Author Topic: Name that composer death  (Read 1550 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline KevinP

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1047
Name that composer death
« on: December 30, 2016, 04:45:51 PM »
I'm not optimistic I'll get a definite answer here, but I'll give it a shot.

Late 70s...possibly very early 80s...I'm watching the news before Carson came on. The anchor announced that a famous composer had died that day. Being a young musician, I was intrigued by this but the name meant nothing to me and I can't remember it now.

I'm pretty sure he was from Europe, but at that time of my life, I was young and untravelled so the world was pretty much the US and the non-US.

The anchor said the composer was known for his sense of humour and quips, one of which was, when asked about a certain woman, 'I knew her before she was a virgin.'

Not much to go on, I know. Any guesses?


Offline Jeffrey Smith

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 9083
    • Flickr photostream
  • Location: Florida
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2016, 05:04:16 PM »
Google says the quote was made by Oscar Levant in reference to Doris Day. He died in 1972.
But it also points to Groucho Marx (died 1977) and Milton Berle. But you wouldn't think of them as obscure musicians, and Berle died in 2002.

Were you watching Carson in 1972?

Offline Monsieur Croche

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 978
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2016, 09:20:40 PM »
Oscar Levant, indeed.
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline KevinP

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1047
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2016, 10:29:24 PM »
Were you watching Carson in 1972?

When my mom would let me stay up with her. This is definitely later.

Clearly I'm misremembering something

I loved watching reruns of You Bet Your Life while Groucho was still alive and remember his death well (I've even watched  several this week on DVD).

Doris Day is still alive (news to me I much admit), so it's not her death I'm misremembering.

My best theory is that the news reported on a retrospective of Levant's work at the time. Maybe a fifth or tenth anniversary of his death.

Offline PerfectWagnerite

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2879
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2016, 05:48:38 AM »
Who was the chap that was killed in a War? Not Butterworth, someone else?

Offline Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 18912
    • Brian's blog
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2016, 07:24:26 AM »
Who was the chap that was killed in a War? Not Butterworth, someone else?
Magnard? Webern? Butterworth did too.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 37282
  • Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Ravel, Bartók, Stravinsky, Janáček, Martinů, Szymanowski, Debussy, Poulenc
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2016, 07:26:56 AM »
Who was the chap that was killed in a War? Not Butterworth, someone else?

Getting a bit obscure here: Cecil Coles?
"I did my work slowly, drop by drop. I tore it out of me by pieces." - Maurice Ravel

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 37282
  • Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Ravel, Bartók, Stravinsky, Janáček, Martinů, Szymanowski, Debussy, Poulenc
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2016, 07:41:05 AM »
This may be an easy one (for some): this composer died from an infection brought on by a bug bite.
"I did my work slowly, drop by drop. I tore it out of me by pieces." - Maurice Ravel

Offline Mahlerian

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 783
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2016, 07:45:18 AM »
This may be an easy one (for some): this composer died from an infection brought on by a bug bite.

Alban Berg, naturally.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 37282
  • Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Ravel, Bartók, Stravinsky, Janáček, Martinů, Szymanowski, Debussy, Poulenc
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2016, 07:49:41 AM »
Alban Berg, naturally.

Absolutely. That poor guy.
"I did my work slowly, drop by drop. I tore it out of me by pieces." - Maurice Ravel

Offline Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 18912
    • Brian's blog
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2016, 01:55:39 PM »
This composer died peacefully and happily, at a fulfilling old age and surrounded by loved ones.

Offline Ken B

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1622
  • Get off my lawn!
    • kenBlogic
  • Location: Michigan
  • Currently Listening to:
    Hand-crafts, not tractor factories.
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2016, 03:35:16 PM »
This composer died peacefully and happily, at a fulfilling old age and surrounded by loved ones.
Haydn.
One hopes, Henning.
Boulez?
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set him on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline North Star

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 14437
  • Location: Kuopio, Finland
  • Currently Listening to:
    Leoš Janáček, Bohuslav Martinů
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2016, 04:05:42 PM »
Who was the chap that was killed in a War? Not Butterworth, someone else?
William Lawes died in the English Civil War, serving in the King's Life Guards.
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr

Offline PerfectWagnerite

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2879
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2016, 06:54:49 PM »
William Lawes died in the English Civil War, serving in the King's Life Guards.
I might have been thinking about Webern:

On 15 September 1945, back at his home during the Allied occupation of Austria, Webern was shot and killed by an American Army soldier following the arrest of his son-in-law for black market activities. This incident occurred when, three-quarters of an hour before a curfew was to have gone into effect, he stepped outside the house so as not to disturb his sleeping grandchildren, in order to enjoy a few draws on a cigar given him that evening by his son-in-law. The soldier responsible for his death was U. S. Army cook Pfc. Raymond Norwood Bell of North Carolina, who was overcome by remorse and died of alcoholism in 1955.[66]

Offline Ken B

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1622
  • Get off my lawn!
    • kenBlogic
  • Location: Michigan
  • Currently Listening to:
    Hand-crafts, not tractor factories.
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2016, 08:32:25 PM »
Getting a bit obscure here: Cecil Coles?
He is the only one aside from Butterworth I know of. Debussy died during but not in the war of course.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set him on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 37282
  • Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Ravel, Bartók, Stravinsky, Janáček, Martinů, Szymanowski, Debussy, Poulenc
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2016, 08:36:22 PM »
He is the only one aside from Butterworth I know of. Debussy died during but not in the war of course.

Yeah, I can't think of any other Brit composers who died during WWI.
"I did my work slowly, drop by drop. I tore it out of me by pieces." - Maurice Ravel

Offline Rons_talking

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 154
  • Location: Upper British Colu
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2017, 11:33:14 AM »
I'm not optimistic I'll get a definite answer here, but I'll give it a shot.

Late 70s...possibly very early 80s...I'm watching the news before Carson came on. The anchor announced that a famous composer had died that day. Being a young musician, I was intrigued by this but the name meant nothing to me and I can't remember it now.

I'm pretty sure he was from Europe, but at that time of my life, I was young and untravelled so the world was pretty much the US and the non-US.

The anchor said the composer was known for his sense of humour and quips, one of which was, when asked about a certain woman, 'I knew her before she was a virgin.'

Not much to go on, I know. Any guesses?



The only reason Oscar Levant's passing was noteworthy was that he was under contract to MGM and appeared in several films with the big stars. Also, he had a radio show, "Information Please." As a pianist and part-time composer his name wouldn't have made the news...(he was American, a Gershwin specialist). He wrote two great books on his life in music.

Offline Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 18912
    • Brian's blog
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2017, 12:53:38 PM »
Haydn.
One hopes, Henning.
Boulez?
I honestly didn't know. I was hoping somebody would be able to name one!

Offline Dedalus

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Location: Missouri
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2017, 09:23:31 PM »
I heard this story some time ago so any detail may be wrong. So I remember being told that a long time ago, in baroque or perhaps even renaissance, conductors didn't use batons but big sticks that they beat on the ground or something to keep time. The story I remember is just that a conductor hit his toe with his conducting stick, it got infected, and he died like two weeks later.

I don't seem to remember this guy being a very important name but more of a grim but funny story. Really hits home the Hobbesian idea of life being nasty, brutal and short.

Offline DaveF

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 435
  • Location: Abergavenny
Re: Name that composer death
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2017, 11:28:35 PM »
I heard this story some time ago so any detail may be wrong.

I don't seem to remember this guy being a very important name but more of a grim but funny story. Really hits home the Hobbesian idea of life being nasty, brutal and short.

No, your details are quite right - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Baptiste_Lully

In the French Baroque, a very important name.  Regarding unusual ways to die, quite unique.  Ironic too that the piece he was conducting was written to celebrate the king's recovery from illness.
"Just because I like something, it doesn't mean it's any good."

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