Author Topic: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers  (Read 6303 times)

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Offline nathanb

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #80 on: September 19, 2016, 05:55:39 AM »
Indeed, Mr. B.  Indeed

I would add one other criterion: 
If a commercial recording of any of their work is up on Youtube, even despite the fact that composer was, say, a Croatian female of mixed African-Asian-Slavic descent who had a wooden leg, was at least bisexual (i.e. five ways a minority), and who wrote generic and forgettable late romantic works, for example, that composer is not obscure.

That's a little more limiting, but I can still work with it.

Offline Andante

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #81 on: September 19, 2016, 07:46:24 PM »
That's what I found, generic, with a touch of 'bourgeois salon music flavor' in the lightness of some ideas, and imminently forgettable. "Listenable," I suppose, but so much second and third tier music is that, i.e. listenable, lol.

I think that about sums up why they are obscure, at least 99% of the time.
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Offline opaquer

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #82 on: September 19, 2016, 08:14:52 PM »
Is Korndorf obscure enough?
I discovered him early in the year and have loved many of his works to death!

I could make a list but I'd need to sort through my collection

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #83 on: September 19, 2016, 08:17:45 PM »
Is Korndorf obscure enough?

Korngold and Dittersdorf had a baby? ???
"Music must be beautiful, or it wouldn’t be worth the effort” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #84 on: September 19, 2016, 08:38:36 PM »
Is Korndorf obscure enough?
I discovered him early in the year and have loved many of his works to death!

I could make a list but I'd need to sort through my collection

Hymn III gets my vote!
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Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #85 on: September 19, 2016, 08:44:31 PM »
Korngold and Dittersdorf had a baby? ???

A-yep.  Nikolai Sergeevich Korndorf (1947 - 2001) nine lbs, eight oz. at birth.  Big kid.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 04:58:36 PM by Monsieur Croche »
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Offline Visions_fugitives

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #86 on: September 20, 2016, 06:32:24 AM »

Vittorio Borgonovi
Richard Stone
Augusto Poppeliers
Valerij Bondarenko

yeah I thought I'd just start making up names and see what happens

Offline jessop

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #87 on: September 20, 2016, 01:54:13 PM »
I think that about sums up why they are obscure, at least 99% of the time.
I tend to agree with this actually. Even though I do like Pejacevic (some of her music just sounds like some nice 19th century music I listen to when I'm in the mood) I can see how the approach of some composers will end them up in relative musical obscurity especially when a composer writes in a populist and unoriginal style (like 19th C 'salon music').

Offline Florestan

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #88 on: September 21, 2016, 06:30:54 AM »
I can see how the approach of some composers will end them up in relative musical obscurity especially when a composer writes in a populist and unoriginal style (like 19th C 'salon music').

You should take into account, though, that (1) the "populist and unoriginal" 19th century "salon music" fulfilled social, cultural and educational functions that today are lost, and (2) concern for originality or for how the posterity will judge their music was the last thing composers had in mind, if at all.

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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 #89 on: September 22, 2016, 03:35:25 PM »
You should take into account, though, that (1) the "populist and unoriginal" 19th century "salon music" fulfilled social, cultural and educational functions that today are lost, and (2) concern for originality or for how the posterity will judge their music was the last thing composers had in mind, if at all.
I really do enjoy that music though; it's a window into a certain time and place that we can't visit without a time machine! The social, cultural and educational functions of music of that time do have some parallels with the use of some genres of music today. I think there is an audience for anything though, and functions of music change with time. The fact that this music still exists and can be studied and enjoyed is so important to the understanding of history through arts and culture that I wouldn't dare dismiss it.

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #90 on: September 22, 2016, 04:56:38 PM »
You should take into account, though, that (1) the "populist and unoriginal" 19th century "salon music" fulfilled social, cultural and educational functions that today are lost, and (2) concern for originality or for how the posterity will judge their music was the last thing composers had in mind, if at all.
Gebrauchsmusik of a sort, then.  Meant to fill a slight void like the ambiance of wallpaper does to a room.... 

Fine.  But
Q:  Why then, compose a concerto, for which, even in the convention of the day, assumed a full front and center of the listener's attention?
A:  To provide pleasant and non-challenging music for a relatively non-discerning bourgeois audience who just 'wanted a bit of music' when they attended a concert.

That said, there is a lot of well made music, several tons at least of symphonic, concertante and chamber works, made by composers whose talents and imaginations were a perfect fit to that audience.  There is 'a place' for it, and a legitimate reason for this well-crafted but later mainly forgettable music.
"salon music" fulfilled social, cultural and educational functions that today are lost."
I would have written "past functions of another era," and left the sentimental judgement or implicit tone of regret out of the equation, because I see no deeply inherent later value in what is basically a slight piece of pop music with its "do not consume after this date" label so clearly on the tin from the moment it was written.  As a period document, like any more temporarily popular trend or the design of a bottle, these works are markers of a time and some of its slighter sentiments, those being less than the more 'profound' works from the same era that have stayed in circulation.

Sure, this kind of rep is a sort of temperature read on now dead patients of the past.  There is more to be truly learned about a past culture through its mundane personal correspondences between average folk than there is to be had from their general taste of the decade for what amounts to a musical tchotchke.

Well, I can go along with the social aspect anyway, and maybe even the cultural since that includes the finest art to the lowest kitsch, but what is educational -- then or now -- about sitting through a basically trite piece of music even as insipid background to a social function?  Earlier eras also had their 'tafel musik' and music as background, Renaissance lute pieces, chamber works, as did the Baroque and Classical eras.  And much of that we still listen to, with full attention due to some quality and a greater staying power.  It seems the fluffiest of this genre was produced in the late romantic era, but that could be a wrong estimate.

Sometimes, this sort of salon or character piece will so plug in to a near-universal semiotic that the piece will have a great longevity;  Liadov's Music Box, being so evocative of a musical toy both of which the sound of it and a fascination with the mechanism itself is so deeply ingrained for so many around the world, semiotic to a degree where our recognition of it seems innate, will probably be around, charm, and be 'relevant' until the general population no longer recalls the sound of a wind-up music box.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/mzNjz4TmjCg" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/mzNjz4TmjCg</a>

Haydn said that a composer should feel fortunate if their work stayed in circulation for up to about seventy years -- I think he was extremely canny (and not at all sentimental) in thinking a later third generation audience would not find that same music of interest, or as 'speaking to them.' 
(The irony of the source of the statement has not escaped me -- we still listen to Haydn two hundred and seven years after his death :-)


Best regards.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 06:20:36 PM by Monsieur Croche »
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline Florestan

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #91 on: September 24, 2016, 11:34:47 AM »
Okay, Mr. Wiseguy Croche, please tell me what musical genre today fulfill the social function of making an extended family gather around making music together in the evening? What musical genre today fulfill the educational function of teaching kids playing the piano, or violin, or flute, or whatever instrument you wish, or singing?

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

Offline nathanb

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #92 on: September 26, 2016, 07:51:50 AM »
Okay, Mr. Wiseguy Croche, please tell me what musical genre today fulfill the social function of making an extended family gather around making music together in the evening? What musical genre today fulfill the educational function of teaching kids playing the piano, or violin, or flute, or whatever instrument you wish, or singing?

Honestly man, is your general tone this demeaning, condescending, and disrespectful all the time or just on the internet?

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #93 on: September 26, 2016, 11:36:02 AM »
Okay, Mr. Wiseguy Croche, please tell me what musical genre today fulfill the social function of making an extended family gather around making music together in the evening? What musical genre today fulfill the educational function of teaching kids playing the piano, or violin, or flute, or whatever instrument you wish, or singing?

The short answer: jazz. 8)

The semi-short answer: many universities offer jazz programs for students who are eligible. Jazz can be played on violin, flute, guitar, piano, saxophone, french horn, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, cello, etc. Sometimes jazz is even a large family affair (i. e. the Marsalis, Jones, Coltrane families) hence families gathering around making music together in the evening.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 11:42:14 AM by Mirror Image »
"Music must be beautiful, or it wouldn’t be worth the effort” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline jessop

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #94 on: September 27, 2016, 06:28:01 PM »
Okay, Mr. Wiseguy Croche, please tell me what musical genre today fulfill the social function of making an extended family gather around making music together in the evening? What musical genre today fulfill the educational function of teaching kids playing the piano, or violin, or flute, or whatever instrument you wish, or singing?

It sounds like you are deprived of some music education, or a willingness to bring this about of your own accord. :(

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #95 on: October 19, 2017, 06:54:14 PM »
I'm not sure how obscure they are:

Jean Cras
Stéphan Elmas
Zygmunt Noskowski
Ludolf Nielsen
Asger Hamerik
Franz Xaver Scharwenka
Woldemar Bargiel
Josef Bohuslav Foerster
Cornelis Dopper
Eyvind Alnaes

Offline kyjo

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #96 on: October 19, 2017, 08:34:22 PM »
If I'm taking "obscure" to mean not well-known to the average classical listener (but relatively well-known to people like us), then my list would be:

Atterberg
Braga Santos
Hanson (besides his relatively popular 2nd Symphony)
Martinu
Roussel
Arnold
Tubin
Casella
Ginastera
Rontgen
Szymanowski
Miaskovsky
Honegger
Martin
Bax
Bridge
Piston

Oops, that's more than 10... ::)

« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 08:43:26 PM by kyjo »

Offline opaquer

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #97 on: October 31, 2017, 07:42:47 PM »
Korndorf always makes it to my list

Offline opaquer

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Obscure Composers
« Reply #98 on: October 31, 2017, 07:43:45 PM »
Lol, I just saw that I already mentioned him last year  :laugh:

If I remember correctly, I made a thread for him too which got no replies  :D

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