second Movement
    Soloist - Karl Leister
    Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    Osmo Vänskä Conductor
    BIS

    (Finnish/Swedish clarinettist, composer and translator of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Son of a poor bookbinder, he received his earliest musical education from a clarinettist of the Nyland regimental band. He wrote several beautiful clarinet concertos, much excellent chamber music and enjoyed a great reputation for some 40 years as a clarinet virtuoso. The soloist here, Karl Leister, is one of the greatest of our own times).

    http://www.**************/?t4w4nymxjm5
    Last edited by Robert Newman; Dec-29-2008 at 18:59.

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    Still widely performed and admired in his native Italy but now less well known elsewhere, some music by Giovanni Paisiello - one of the 'big' names of late 18th century opera in Vienna, Russia and home in Italy. He also composed at least 6 piano concertos.

    Always delicately written his music is highly attractive. A sort of 'musical porcelain'. Much admired and very fashionable around 1790-1800.

    Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816)
    Piano Concerto No. 4 (3rd Movement)
    c. 1788

    http://www.**************/?butjfxznydy

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    Gilbert and Sullivan
    Operetta
    ‘HMS Pinafore’
    Chorus
    ‘We Sail the Ocean Blue’
    (1878)

    ‘H.M.S. Pinafore, or The Lass that Loved a Sailor’ is a comic opera in two acts with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W.S. Gilbert. It was the first big success for the collaboration of these two men. It opened at the ’Opera Comique’ in London in 1878 and ran for 571 consecutive performances. With its mixture of humour, satire and tenderness woven around a love story involving a sailor and a woman of social privilege its success was certain at this time in Victorian England.

    http://www.**************/?mmmfyhmzjz0

  4. #4
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Here is the *Father Of Swedish Music* - Johan Helmich Roman(1694-1758)

    (Part One)Flute Concerto in G-major:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoOu7eYtAIc&fmt=18

    Ps: Maestro Roman has composed a *Wedding Music* made up of 54 movements - A little taste of it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ros8FlAkXR0&fmt=18
    Last edited by Corno Dolce; Dec-29-2008 at 20:29.
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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    Very nice music from J.H. Roman ! He is a remarkable composer, absorbing different styles with ease.

    I see the 'Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians' gives a little information on him -

    His father, Johan Roman, was a member of the Swedish royal chapel; his mother came from a family of German descent who had settled in Sweden during the 17th century. His paternal ancestors, of Swedish origin, had lived in Finland; the name Roman may be derived from the Finnish place name Raumo. Roman became a member of the royal chapel as early as 1711, his principal instruments being violin and oboe. A grant from King Charles XII enabled him to pursue his musical studies in England from about 1715 to 1721; there he may have studied with Pepusch, had contact with Ariosti, G.B. Bononcini, Geminiani and Handel among others, and was for a time in the service of the Duke of Newcastle as a second violinist. After his return to Sweden he was appointed deputy master of the chapel in 1721 and became the leader of the court orchestra in 1727.

    During the 1720's Roman composed several festive cantatas for the court and in 1727 published a collection of 12 sonatas for flute, his only complete work to appear in print during his lifetime. At the same time he was extremely active as an organizer: he considerably improved the standard of the royal chapel and in 1731 introduced the first public concerts in Stockholm.
    A year after the conclusion of his brief first marriage (1730–34) Roman embarked on his second journey outside Sweden, this time visiting England, France, Italy, Austria and Germany (1735–7); he returned with new attitudes towards musical style and also brought back much music for the royal chapel. In 1738 he married again and in 1744, with five children, was widowed for the second time. In 1740 he was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Science (established in 1739), thanks probably in large part to his strong interest in demonstrating ‘the suitability of the Swedish language to church music’.

    The death of his patroness, Queen Ulrika Eleonora, in 1741 marked a turning-point for Roman; the following year he was beset by ill-health and professional opposition. The new crown princess, Lovisa Ulrika of Prussia (sister of Frederick the Great), brought to Sweden new tastes, and her husband, Adolph Frederik, had a competing princely chapel. For the royal wedding in 1744 Roman composed the large orchestral suite Drottningholmsmusique, one of his finest works. The following year he retired due to deafness, leaving his student, Per Brant, to defend the court orchestra against the aggressive new chapel of the crown prince, which began to compete even in the public concerts. Roman left Stockholm to settle on the small estate of Haraldsmåla near the town of Kalmar in south-east Sweden. He made a last visit to Stockholm in 1751–2, in part to direct the funeral and coronation music on the accession of Adolph Frederik. His principal activity in the remaining years of his life seems to have been the translation into Swedish of theoretical works on music, including those of Gasparini and Keller, as well as the adaptation of sacred works to that language. Several of his sacred vocal works also date from this last period. In 1767, nine years after his death, the Royal Academy of Science held a commemorative ceremony; the Äreminne (memorial) by the royal secretary A.M. Sahlstedt on that occasion is the earliest summary of Roman’s career and significance, and portrays the composer sympathetically, stressing his humility and good humour as well as his skill and industry. No portrait of Roman survives although one of the musicians portrayed on a mural at the provincial estate of Count Horn at Fogelvik may be the composer.

    //

    I must listen more to his works since it's possible to hear in that concerto the influence of various others such as Vivaldi and even Fasch. He seems to have been very keen (like Bach) to become familiar with all musical influences of his time.



    Regards

    Robert

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    This 'Bröllopsmusik' is extremely fine work. First time I've heard it and I must listen to all of it. He's certainly an extremely talented composer. I'd heard his name before but never listened closely to any of his work.
    Last edited by Robert Newman; Dec-29-2008 at 22:08.

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    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Aloha Mr. Newman,

    I'm glad that I was able to help you with the music of J.H. Roman. I regularly play some adapted movements from the *Bröllopsmusiken* at my gig when a couple requests something *light and classical* - most know and love Bach and Mozart but are delighted when hearing Roman for the first time.

    Cheerio,

    CD

    Ps: Here's some Joseph Martin Kraus(1756-1792: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXcif...related&fmt=18

    He is referred to as the *Swedish Mozart*.
    Last edited by Corno Dolce; Dec-29-2008 at 21:24.
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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    Hi there C.D.,

    Yes, I know the work of JM Kraus quite well. Thanks for that. I recently studied the Kraus/Bellmann work 'Mozarts död' (Mozart's Death) written in Sweden early in 1792. Kraus interests me a lot because he seems to have been in close contact with Mozart despite never being known to have met him.

    I would really like to know if any of Bach's music was known in Sweden before 1750. It seems that it was not even known in England.

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    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Aloha Mr. Newman,

    May I humbly inquire as to what your interest in JSBach's music being known in Sweden before 1750 pertains to? The Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus had fought wars valiantly in defense of the Reformation. Northern Germany and by extension through the Duke of Oldenburg, the Royal family of Denmark are inter-related.

    Lutheranism, if it may be called so, had its greatest sphere of influence in Northern Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway - the Oldenburgers also are tied by blood to the Norwegian Crown. Then we also must include the highly influential routes of trade and culture that the Hanseatic League had been forging for many centuries.

    This, in a way, laid the groundwork for the tight bonds betwixt Northern Germany and the Scandinavian and even Baltic Countries. Now, to tie it all together, the Royal families establishing many country estates in this region and people with different trades, skills, education and the like, were instrumental in establishing the cultural life of this region. The Lutheran Church with its musical heritage richly influenced this whole region.

    The narrow strait of water between Helsingør, Denmark/Helsingborg, Sweden was one of Sweden's main contactpoints with the *continent* ergo, Northern Germany in this case. Buxtehude was for many years the director of musical activities in Helsingør, Denmark. If Sweden got to know the music of JSBach before 1750, it might very well have been through Buxtehude's successor at St. Mary's in Helsingør, whose name escapes me now.

    NB* The aforementioned outlay is a thought I have been working with for many years, not really based on thorough-going academic research.

    Cheerio,

    CD
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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    Hi there C.D.,

    Thanks for your fascinating comments on Bach and Sweden, a subject on which I know very little. And for your comments on J.H. Roman. Your comments are really interesting. Yes, whenever I hear any information, no matter how small or big, on the life and works of the great Johann Sebastian my ears prick up and I'm interested. And I've been looking at this subject now for over 20 years.

    Perhaps I can explain that in the early 1980's I began making notes for a detailed biography of Mozart (using many reference libraries and archives) and one of the sidelines to this still-ongoing research was to examine the amazing silence from Germany/Austria on the life, career and influence of J.S. Bach during his own lifetime. A strange silence (as you know) mirrored by reaction (or lack of it !) to his music in Italy, France and even in England etc. (One of the great puzzles of music history, to me). The fact that even protestant England knew nothing at all of his music until the 'Bach revival' of the early 19th century under Samuel Wesley and others is another amazing and wholly unexpected fact. It seemed inexplicable. The closer I examined this subject the more sure I became there was a conscious effort across Europe to suppress the impact of Bach's pedalogical works from within Catholic Europe. For, though he as a composer is known to have been in good contact with most of the great composers of his time (both Catholic and non-Catholic) how do we explain that they were not themselves known to have been in contact with him ? The criticism we know about of J.S. Bach comes largely from ignorant men. For example, Charles Burney's attitude towards him is at best ambivalent, even during the late 18th, early 19th century.

    I knew most of Vivaldi's musical works suffered a similar fate after his death in Vienna in 1741. Rediscovery of most of his music manuscripts in the early 20th century is marvellous. The fact of which made me wonder about the missing manuscripts of Bach . (Several cycles of cantatas and dozens of other chamber, orchestral and other works).

    I was aware of the Scandinavian career of Abbe Georg Vogler, of his personal loathing of Bach's music, and of his highly controversial work in Sweden/Denmark etc. with his 'revising' church music and hymns already known in Sweden/Denmark.

    All these things lead me to believe a sort of 'musical counter-reformation' occurred in the late 18th century, the full details of which are hardly known yet, which had some impact even in England, Scandinavia and other places, this largely explaining the strange silence (not to say 'suppression') in the musical world of that time on the works of Buxteheude, JS Bach, Krebs, Fasch and other composers of the late baroque.

    That Swedish people knew of Bach's music before 1750 seems to me very probable for reasons you've already outlined (through Buxtehude's successor at St. Mary's in Helsingør, etc).

    But possibly much earlier ? For example, the 'Capriccio in B Flat Major' (BWV 992) is described as a 'Capriccio sopra la lontananza del fratello dilettissimo' ('Capriccio on the departure/absence of my most dear brother') and is one of the earliest surviving works of J.S. Bach. It's even said to have been composed around the time of his brother Jacob's entrance into the military service of King Charles 12th of Sweden in 1704. Perhaps this is evidence that musicians in Sweden must have known Bach and vice-versa far earlier than is often supposed ? Despite the fact that, today, no other link between Sweden and Bach's career seems to exist. This piece, BWV 992, can surely only have been written if Bach had good reason to believe it would be played and appreciated in Sweden. At least, I think so.

    The possibility that, somehow, other works of his were known in Sweden is of interest to me. That somehow other 'lost' works of J.S. Bach may, against all the odds, still be awaiting rediscovery somewhere.

    Best wishes

    Robert
    Last edited by Robert Newman; Dec-30-2008 at 12:19.

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    Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1750)
    Keyboard Sonata in C Major (c.1730)
    K.132
    Piano Soloist - Clara Haskil
    Live Performance (1951)

    http://www.**************/?zyq0k2gdjbm

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    Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801)
    Operatic Overture (Vienna and St. Petersburg)
    ‘Il Matrimonio Segreto’ (1792)

    http://www.**************/?mmjuzzfnnzn

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    Not much known outside of Sweden but -

    Johan Wilhelm Soderman (1832-76). Great Swedish composer.

    According to Groves Dictionary -

    Söderman was a pupil at the Swedish Royal Academy of Music from 1847 to 1850, studying harmony with Erik Drake and the piano with Jan van Boom. He also taught himself to play the violin and the oboe, and was soon playing in orchestras. In 1851 he was engaged by the actor-manager Stjernström as director of music for his theatre troupe, and from this time writing and arranging theatre music became his lifelong occupation. During tours with Stjernström’s company in Finland (1852–3) he produced his first notable compositions, the fairy operetta Urdur and incidental music to Regina von Emmeritz, both of which were successfully performed in Helsinki.

    Söderman’s works occupy a position of central importance in Swedish music, and exerted a great influence on later generations of Swedish composers. Not only his personal use of stylistic elements from folk music (for instance, in his realistic portrayal of peasant life) but also many other traits of his music were for a long time valued for their authentic qualities.

    //

    This is an excellent piece -

    Svenska folkvisor och folkdanser / Swedish Folk-songs and Folk-dances.

    Movement I: Lento (Jag sjungit har i dagar)
    Movement II: Vivace (Tänker du att jag förlprader är)
    Movement III: Poco lento (All ingen flicka lastar jag)
    Movement IV: Allegro (Polska från Öland)
    Movement V: Andante (Jag gick mig ut en aftonstund)
    Movement VI: Allegro con forza (Polska från från Särna)
    Movement VII: Adagio (Som stjärnorna på himmelen)
    Movement VIII: Allegro risoluto (Polska från Östergötland)

    Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra of Norrlands Opera
    Conductor: Roy Goodman

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1krLzbASNcI

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    Hans Christian Lumbye (1810-74)

    Danish composer. First studied music in Randers and Odense where at the age of 14 he served as a military trumpeter; from 1829 he served in the Horse Guards in Copenhagen while still continuing his musical education. In 1839 he was deeply impressed by an Austrian band which performed compositions by Lanner and Strauss in Copenhagen, and in 1840 appeared at the head of his own orchestra performing his own works in ‘Concerts ā la Strauss’. He became associated with a number of theatres and other places of entertainment in Copenhagen in the next few years, and he achieved popularity, not only as a conductor (who often played his violin at the head of the orchestra) but also as a composer of brilliant dance melodies and other light music. He entered into a successful collaboration with the famous Danish ballet-master Auguste Bournonville, composing impressive dances for Bournonville’s ballets at the Royal Theatre. His greatest fame began with the opening of the Tivoli Gardens in 1843, where Lumbye served as music director until 1872 and founded the musical traditions which are still alive in Tivoli today.

    In addition to light music, including a large number of his own compositions, Lumbye conducted concerts of Danish and foreign symphonic works. From 1844 he also toured the Danish provinces between the Tivoli summer seasons and made several concert tours to such foreign cities as Paris, Vienna, Hamburg, Berlin, St Petersburg and Stockholm; he was applauded everywhere as a worthy rival to the famous Viennese dance composers.

    /

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=310F8lai3yM&feature=related

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    Franz Berwald (1796-1868)
    Violin Concerto in C Sharp Minor, Op.2
    3rd Movement
    Soloist - Arve Tellefson
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Conductor - Ulf Bjorlin
    EMI Classics

    In my view Franz Berwald was one of the most precociously talented and original composers of the 19th century. The works of this Swedish composer are remarkable for their bold and striking invention as well as their convincing originality.

    Composer Carl Nielsen wrote admiringly to a friend -

    It's simply that neither the media, money nor even power can really damage or benefit good Art. It will always find some simple, decent artists who forge ahead and produce and stand up for their works. You know that in Sweden you have the finest and clearest example of this fact with the music of Berwald’

    (Letter of Carl Nielsen, 27 January 1911, quoted in ‘Carl Nielsens breve‘, ed. I.E. Møller and T. Meyer, Copenhagen, 1954, p.112).



    http://www.**************/?znuiqmmgxlg

    //
    Last edited by Robert Newman; Dec-30-2008 at 16:30.

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