Author Topic: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers  (Read 6313 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 13694
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« on: July 26, 2016, 08:48:29 AM »
We have all kinds of polls on really big names; how about one on not so famous / downright obscure composers?

So, who are your top 10 such composers?

I´ll start.

Attilio Ariosti - viola da gamba sonatas

Domenico Zipoli - keyboard music

Baldassare Galuppi - keyboard sonatas, sounding best on piano

Manuel Blasco de Nebras - ditto

Gaetano Brunetti - symphonies, string quartets and trios

Franz Krommer - chamber music and concertos

Joseph Rheinberger, Heinrich von Herzogenberg - chamber music

Felix Weingartner - symphonies and string quartets

Pavel Chesnokov -sacred music

Honorary mention: Dario Castello, Biaggio Marini, Francesco Maria Veracini, Johann Gottfried Müthel, Franz Danzi, Muzio Clementi, John Field, Louis Spohr, Georges Onslow, Ernesto Lecuona

Your turn.



Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.

Offline Harry's corner

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5186
  • So much to listen, so little time...
    • Harry's classical music corner
  • Location: Netherlands
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2016, 09:32:30 AM »
My collection is full of neglected and obscure composers, so many in fact that i could name a thousand and still many to go. Most of them I love, and are easily favourites, but to name them would be utterly impossible. Herzogenberg among them, but also the compositions of his wife, Elisabeth, and Weingartner is a all time favourite, after all I have all what is recorded save for the vocal works. Rheinberger also, and so on and on. The difference with you and me is that I have them all on place 1.

Okay two CD'S arrived today with composers I love.
1) Johann Abraham Schmierer and Gottfried Finger.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 09:34:04 AM by Harry's corner »
You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

Offline springrite

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6048
  • Location: Flying all over the place
  • Currently Listening to:
    Lots of Bach, Brian, Mahler, Rubbra, Beethoven and Buddhist chants
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2016, 09:55:06 AM »
One person's obscure composer is another's household name. Mine are maybe not that obscure. Not ten but let me name a few:

Qu Xiaosong
Havergal Brian (OK, not so obscure here)
George Perle
Markevitch
Arthur Foote
Furtwangler
Isang Yun
Schnabel
Rzewski
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline PerfectWagnerite

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3214
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2016, 10:41:03 AM »
My philosophy is that in this day and age if you are obscure you deserve it. Cream rises to the top and shit flows downhill, these are the rules of nature.

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 13694
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2016, 10:53:06 AM »
My philosophy is that in this day and age if you are obscure you deserve it. Cream rises to the top and shit flows downhill, these are the rules of nature.

If this philosophy were frozen in 1800, JS Bach would have never been rescued from obscurity.

If this philosophy were frozen in 1830, Schubert would have never been rescued from obscurity.

If this philosophy were frozen in 1930, Mahler would have never been rescued from obscurity.

Just saying.

(Not to mention that when it comes to politics, the exact opposite of your "rules" stands...  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: )
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 10:55:49 AM by Florestan »
Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.

Offline Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 19720
    • Brian's blog
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2016, 10:54:14 AM »
If this philosophy were frozen in 1800, JS Bach would have never been rescued from obscurity.

If this philosophy were frozen in 1830, Schubert would have never been rescued from obscurity.

If this philosophy were frozen in 1930, Mahler would have never been rescued from obscurity.

Just saying.
Don't forget Vivaldi!

Offline North Star

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 15905
  • Location: Kuopio, Finland
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2016, 10:56:35 AM »
If this philosophy were frozen in 1800, JS Bach would have never been rescued from obscurity.

If this philosophy were frozen in 1830, Schubert would have never been rescued from obscurity.

If this philosophy were frozen in 1930, Mahler would have never been rescued from obscurity.

Just saying.

(Not to mention that when it comes to politics, the exact opposite of your philosophy stands...  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: )
I think PerfectWagnerite didn't pass Dynamics 101, Andrei;)
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr

Offline North Star

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 15905
  • Location: Kuopio, Finland
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2016, 10:57:05 AM »
Don't forget Vivaldi!
Or Zelenka!
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 13694
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2016, 11:01:11 AM »
Don't forget Vivaldi!

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

I think PerfectWagnerite didn't pass Dynamics 101, Andrei;)

 :D :D :D

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.

Offline PerfectWagnerite

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3214
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2016, 11:04:13 AM »
If this philosophy were frozen in 1800, JS Bach would have never been rescued from obscurity.

If this philosophy were frozen in 1830, Schubert would have never been rescued from obscurity.

If this philosophy were frozen in 1930, Mahler would have never been rescued from obscurity.

Just saying.

(Not to mention that when it comes to politics, the exact opposite of your "rules" stands...  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: )
And which one of the 2 dozen names would you say are on a level with Bach or Schubert or Mahler? This is the 21st century, anyone and everyone has access to scores and recordings. I just don't subscribe to the idea that there are tons of neglected music out there that is somehow great and that we are doing their composers a disservice but not performing them.

Bach might not have been performed much after his death but he was NOT obscure amongst composers. Mozart, Beethoven, and many others knew his music very well.

In the case of Mahler his reputation as a great conductor during his lifetime was such that it just took awhile for his music to sink in. The so-called Mahler revival as only several decades after his death and really isn't all that unusual.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 11:10:00 AM by PerfectWagnerite »

Offline Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 19720
    • Brian's blog
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2016, 11:18:07 AM »
And which one of the 2 dozen names would you say are on a level with Bach or Schubert or Mahler?
This is not a good response to Florestan - he can still be correct even if there is nobody on a level with J.S. Bach, because his point is that major composers often do fall into obscurity.

You could have made a better argument by saying that in this age of recording, we now have a fair chance to assess even the most obscure composers. But the opinions of scholars and other canon-creators - notably major orchestras - have not caught up to the producers at Naxos, CPO, and ECM New Series.

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 13694
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2016, 11:19:38 AM »
And which one of the 2 dozen names would you say are on a level with Bach or Schubert or Mahler?

I would confidently say that when it comes to piano music, Manuel Blasco de Nebras is a worthy precursor of Schubert; and that when it comes to chamber music, Rheinberger and von Herzogenberg are worthy contemporaries of Brahms; and when it comes to symphonies, Felix Weingartner is not far behind Mahler. And a question, if I may: have you ever heard anything of their music?

But then again, the topic is about one´s top 10 favorite obscure composers. You seem to subscribe to the good ol´ fallacy of equating favorite with best.
 
And you also seem to take a poll intended for mere entertainment and (why not?) discovering new things, way too seriously.

And one final point: life´s too short to concentrate only on the great names...



Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3537
  • Location: Germany
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2016, 11:28:52 AM »
The claim is not that Spohr (who was well known throughout the 19th century) is on a level with (the best) Schubert but that there is some worthwhile music by Spohr.
Not that much Schubert is on the level of Schubert's String quintet either but most people do not stop listening to his "Trout quintet" or the first six symphonies for that reason.

Spohr's clarinet concerti are about as good as Weber's and his mixed chamber music (nonet etc.) is also pretty good. Not quite up with Schubert's octet but not so far behind to deserve obscurity if one likes this kind of music with winds. And those pieces are somewhat frequently played and recorded. The (4) double quartets are also interesting works (there is a complete recording by the academy of st martins chamber group on hyperion), a little "slick" sometimes but (I think) worth listening to in preference of one's 7th recording of the Trout or the Mendelssohn octet.

I admittedly was somewhat bored by the symphonies I have heard and not too wild about the violin concertos and I have not heard the Faust opera that was famous until around 1900 or so but I should probably revisit them. For the mentioned chamber music and clarinet concertos, Spohr deserves a place on my 10 favorite obscures list.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 11:32:06 AM by Jo498 »
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 13694
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2016, 11:38:18 AM »
The claim is not that Spohr (who was well known throughout the 19th century) is on a level with (the best) Schubert but that there is some worthwhile music by Spohr. Not that much Schubert is on the level of Schubert's String quintet either but most people do not stop listening to his "Trout quintet" or the first six symphonies for that reason.

Exactly.

Quote
Spohr's clarinet concerti are about as good as Weber's and his mixed chamber music (nonet etc.) is also pretty good. Not quite up with Schubert's octet but not so far behind to deserve obscurity if one likes this kind of music with winds.

Exactly.

Quote
And those pieces are somewhat frequently played and recorded. The (4) double quartets are also interesting works (there is a complete recording by the academy of st martins chamber group on hyperion), a little "slick" sometimes but (I think) worth listening to in preference of one's 7th recording of the Trout or the Mendelssohn octet.

Exactly.

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.

Offline 71 dB

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5570
  • I free-think, therefore I am free
    • Soundcloud
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2016, 03:23:42 PM »
My philosophy is that in this day and age if you are obscure you deserve it. Cream rises to the top and shit flows downhill, these are the rules of nature.
Your philosophy deserves to be obscure.  :)
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page

Offline jessop

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4011
    • jessop's SoundCloud
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2016, 04:30:46 PM »
If this philosophy were frozen in 1800, JS Bach would have never been rescued from obscurity.

If this philosophy were frozen in 1830, Schubert would have never been rescued from obscurity.

If this philosophy were frozen in 1930, Mahler would have never been rescued from obscurity.

Just saying.

One of Florestan's rare moments of actual wisdom, take note guys!

Thinking about the state of the world at the moment, this age of information and technology makes the notion of obscurity markedly different to what obscurity was 100 years ago. Every single composer we listen to has recordings of their music, often these recordings are easily accessible on spotify or easily bought from amazon, their biographies on wikipedia are easily found and their music is studied and written about at a scholarly level in addition to being enjoyed by any classical music fan.

I could easily say Anthony Pateras, is an 'obscure composer' but I can also say that I could easily listen to his music online, buy CDs of his music and see his music performed live as easily as I can see anything by Bach, Mozart or Beethoven. The 'live music' aspect might not be so easy for people in other areas of the world, but in reality it is so easy to become acquainted with his music if one has the incentive to.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7587
  • An American Hero!
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2016, 04:45:39 PM »


Jehan Alain

Lili Boulanger

Julian Carrillo

Johann David Heinichen

Johann (Jan) Kalliwoda

Etienne Mehul

Jerome Moross

Hans Rott

Sergei Protopopov

Ivan Wyschnegradsky


« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 05:44:02 AM by Cato »
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Ken B

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2575
  • The Age of the Wanker is upon us
    • kenBlogic
  • Location: Michigan
  • Currently Listening to:
    Canoes not battleships.
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2016, 05:10:03 PM »
Catch-22: if I have heard of him, he's not obscure.

Is Lou Harrison or Virgil Thomson obscure? Frank Martin? I think not. Simeon ten Holt was but certainly isn't any longer. Both Fitkins are good.

Douwe Eisenga



Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline mc ukrneal

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8195
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2016, 08:01:32 PM »
My list would be (though I may be forgetting someone):
Eyvind Alnaes
Michael Haydn
Edward German
Eric Coates
Eduard and Richard Franck
Louise Farrenc
Franz Xaver Richter
Norbert Burgmuller
Louis Theodore Gouvy
Offenbach gets a raw deal in recordings considering his talent! For a discussion of this outstanding composer too little recorded: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,5572.

Offline Daverz

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3986
  • You can't fool me, it's turtles all the way down!
  • Location: San Diego
Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2016, 10:32:04 PM »
My philosophy is that in this day and age if you are obscure you deserve it. Cream rises to the top and shit flows downhill, these are the rules of nature.

Nature has nothing to do with it.  Much of the standard repertoire is based on fashion, politics, penny-pinching, and the contingencies of history.     

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK