View Full Version : Lesser known composers deserving more recognition

Frederik Magle
Dec-13-2003, 00:54
I want to mention a few of the (older) composers whose music I think deserves much more recognition than it gets. They are not unknown but these works are absolutely world-class and should be standard-repertoire in their respective categories:

First: John Ireland (1879-1962)
I would recommend everybody to get a recording (or attend a concert if possible) of his wonderful work "Concertino Pastoral". Especially the middle movemnet "Threnody" is a remarkable beautiful, fervent piece. Here is a website about him (http://www.musicweb.uk.net/ireland/ireland.htm) (use google to find more information)

Max Reger (1873-1916)
Max Reger is of course not unknown (especially in "organist circles") but how many of his works do you really know?
"Variations and Fugue on a theme by Johann Sebastian Bach, op.81"
A great work for solo piano, virtous and intense. I have a plan to play this in the future (but for now, I'm busy composing, so it's impossible to tell when...)

Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959)
He is getting more and more recognition but could use even more! For a start I recommend "Les Fresques de Piero Della Francesca" which is a fantastic piece (great frescos too btw!).

I'm not going to post any analysis of anything - you can do that yourself if you like, just listen to the music!

There are of course more composers and works I could mention, but these are the first that comes to my mind of the "less broadly known". Feel free to add more names and works to the list if you like!

Dec-19-2003, 01:55
Just to add a few others to your list.

In the french flute "section" I have a few:

Cécil Chaminade (1857-1944) - and a woman nonetheless... - together with Jules Mouquet (1867-1946) - they make a hell-of a couple... - the pieces to start with "Concertino for flute and orchestra" op. 107 (chaminade) and "La flute de pan" op. 15 for flute and orchestra (or piano) - I have a good BIS cd with them - BIS-CD-529 - Manuela plays French Flute Concertos - with Manuela Wiesler and the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra under Philippe Auguin.

But also... in the french "department" - Jean Francaix (1912-) and Jacques Ibert are also noteworthy... - Francaix has made some quite good pieces like his woodwind quintet and a divertimento for horn and piano...

to finish up these frenchmen - Camille Saint-Saëns - who really has made some awsome stuff, besides his piano-concertos which are marvelous - not to mention his organ symphony... but also... his sonata for oboe and piano op. 166 is a real gem... and finally . Francis Poulenc - his elegy for horn and piano written in the memory probably the greatest hornplayer of the last century Dennis Brain - who died in a car accident on the 1st of september 1957 while driving home from a festival in Edinburgh.

Then we have Sir Wiliam Walton and Ralph Vaughan-Williams - a couple of very crafty Englishmen... - the former has especially made 2 excellent coronation marches - where the latter of the two - "Orb and Sceptre" is a real gem!!! - Vaughan-Williams - english folk-music... - his symphonies are awesome... and there are also some fine works by him original scored for concert band/wind band...

and I could go on and on... there are quite a few composers out there who you only to seldom hear in concert or on the radio.

Jan-04-2004, 20:58
Reger.!!!!!! Some Great Works. Herbert Howells is another,with His Psalm Preludes. and The Greatest of ALL to Me (Apart from Bach..hardly lesser known lol) Is Segfied Karg-Elert. A Full set of His Organ & Harmoniums Works was Done By Johannes Matthias Michel (CPO Label Germany). Later This Year I will be doing ALL his Organ & Harmonium Works,PLUS...Complete Piano/Flute/Clarinet/Violin/Cello.a Few Choral/a Few Full Orchestral/etc. and also a Few Works that were Handed Down to me by His "Australian Connection" never Published and I have the "Signed Manuscripts". Will Let You Have More Deatails when That Project is Complete.It will be done on an Australian organ or Many.Also an Australian Label. Cheers. pamadu/Paul.

Jan-23-2004, 10:20
In a couple of week's time I will start a new thread in the correct section,and tell you more about My Own Project of recording The "Complete Works of Karg-Elert". All is Now in "Midi" form. but I will be offering a few MP3 excerpts to members of the MIMF and others interested, for download and comments etc.I do not have the time to be dealing with MP3's but a Friend here is organising that for me.I will also Post in This thread a Lot More about Lesser Known Composers,as started by our admin,in a few weeks as well.
Cheers/skaal. Pamadu/Paul. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif tak https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Apr-24-2004, 15:32
Charels E. Ives 1874-1954 American composer. If You combined Scriabin and Stravinsky You would create this very innovative composer. Large body of work but hard to find recordings.

Apr-24-2004, 16:00
just to anyone who might want to learn more about Charles Ives - I'm, myself, still a little undecided in my view of him, mainly due to the limited amount of his music I've been exposed to.


And welcome to the forums Eismon. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Apr-24-2004, 22:11
WELCOME Aboard to MIMF, Eismon https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gifHope you will enjoy the Forum/s and become an Active Poster.......
Charles Ives....
I have played many times on The Pipe Organ His "Variations on America" but mainly in "Jest"...It is NEVER played anywhere near "The Royals" in England, as Her Majesty "is NOT Amused" https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif (The Dissonant/Minor Variation,almost brings you to Your knees https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nut.gif) The theme of America,being the tune to "God Save the Queen/King".....However,Many of his Piano Works are in the AMEB (Australian Music Examination Board)
Piano Syllabus,and I have taught them and played them......As to his other Works,I am like Captain Corno.....Never had a lot of Exposure to them.....Must try to listen to some of them in the near future.....BUT.!!!! Yes,
he was a Profilic Writer and does certainly come under this Thread.Your Comparisons would be "very close to correct" as I have heard Variations done by Full Orchestra,and his Piano Works do fit the Style of the two Composers you have mentioned.... Thanks for bringing Him to our attention.Cheers https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers444.gif Pamadu/Paul
P.S. His Discography is listed in Captain Corno's Link.I have just checked My Connections here in Aussieland,and his Orchestral Works are listed,and available.(certainly SONY)
His "Essays" are very interesting & are downloadable from the Guttenberg Project Library,at Yale.
"A Question is Better than an Answer"

Apr-25-2004, 00:29
"The Unanswered Question" is one of his pieces which I have heard a few times in concert... very interesting piece... and I seem to recollect something about a concert here in Copenhagen some years back where some composer had made something called "The Answer" or "The Answered Question" - or something like it... a, to my recollection, rather poor atempt at that... - oh well... - maybe someone here have heard of this too?

Apr-25-2004, 00:46
while on this note... I remember a story a friend of mine told me while we were in high school about a German performance called something in the line of "the answered question"... - where a person sings "warum?" [english: "why?] - and a musician plays a Db (D flat) a half note long in a given tempo - and they repeat that in some manner... - a very odd thing really... unless you know a little German becaus then the "answer" from the musician would be "Deshalb" (Des=Db=D flat - Halb=half note; english "because, therefore")... and then it just becomes extremely silly... oh well... musicians and humor... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Apr-25-2004, 02:29
https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gifhehehe.....I Like that one Thomas......(warum/Db).
"musicians & humour"....I thought we all were supposed to be "Excentric" https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Apr-25-2004, 11:30
https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.giftut tut tut commodore 'eccentric & tempremental' https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
HOWEVER,corno i am sure i have read somewhere,that story you have told is in 'the charles ives experiment' will look for it later.but his works are very odd at times,almost 'cosmic'. interesting character. regards Jamie https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Apr-26-2004, 03:07
A Composer often forgotten is 'Sir John Stainer'. his best known work is the oratorio 'The Crucifixion'. but have a look at this site and you will see that he made a great contribution to 'Church Music' with hymns & anthems etc.also a few books still used today as reference:
we have a big following here in Australia for Stainer. his works are performed every year at St.Paul's Cathedral. Melbourne.Victoria. Dr June Nixon (Director of Music there) and a friend of Commodore Pamadu,keeps his tradition going of presenting 'The Crucifixion' every year. regards Jamie https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Apr-27-2004, 00:07
another composer - or maybe more an arranger in this context - who deserves a little more recognition is the Japanese Isao Tomita... - during a course on electronic/computer music some years ago I stumpled upon a few people, besides the "obvious" Stockhausen, in the area of computer music who are rather interesting... among them Wendy Carlos who've made the music featured in "A Clockwork Orange" and she's made some really interesting "digitalizations" of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos for the Moog synthesizer...
Isao Tomita in this connection, has made some extremely interesting, almost atmospherical arrangement of, among others, Gustav Holst's Planets Suite and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition... the latter challenging the Ravel instrumentation, though probably also a little inspired by it... - they are all worth a listen... - it may not be to alls taste these computerized arrangements, but I really do think that they, in their own right, are very good examples of the "new world" of music which the computer and electronized advances/developments have made possible...

Apr-27-2004, 00:16
while on the subject of arrangements... have anyone of you heard the Dutch group "Ekseption"? http://members.home.nl/ekseption/ - some of it is really odd... but there are also some quite interesting things in between https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

or what about the infamous pdq bach? - his 1712 overture is a lot of fun https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif - or the concert for horn and hardart (a vending machine) - or maybe his "Echo Sonata for Two Unfriendly Groups of Instruments" https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif hehe - great humour... but may require some amount of knowledge of classical music(history) to be able to get the "full load" of humour https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Apr-27-2004, 00:32
thanks corno for bringing him up.have heard all his 'modern world' efforts and they are GREAT:
http://www.isaotomita.com/ just click 'cancel' on transaltion download. it still comes through.

Will check out the Dutch Site later.(Pamadu did some work for Ralph van der Linden) will look it out. also add a few more interesting composers on this topic.while paul is in hospital. Regards. Jamie. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Apr-27-2004, 00:40
you should try their rendition of the Toccata and Fugue in d-minor https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif - not that "strange", but not really that "authentic" https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif hehe

Apr-27-2004, 00:55
just thought of one more composer who could really deserve some more recognition... none other than Percy Grainger... the extremely well traveled aussie https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif - and with connection to both our countries... he's made some very interesting rendition of Danish folk music...
a link: http://www.amcoz.com.au/composers/composer.asp?id=243
his instrumentation of "An Irish Tune from County Derry"/"Londonderry Air"/"Danny Boy" are really awsome... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

will just add some more now I'm at it... William Walton and Ralph Vaughan-Williams... REALLY good music... try Walton's coronation marches "Orb and Sceptre" and "Crown Imperial"... and Vaughan-Williams's "English Folk Song Suite"... his songs "The Vagabond & other songs", his Symphonies... his concert for (bass) tuba and orchestra...

a couple of links:

And finally a danish composer... Rued Langaard (orinally Rud Langgard, but he changed his name so as not to be mistaken for Rud(olph) Langgaard, for which it isn't an abbreviation)... the composer who, because of Carl Nielsen and his "following" never really got a chance in the "hot lights"... - he's really an excentric... and he has made some very interesting and very personal musical expressions like "con albero" instead of "con legno" which instructs the stringplayer to play with the wooden side of the bow instead of using the hair, as would be normal... nothing in particular with that, except that the expression "con albero" translated from italian actually means "with tree" (the one in a forest hehe) https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif check out his symphonies - a Danish Mahler, though a bit more extreme https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
link: http://www.langgaard.dk

Apr-27-2004, 02:20
GREAT.!!!! will tell you a little 'true' story in a PM about Percy Grainger later(extreme in travel & a lot of other things too).but like all his works.did not know he did danish folk tunes.'he was terribly ENGLISH you know'. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/whistling2.gif do play the 'Coronation Marches' written for Pipe organ,by walton.
Also play the Organ arrangement of 'Greensleeves' Vaughan-Williams. all his music is awesome. will look at the 'danish mahler' later.lol. got to be in the mood to listen to mahler or anything like him.lol. 'with a tree' bow https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
GOOD LINKS. Thanks. Jamie https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Apr-27-2004, 12:02
the correct Langgaard link is of course, http://www.langgaard.dk https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Apr-27-2004, 12:51
Actually,that is a very good link.well worth reading all secktions.THEN. listen to the excerpts (with a little something added to the coffee https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif).his symphonies certainly go much further than Mahler,but his other works do embrace his basic concept of music 'symbolism' and also show the theosophical influence in his life. eccentric (YES) but at least the FULL notes explain his many ideas,and he succeeds in getting his style across. even if a bit hard on the ear at many times https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nut.gif WELL WORTH THE TIME. regards & thanks. Jamie https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
have just finished listening to all of his excepts.they are really good.that is 'Langgaard'

BTW. the other link re. Percy Grainger's Life,Works & Museum etc. the museum at the Melbourne University(Melba Con.)) is closed for things.It is 'well documented' in other biographies about this composer that ALL his wonderful works are held in 'high esteem'.,despite his rather well travelled & eccentric lifestyle.he lived his life TO THE FULL to many peoples' 'shock & horror'. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
It always brings a smile to my face when playing his 'Country Gardens'. what may have been going on. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/angel.gif

May-04-2004, 04:35
I recently heard Ives' Unanswered Question performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, and was a little disappointed. While there were some good ideas and cool sounds, it didn't really fit together very well. There were four flutes that played this very, um, flutey part at random places if I remember correctly, and it wasn't the most pleasant to listen to. There was a trumpet playing from outside the room "answering the question" I suppose, but it didn't really fit in with the rest of the piece. I guess these are the effects Ives was going for, but it didn't really appeal to me, though I can understand why others would like it. Will go look at the program notes...

May-04-2004, 04:41
pdq bach's version of Beethoven's 5th symphony is great.

I recently heard Ives' Unanswered Question performed by the National Symphony Orchestra. It wasn't exactly my style, but I would be willing to discuss it if anyone is interested, I kept the program notes too.

May-04-2004, 04:51
sorry about that double, I didn't realize that the first one had gone through, computer problems

May-04-2004, 04:52
sorry about that double, I didn't realize that the first one had gone through, computer problems https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

May-04-2004, 10:00
Hi Althea,

I can see you've been exposed to "The Unanswered Question"... - it's been a while since I heard it last, but to my recollection it's the trumpet player who's "asking the question" and the wind/flute group who's supposed to be answering (but don't) and the strings represents the "universe" in some way...
I've found a link which explains it a little better:


It's all the way down to the bottom of the page (the top being bibliographical notes) - and I've copied the most interesting parts here:

A few of the modernistic devices that Ives is known for include polytonality, polyrhythms, and quarter-tones. Ives was content to allow the printed notes on the page to define an approximation of what the music should be like – some of the impending result could be left to chance. That bothered many performing musicians, who were used to the precision of the printed page.

“In ‘The Unanswered Question,’ for instance, he says in the preface, about the wind parts that go faster and faster, that they should not play absolutely together, but he writes them rhythmically together,” said one European participant in a panel discussing foreign views of Ives’ music. “There seems to be a sort of contradiction between what he wanted and what he actually did…It is going to make things very complicated, to look at the score and then find he’s not playing exactly what’s in it. What are we going to do?…”

Another conceptual device that Ives used was physically separating the instrumental forces performing a given work into asynchronous units. Of course, other composers had employed off-stage performers to simulate sounds as if they were coming from a distance. But not the cacophony of competing forces that Ives envisioned. This relative disunity is a feature of “The Unanswered Question,” in which the questioner (the trumpet), the answerer (the wind section), and the universe (the strings) operate somewhat – though not completely – independently.

Although the composer’s instructions prefacing the score to “The Unanswered Question” are lengthy, they are worth reproducing here (in part) if for no other reason than to tap into the limitless imagination of this gifted American composer.

Charles Ives writes:

The part of the flute quartet may be taken by two flutes, upper staff, oboe and clarinet, lower staff. The trumpet part may be played by an English horn, an oboe or clarinet, if not playing in “The Answers.” The string quartet or string orchestra (con sordini [with mutes]), if possible, should be “off stage”, or away from the trumpet and flutes. ... The strings play ppp [pianissimo – very softly] throughout with no change in tempo. They are to represent “The Silences of the Druids – Who Know, See, and Hear Nothing.” The trumpet intones “The Perennial Question of Existence”, and states it in the same tone of voice each time. But the hunt for “The Invisible Answer” undertaken by the flutes and other human beings, becomes gradually more active, faster, and louder through an animando [more animated] to a con fuoco [with fire]. This part need not be played in the exact time position indicated. It is played in somewhat of an impromptu way; if there be no conductor, one of the flute players may direct their playing. “The Fighting Answerers”, as the time goes on, and after a “secret conference”, seem to realize a futility, and begin to mock “The Question” – the strife is over for the moment. After they disappear, “The Question” is asked for the last time, and “The Silences” are heard beyond in “Undisturbed Solitude.”

May-05-2004, 02:00
Another question--is it common in that style of music to be so unspecific? There is a big difference between a trumpet and and English horn afterall, and with the possible absence of a conductor it almost seems as though Ives was not even sure himself how he wanted his piece to sound. Is it becoming more popular to leave the performers this much liberty?

May-05-2004, 10:03
I think that the grouping in this piece superseeds the specific requirement of the individual parts... it's not important who is playing the different groupings as it is important to get the "idea" across of "one asking the questions (of the meaning of exsistence)" and one group of "severly clever chaps who refuses to answer, it appears" and the "universe" as such...

I'm not sure what you mean when you refer to "that style of music"... but no, it's not common as such... the before mentioned composer Percy Grainger has made a lot of flexible-scorings of his music which "folds out" in a way like an accordian - being able to be played by almost piano alone and being able to be expanded up to full symphony orchestra... it's a matter of destribution of the music - where the music/composer prior (and still does in most of the cases) prescribes a set instrumentation - where an arranger has to go in and make modifications to make it playable for other ensembles than what it was originally intended...

May-05-2004, 10:06
the 5th symphony of Beethoven in the pdq bach rendition... isn't that the one with "bobby corno"? - the one played out like a baseball game? hehe... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

the "grand serenade for an awfull lot of winds and percussion" is also real fun... - a little spike jones inspiration with the percussion all over the floor at one time https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif - even the titles of the movements are fun https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
1: Grand Entrance
2: Simply Grand Minuet
3: Romance in the Grand Manner
4: Rondo Mucho Grando

May-06-2004, 00:53
it is the one with bobby corno https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif
now I guess the instrumentation makes a little more sense, just like how Bach chorales can be played on almost any four instruments, but that's a little different, but oh well.

May-06-2004, 01:54
the attached midi may come out ok.? if you have a midi program that allows you to see the notation/scoring,it makes it more interesting. regards Jamie https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
p.s. also depends on your sound card too ,of course.
ALSO READ all of Cornos comments & links.

May-06-2004, 10:34
great midi Jamie... nice to hear it again... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

May-18-2004, 13:27
Thank you for bringing Rued Langaard up, corno. Wonder why Frederik didn't do it himself, beeing an organ player.
I think he's one of the best danish composers ever...
His "Antikrist" is fabulous.


Jul-12-2004, 10:55
Hi Pamadu, I read this last week:
[Later This Year I will be doing ALL his Organ & Harmonium Works,PLUS...Complete Piano/Flute/Clarinet/Violin/Cello.a Few Choral/a Few Full Orchestral/etc. and also a Few Works that were Handed Down to me by His "Australian Connection" never Published and I have the "Signed Manuscripts". Will Let You Have More Deatails when That Project is Complete.It will be done on an Australian organ or Many.Also an Australian Label. Cheers. pamadu/Paul.

How is this project coming along. I would be VERY interested in KE harmonium works as the Michel CPO set finished at Vol. 5.

Flute Divo
Nov-01-2004, 13:17
My addition to the list of lesser known composers would Alexander Tansman (Polish born) who moved to France to seek greter musical acceptance. World war II forced him to America In the 1930's. His music can be reminiscent of Bartok and Stravinsky but he has wonderful sound lexicon all his own. His Sonata for Bassoon is absolutely lush and I played his "Hollywoodesque" "Septet" for the unique combimnation of Flute, Oboe, Clarinet Bassoon Trumpet, Viola and Cello a well worthy piece.. He returned to France after the war a spent his remaining years there.

Nov-09-2004, 00:38
just a quick thought----->

Gunnar de Frumerie!! I only know his horn-concerto, but it is one of the best (in my opinion) written in 1971 I think, to Ib Lanzky-Otto. The only recording I know of is with him too (and then the recording with me of course, but you are not allowed to hear that one...I play like a god - of course!!!!(???), but the amateurorchestra I played with, wasn't used to play that kind of music)
Dispite og the name - he is swedish


Aug-23-2005, 07:04
There are a number, but I'll mention Karol Szymanowski as especially deserving. His music straddles the late-romantic and modern eras, and can sound exotic and familiar at the same time. At times, in orchestral music, one can think of him as being a blend of Strauss and Scriabin with some eastern influence thrown in. In his piano music, late Scriabin and late Debussy come to mind in some of his best works (Masques, say) though Chopin can be heard in earlier works, and he pushes the bounds himself in some of his later works. And his vocal works are simply amazing. His setting of the Stabat Mater is amazing, and his orchestral songs are, at their best, intoxicating, late-romantic masterpieces. (And how beautiful the Polish language is when sung!) His great Third Symphony, Song of the Night is a sumptuous, overwhelming piece. He deserves wider recognition.

Aug-23-2005, 07:44
Flute Divo-

If you`re referring to the Alexandre Tansman I know (and I`m pretty sure you are), he also wrote some great little pieces for the piano- I have taught some of them to my students, so, here here- it`s charming stuff! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Aug-23-2005, 19:10
Just to add, I know it`s been a while since these composers were brought up, but I have to agree about

1- Cécile Chaminade. She wrote mostly short pieces for the piano and I enjoy playing her `Scarf Dance` for piano, which is (I think), one of her best-known works. To be a female composer in her time (I believe there weren`t many) couldn`t have been easy.

2- Vaughn Williams. He wrote The Lark Ascending for violin which is nice, and an oboe concerto which I have played parts of (used to play oboe and english horn) and is good. There is also a tuba concerto by him! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

3- Saint-Saens. Nice stuff also https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Aug-24-2005, 06:39
Oh yeah, the Saint Saens oboe sonata is good too, and I love Poulenc`s trio for oboe bassoon and piano! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Aug-25-2005, 17:39
OMG, I was forgetting the Poulenc Sonata for Oboe and Piano! Beautiful stuff- another emotional roller coaster ride of a piece; sometimes gentle and sweet, other times angry, other times even slightly whimsical.

Ok, I think that`s all from me on the subject! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Sep-09-2006, 23:25
Czech composers like Martinu and Suk have already been mentioned so I have to go for the even more neglected Franz Schmidt. His output is far too small but includes 4 wonderful symphonies (esp. nos 2&4) and chamber music of the highest quality. He was unfortunate enough to be writing romantic music at a time when Vienna was "moving forward" with Schoenberg et al.

Sep-10-2006, 08:10
Hello MIMFers,

How about Morten Lauridsen - an American with Danish heritage.

Here's his website:

Morten Lauridsen.com (http://homepage.mac.com/kennesten/lauridsen/index2.html)

A new CD recently released on the Hyperion Label with his choral music entitled *Lux Aeterna* is simply ravishing.


Giovanni :tiphat:

Sep-10-2006, 19:52
Okay, I'm posting this composer not because he's not well known, just because I had never heard any music composed by him until today when I heard a piece used as a postlude at our church.

Flor Peeters. Anybody have any recommendations on what I should listen to?

Oct-03-2006, 08:31
Aria (opus 51) for Organ - by Flor Peeters - I used it for church prelude several weeks ago

Oct-04-2006, 19:44
I always like threads like these; there's so much good music out there, and some of it gets overlooked sometimes.

I'll mention Martinu again. I've actually been on a Martinu kick lately, finally picking up Vaclav Neumann's superb cycle of all of Martinu's symphonies. They are all at least very good. The string quartets, piano concertos, cello sonatas, the great The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the opera Julietta all deserve mention, I think. Martinu is still too underappreciated I think.

Erwin Schulhoff is an almost unknown composer, and that's a shame. His chamber music, in particular, is superb, his string quartets 1 & 2 being among my favorites from the 20th Century, which is saying a lot. His Hot Sonata for piano and saxophone sounds just like 20s-era jazz, but it's a composed piece. His Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra (a misnomer if ever there was one!) is splendid. His symphonies are good, but not up there with the best, and his main stage works, the ballet Ogelala and the opera Flammen are both very good.

A bigger name, but not big enough, is Gabriel Faure. His great Requiem is of course well known, and deservedly so, but his solo piano music rates with the finest in the canon, and his violin sonatas are sublime.

And I’ve mentioned him before, and I’ll no doubt mention him again and again, but Karol Szymanowski is criminally neglected. His 3rd and 4th symphonies are masterpieces, his big piano pieces (the 2nd and 3rd sonatas, the Masques and Metopes) as well. And then there are his string quartets, his staggeringly great Stabat Mater and his magnum opus, Krol Roger. Man, he is simply amazing.

Alexander Zemlinsky is another woefully underappreciated composer. His string quartets, the last two of the four in particular, and his Lyric Symphony, choral works, orchestral works, and, above all, his operas – led by Der Konig Kandaules and Der Traumgorge, at least for me – are all worth serious consideration by anyone.

One last name for now: Ahmed Adnan Saygun. I’ve only heard his piano concertos and string quartets, but those are all quite worthy works. Bartok is an obvious (and heavy) influence, but surely I need to hear his symphonies . . .

Oct-29-2006, 05:08
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...

Oct-29-2006, 11:33
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...

Nov-03-2006, 20:57
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. :)

Nov-24-2006, 06:35
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.

Nov-24-2006, 19:03
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?

Nov-25-2006, 05:29
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

Nov-25-2006, 19:09
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.

Art Rock
Dec-11-2006, 22:20
Interesting - this is one of the topics in my blog (http://artrock2006.blogspot.com/). 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.

Dec-21-2006, 08:52
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.

Dec-24-2006, 00:20
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.

Dec-24-2006, 22:44
Hi there, Hexameron; welcome here! :grin:

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.

Dec-25-2006, 09:15
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.


Giovanni :tiphat:

Ouled Nails
Dec-30-2006, 23:41
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.