Author Topic: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers  (Read 6304 times)

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Offline Christo

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2016, 10:48:22 PM »
Mine are mostly 20th Century - an era that is still in the process of being sorted out, party due to the predominance of Modernism in the second half. But no, that's only about culture, no rules of nature here.  :)

Ruth Gipps
William Wordsworth
Arnold Cooke
Marc Lavry
Sulkhan Tsintsadze
Anthon van der Horst
Leon Orthel
John Kinsella
Eivind Groven
Charles Tournemire - as a symphonist
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2016, 10:49:33 PM »
What's obscure on a forum where we already revel in the obscure?  Hard list to make, and kind of arbitrary.

Arnold Cooke (oops, see, someone already mentioned him while I was composing this post!)
Josten
Moyzes
Nelhybel
Nørholm
Josef Reicha (uncle of Anton)
Riisager
Santoro
Sgambati
Titz

« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 10:51:20 PM by Daverz »

Offline amw

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2016, 11:38:37 PM »
What's obscure on a forum where we already revel in the obscure?  Hard list to make, and kind of arbitrary.

Still a lot if http://imslp.org/wiki/Special:Random is any judge:

Charles Wels (1825-1906)
Hieronymus Kradenthaller (1637-1700)
Tranquille Berbiguier (1782-1838)
Johann Franz Xaver Sterkel (1750-1817)
Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612)
Theodore Oesten (1813-1870)
Julian Edwards (1855-1910)
Benjamin Dwight Allen (1831-1914)
Clémence de Grandval (1828-1907)
Georges Lamothe (1837 or 1842-1894)

Apart from random works by Vieuxtemps, Grieg, Cimarosa, Dunstaple and Liszt, all of whom were too well-known to be included in my list. Still, that's obscure composers 2 for 1.

Of course, all of those ten composers are unsung geniuses and I will campaign tirelessly for their recognition.

Offline North Star

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2016, 12:22:04 AM »
At least I know one piece by Hassler..
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2016, 12:37:32 AM »
Hassler is the only name I know from amw's list and I have heard some pieces. A few are somewhat frequently included in Renaissance choral anthologies. Namely the secular setting "Mein Gmüth ist mir verwirret" (My mind is confused because of a tender maiden) the melody of which became the famous passion hymn "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden".

Compared to those, even to Hassler, Spohr is hardly obscure but rather famous...
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 12:39:46 AM by Jo498 »
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2016, 12:40:02 AM »
Hassler is the only name I know from amw's list and I have heard some pieces. A few are somewhat frequently included in Renaissance choral anthologies. Namely the secular setting "Mein Gmüth ist mir verwirret" (My mind is confused because of a tender maiden) the melody of which became the famous passion hymn "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden".
That's because there is one disc available out of 8. The other two, Sterkel and Hassler, are not obscue enough, both with multiple discs available (particularly Hassler).
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 Florestan

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2016, 12:47:38 AM »
One of Florestan's rare moments of actual wisdom, take note guys!

This goes both ways, lad! --- one of Jessop´s rare moments of actually recognizing wisdom when he sees it.  ;D
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Offline jessop

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2016, 01:43:50 AM »
This goes both ways, lad! --- one of Jessop´s rare moments of actually recognizing wisdom when he sees it.  ;D

:P ;D

Online Sergeant Rock

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2016, 03:59:20 AM »
Elena Kats-Chernin (1957- )
Ruth Gipps (1921-99)
Richard Wetz (1875-1935)
Hans Gál (1890-1987)
Ernst Pepping (1901-81)
Nicola Matteis (1650-1700)
Daniel Jones (1912-93)
Hans Huber (1852-1921)
Hans Rott (1858-84)
Havergal Brian (1876-1972)
Siegfried Wagner (1869-1930)

« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 04:45:51 AM by Sergeant Rock »
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Offline Brian

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2016, 04:34:56 AM »
"Mein Gmüth ist mir verwirret" (My mind is confused because of a tender maiden)
hahahhahaha

Offline Jo498

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2016, 05:13:53 AM »
It was a quick translation, maybe not idiomatic, but literal. The text is in early modern German with odd spellings.
The first stanza of 5

Mein Gmüth ist mir verwirret,
das macht ein Jungfrau zart,
bin ganz und gar verirret,
mein Herz das kränckt sich hart,
hab tag und nacht kein Ruh,
führ allzeit grosse klag,
thu stets seufftzen und weinen,
in trauren schier verzag.

There is a performance on youtube, but not very good, so I am not linking it.
A good one is track 15 on Amarcord's Book of Madrigals



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 Cato

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2016, 05:44:15 AM »


Jehan Alain

Lili Boulanger

Julian Carrillo

Johann David Heinichen

Johann (Jan) Kalliwoda

Etienne Mehul

Jerome Moross

Hans Rott

Sergei Protopopov

Ivan Wyschnegradsky


An honorable Eleventh: Leo Ornstein !

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Offline Christo

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2016, 07:10:20 AM »
hahahhahaha
Come on. You know the feeling.  8)
… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline jessop

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2016, 08:52:00 PM »
An honorable Eleventh: Leo Ornstein !

Ornstein is one of my favourite piano composers! Also composer of the best Piano Quintet in the world omg is he really actually obscure?

Offline The new erato

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2016, 09:20:42 PM »
Nature has nothing to do with it.  Much of the standard repertoire is based on fashion, politics, penny-pinching, and the contingencies of history.   
Much as I love many unsung composers, I disagree. Much of the canon is standard because it is superb, and most unsungs are far from that quality. But that is not to say much of them is not worth hearing. And there are many nuggets that could have been in the canon but for historical contingencies.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2016, 12:32:27 AM »
"obscure" lumps together very different composers. It only means that today they are not very well known. But some of them were famous composers in there lifetime (like Spohr), others died very young and never really had a chance (like Rott), others were of middling fame or comparably obscure even in their day. Although anyone whose music was copied and printed and is available on paper or even disc today is far less obscure than hundreds of others.
Because they are a diverse bunch there are different causes why they are obscure today.
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

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2016, 12:43:25 AM »
Much of the standard repertoire is based on fashion,

Examples, please.

Quote
politics,

Examples, please.

Quote
penny-pinching,

Examples, please.

Quote
and the contingencies of history.   

Examples, please.

Much as I love many unsung composers, I disagree. Much of the canon is standard because it is superb, and most unsungs are far from that quality.

Superb is such a vague term... How do you define it?

Because they are a diverse bunch there are different causes why they are obscure today.

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

Offline jessop

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2016, 01:22:41 AM »
Such a shame that we have to resort to descriptors such as 'superb' and 'far from that quality' as if this is the main reason of whether music is well known or not.....

Oh wait! We don't have to! And we don't even have to generalise! We can consider each composer as a different and separate case of whether their music was performed and published much or very little! We can consider the difference in technology and available information at different points in history up to this day and see how this impacts what is well known and what isn't.

Once we get over the hindrance of completely arbitrary adjectives that provide absolutely no insight to music or history apart from personal taste (or lack thereof) then we can look at the individuals in history.........what was the impact of the introduction of public subscription series? Patrons? New music organisations and ensembles? Scholars, academic journals? Composers who taught at conservatoires? Critics? Commissioning programs? Composition awards? The church? The rise of the recording industry? Government funded classical music versus privately funded classical music? And what about the concurrent existence of popular music and musicians throughout history? So many things to think about that I would rather leave up to my musicologist pals with degrees in areas such as these and more........

Offline Cato

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2016, 03:33:42 AM »
Ornstein is one of my favourite piano composers! Also composer of the best Piano Quintet in the world omg is he really actually obscure?

I fear so, even though he lived to be 108!

From Wikipedia's entry on him:

Quote
Ornstein's primary compositional style was changing as well. As described by latter-day critic Gordon Rumson, his

"musical language organised itself into a shimmering, luminous gradation between simplicity and harshness. The melodies have a Hebraic tint, and Ornstein does not shy from placing dissonant and tonal music side by side. This shifting of style is just one of Ornstein's creative tools. More importantly, there is a directness of emotion that makes the music genuinely appealing. It should also be noted that his music is ideally written for the piano and is clearly the work of a master pianist."[22]

This transformation contributed to Ornstein's fade into obscurity. Those whom he had inspired now rejected him, almost as vehemently as the critics he had shocked a decade earlier. "[H]e had been radical modernism's poster boy throughout the 1910s, and when he abandoned that style for one more expressive the ultramoderns reacted as a lover scorned", according to Broyles. "Not even Cowell, known for his accepting temperament, could forgive Ornstein."[

My emphasis above.
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline pjme

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2016, 05:31:24 AM »
The Ornstein pianoconcerto is terrific: https://youtu.be/s9zpBnn8Flk

Piano Concerto (1921/23)
Pianist : Alain Feinberg
Dir : Leon Botstein
American Symphony Orchestra

1- Moderato assai -- Allegro con moto (16.50)
2- Andante (8.02)
3- Allegro (9.51)

P.

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