Author Topic: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?  (Read 858 times)

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Offline relm1

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This is a very hypothetical topic but if by some miracle you had the power to somehow rewrite history and allow five composers to have lived an additional five years who would you choose?  Perhaps they were on the verge of something magical had they only lived a little longer, we would comprehend their artistry in a very different way.

My five:
1. Mahler: how would he have finished No. 10 and what would he do next?  An opera perhaps?  No. 11? 
2. Shostakovich: Though he had a great and very satisfying ending with No. 15, there were reports that he was working on a No. 16 when he died.  What that might have been?
3. Prokofiev: he left quite a few unfinished works and I had wished for completion of his opera, Distant Seas, and perhaps his unrealized revision of Symphony No. 2 (all of his revisions of his symphonies are excellent and wholly individual works), and perhaps a Symphony No. 8.
4. Scriabin: Just died too soon and I love all he did.  It's great that we have a performance version of Mysterium's prelude but it leaves me wanting more and to know where he would have taken his artistry.
5. Sibelius: This is a controversial choice and I am torn with adding it to my list because he had 32 years to finish No. 8.  I suppose I just wish we had an opportunity to hear the work in its final form that he considered the culmination of his artistry but frankly, not sure if five more years would have mattered. 

Sadly this is a futile thread since we'll never know but it is fun to conjecture. 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 03:50:23 PM by relm1 »

Offline Cato

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2018, 04:34:50 PM »
This is a very hypothetical topic but if by some miracle you had the power to somehow rewrite history and allow five composers to have lived an additional five years who would you choose?  Perhaps they were on the verge of something magical had they only lived a little longer, we would comprehend their artistry in a very different way.

My five:
1. Mahler: how would he have finished No. 10 and what would he do next?  An opera perhaps?  No. 11? 
2. Shostakovich: Though he had a great and very satisfying ending with No. 15, there were reports that he was working on a No. 16 when he died.  What that might have been?
3. Prokofiev: he left quite a few unfinished works and I had wished for completion of his opera, Distant Seas, and perhaps his unrealized revision of Symphony No. 2 (all of his revisions of his symphonies are excellent and wholly individual works), and perhaps a Symphony No. 8.
4. Scriabin: Just died too soon and I love all he did.  It's great that we have a performance version of Mysterium's prelude but it leaves me wanting more and to know where he would have taken his artistry.
5. Sibelius: This is a controversial choice and I am torn with adding it to my list because he had 32 years to finish No. 8.  I suppose I just wish we had an opportunity to hear the work in its final form that he considered the culmination of his artistry but frankly, not sure if five more years would have mattered. 

Sadly this is a futile thread since we'll never know but it is fun to conjecture.

A good list!  I would add - or replace  someone - with Bruckner.

Other nominees:

Ernst Chausson

Wolfgang Mozart

Julius Reubke

Hans Rott

Franz Schubert



We might not think of Mozart or Schubert in such a context, because they created so much in such a short time.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2018, 04:52:36 PM »
Ooh. Interesting question.

1. Chopin: I think there's a new kind of depth in his late works that could have developed even further.

2. Bridge: He didn't die that young, but his style underwent a major change and the late phase is where things really get interesting. His reputation might be different if the balance of his output was shifted further towards that style.

3. Schubert: For me there is a pretty direct correlation between time of composition and degree of enjoyment. It seems inevitable that I'd like another 5 years added at the end of that progression.

4. Debussy: Definitely would have done interesting things, and for starters his planned series of six sonatas could have been finished.

5. maybe Mendelssohn. To be honest I don't know his work that well yet, but one thing that has struck me when looking at lists of his works is how many there were that he hadn't got around to publishing from the last couple of years of his life, and it just seems like he was someone who had plenty more to offer.
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Online San Antone

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2018, 05:58:46 PM »
Gershwin
Webern
Schubert
Mozart
Hendrix

Offline Brian

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2018, 06:44:00 PM »
Schubert, easily, and no one else comes close. His evolution in his final few years was so dramatic, and his last 10-12 major compositions were masterpieces every single one, and I must imagine that five more years of Schubert would have changed the world of music forever.

Offline Ken B

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2018, 06:46:28 PM »
Schubert, easily, and no one else comes close. His evolution in his final few years was so dramatic, and his last 10-12 major compositions were masterpieces every single one, and I must imagine that five more years of Schubert would have changed the world of music forever.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2018, 06:52:46 PM »
Schubert, easily, and no one else comes close. His evolution in his final few years was so dramatic, and his last 10-12 major compositions were masterpieces every single one, and I must imagine that five more years of Schubert would have changed the world of music forever.

This is an understandable view. But now I'm curious to see what your list of late masterpieces consists of. Mostly because I'm wondering if I've missed any of them.
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2018, 07:32:04 PM »
Vorisek
Arriaga
Kalinnikov
Schulhoff
Ullman


Offline amw

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2018, 07:46:51 PM »
I would give Schubert 20 years, with the remaining five to be inserted into Mozart's life between 1787 and 1788.

Debussy also would be a solid choice but probably not deliver as much in terms of quantity.

Offline Madiel

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2018, 09:36:09 PM »
Vorisek
Arriaga
Kalinnikov
Schulhoff
Ullman

Arriaga had crossed my mind.

Kalinnikov hadn't but I admire that choice.
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Offline amw

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2018, 09:56:42 PM »
This is an understandable view. But now I'm curious to see what your list of late masterpieces consists of. Mostly because I'm wondering if I've missed any of them.
The generally accepted list would be something like

1827:
- Piano Trio D898
- Impromptus D899
- Winterreise D911
- Piano Trio D929
- Fantasy for violin and piano D934
- Impromptus D935

1828:
- Fantasy for piano four hands D940
- Three Piano Pieces D946
- Allegro for piano four hands D947
- Mass D950
- String Quintet D956
- Schwanengesang D957
- Piano Sonata D958
- Piano Sonata D959
- Piano Sonata D960
- Der Hirt auf dem Felsen D965, arguably

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2018, 11:49:12 PM »
1. Schubert, for the reasons given above
2. Any composers killed in war (especially ww1)
3. Any composers murdered by the Nazis
(In fact with 2 & 3 i’d like to give them normal lifespans
4. Gerald Finzi, because we would have turned from a great composer into a very great one
5. Robert Simpson, i wish his final six years had been as fruitful as the previous six (before he suffered a stroke)

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2018, 11:55:57 PM »
Beethoven
Mozart
Schubert
Bruckner
Skalkottas

Offline Christo

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2018, 12:43:35 AM »
George Gershwin (obviously)
Leevi Madetoja (the manuscript of his fourth symphony went lost during a train trip; he would have written a great cycle).
Gustav Holst (just found a new mature style, wish he'd finished his (third) symphony + some more).
Leo Smit (murdered in Sobibor)
Stanley Bate (his third and fourth symphonies are just great; though there were said to be 'a dozen' more, nothing has been found yet).


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Offline ritter

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2018, 12:58:01 AM »
Richard Wagner. Parsifal would probably have been his last opera in any case, but he had talked of turning to symphonic music after it. Alas, that was not to be.

Manuel de Falla: He might have made some progress in the fascinating Atlántida.

Bruno Maderna: One of the most fascinating figures of the postwar avant-garde died too young, and still had many things to say.

Ferrucio Busoni: Although very precocious, Busoni’s music only became really interesting after the turn of the century, and by the time of his death he had developed an individual voice that could have produced many things (and he would have completed Doktor Faust).

Mozart: How would he have evolved if he had lived another 5 (or even better, another 30) years?
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 04:57:54 AM by ritter »
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Offline Judith

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2018, 02:42:13 AM »
Brahms   If there was the medical knowledge of today, he would  have had treatment and lived to compose approx five more symphonies
Schumann  Todays drugs would have made him mentally and physically stable so would also have given us more symphonies
Schubert Would have gone back to his symphony no 8
Tchaikovsky If he had not been drinking the water in the restaurant a third piano concerto
Bruckner Would have completed his symphony no 9

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2018, 03:15:35 AM »
Great thread idea:

Bruckner - so that he could finish Symphony 9

George Butterworth - a major talent killed in WW1

Ernest Farrar - as for Butterworth

Ciurlionis - a talented painter and composer who died too young

Lili Boulanger (as for Ciurlionis)

Also agree with Johan (Christo) about Stanley Bate and with San Antone's Gershwin (and Hendrix) choices.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 03:17:21 AM by vandermolen »
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2018, 04:32:06 AM »
2. Shostakovich: Though he had a great and very satisfying ending with No. 15, there were reports that he was working on a No. 16 when he died.  What that might have been?

He might have written a couple more string quartets - I've seen it suggested he was going for a 'set' of 24, one in each key.  But he was quite depressed and in a lot of pain, so I wouldn't wish those extra years on him really.

Quote
5. Sibelius: This is a controversial choice and I am torn with adding it to my list because he had 32 years to finish No. 8.  I suppose I just wish we had an opportunity to hear the work in its final form that he considered the culmination of his artistry but frankly, not sure if five more years would have mattered. 

I believe he threw the 8th on a bonfire, long before he died.

5. maybe Mendelssohn. To be honest I don't know his work that well yet, but one thing that has struck me when looking at lists of his works is how many there were that he hadn't got around to publishing from the last couple of years of his life, and it just seems like he was someone who had plenty more to offer.

I've always felt he kinda peaked at 16, and it was all downhill after that.  ;)

Offline NikF

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2018, 04:43:06 AM »
Brahms   If there was the medical knowledge of today, he would  have had treatment and lived to compose approx five more symphonies
Schumann  Todays drugs would have made him mentally and physically stable so would also have given us more symphonies
Schubert Would have gone back to his symphony no 8
Tchaikovsky If he had not been drinking the water in the restaurant a third piano concerto
Bruckner Would have completed his symphony no 9

Interesting choices/explanations. Regarding Schumann - obviously the best thing for him and his family would be that he receive such medical treatment, however, I wonder if that would have had a side effect in that it coloured his ability in some way.
And Brahms - yes, absolutely.  8)
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Offline Cato

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Re: Which five composers do you wish had another five years to live?
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2018, 04:48:55 AM »
Beethoven

Skalkottas


Of course!  Beethoven's Tenth Symphony or Sixth Piano Concerto, and any additional Skalkottas works would be wonderful!


Ferrucio Busoni: Although very precocious, Busoni’s music only became really interesting after the turn of the century, and by the time of his death he had developed an individual voice that could have produced many things(and he would have completed Doctor Faust).


Given Busoni's affection for new microtonal tunings, he might have given the movement some heft, if he had lived longer.


Brahms   If there was the medical knowledge of today, he would  have had treatment and lived to compose approx five more symphonies


Brahms: given the enigmatic nature of the Fourth Symphony, any future ones might have approached a quasi-Webernian compression.  Schoenberg always saw Brahms as a musical ancestor, as much as (if not more than)  Mahler, Bruckner, or Wagner,
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