Author Topic: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers  (Read 8028 times)

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MN Dave

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Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« on: May 17, 2008, 07:38:03 AM »
Why do you listen to them?

Are you actually tired of all the great works of all the main composers?

Or do you just want to be known as "that guy who listens to all those weird composers?"  ;D

Offline The new erato

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008, 07:44:49 AM »
I find the byways fascinating. And there are lots of underrepresented talent. And listening to the minors put the majors into perspective. And having a broad repertoire knowledge is fulfilling in itself.

One can't only listen to op 131 and the St Matthew Passion.

Kullervo

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2008, 07:47:47 AM »
I often ask myself the same question. I think for me it has something to do with the predominance of 20th century composers in my collection. The last century was very much the century of the Individual, and there were so many unique musical voices in those 100 years — I just have to hear them all!

MN Dave

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2008, 07:52:32 AM »
It seems to me, for example, that I'll never reach the bottom of the music trove of JS Bach.

Kullervo

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 07:57:36 AM »
It seems to me, for example, that I'll never reach the bottom of the music trove of JS Bach.

Probably not. :D How was Bach to know that one day someone would want to hear everything he ever wrote? It's too bad we only live (maybe) 100 years. :(

MN Dave

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2008, 07:59:47 AM »
It's too bad we only live (maybe) 100 years. :(

Don't get me started.  >:(   ;D

Rarely does a day go by without me listening to some JS. I can listen to the cello suites alone over and over again.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2008, 08:50:45 AM »
The sheer excitement of being able to play a CD of a piece one has never heard before and discovering what it is like! Often it does turn out to be run-of-the-mill but sometimes one does turn up a real undiscovered masterpiece which fills one with amazement and wonder....and THAT is a fantastic experience!

Offline techniquest

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2008, 07:23:16 AM »
Like Corey, I have a stack of music in my CD and mp3 collection from 20th century composers, and I am eternally grateful to both the Naxos label and ebay for introducing me to a huge range of music which would otherwise remain unheard. Some of it I'm not too keen on, some of it is frankly quite dull (I couldn't get into the Lilburn symphonies for example), but it's all about exploring and that's great fun.

Offline Gabriel

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2008, 09:02:09 AM »
Many times the best moments of the secondary composers can be at least as good as a good moment of the best composers. Perhaps as a whole their contribution to music is smaller - or less relevant - than the one of the greatest geniuses, but it doesn't mean that we have to ignore tons of remarkable music that has been written through many centuries.

A couple of days ago I made the remarkable discovery of a CD of Albrechtsberger string quartets in Hungaroton. It made me clear that Alberchtsberger was much more than (simply) the one who taught composition to the young Beethoven. Magnificently crafted music.

Offline 12tone.

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2008, 02:23:06 PM »
It's like...Gottschalk is better than Chopin!  8)

*runs*

greg

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2008, 02:29:38 PM »
The sheer excitement of being able to play a CD of a piece one has never heard before and discovering what it is like! Often it does turn out to be run-of-the-mill but sometimes one does turn up a real undiscovered masterpiece which fills one with amazement and wonder....and THAT is a fantastic experience!
That's my answer........
plus, i just like to be familiar with as much music as possible. As much classical music as possible. That doesn't suck. And I have to like it. It has to sound good. How do you know something won't sound good to you because other people say so? Plus you'll just know more music period.

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2008, 04:12:58 PM »
Why do you listen to them?

Curiosity and historical value for the most part. Most of them don't ever survive more then a few listens, though every now and then you get the occasional forgotten gem. It's rare, but it happens.

What irritates me is people stuck into some feel-good, "let's promote the little guy" mentality which is inane and irritating for it's lack of respect towards artistic truth. Very, very few unknown composers deserve to be "better known" but according to those misfits there isn't a single third rate hack out there who doesn't deserve it's own niche. Come on, let's get real folks.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2008, 04:21:22 PM by Josquin des Prez »

lukeottevanger

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2008, 01:10:48 AM »
What irritates me is people stuck into some feel-good, "let's promote the little guy" mentality which is inane and irritating for it's lack of respect towards artistic truth. Very, very few unknown composers deserve to be "better known" but according to those misfits there isn't a single third rate hack out there who doesn't deserve it's own niche. Come on, let's get real folks.

When taken to the extreme that attitude can indeed be irritating, I agree. But OTOH the opposite position - "let's do down the little guy" - is equally irritating and carries an equal lack of respect, as does the use of the terminology 'hack'. The truth is, I have respect for anyone the strength of whose urge to create music has led them along the difficult and often painful path of becoming a composer.

Besides which, in between 'the immortals' and 'the hacks' (and much depends on where your cut-off points are for both categories) come a whole body of fascinating and rewarding figures. Both Corey and Gabriel make good points:

Quote from: Corey
The last century was very much the century of the Individual, and there were so many unique musical voices in those 100 years

Quote from: Gabriel
Many times the best moments of the secondary composers can be at least as good as a good moment of the best composers. Perhaps as a whole their contribution to music is smaller - or less relevant - than the one of the greatest geniuses, but it doesn't mean that we have to ignore tons of remarkable music that has been written through many centuries.

In short, if you confine yourself to Bach, Beethoven and a couple of others you will miss out on all the things their music doesn't give you. I recognise that both of these are greater composers, but neither gives me the special 'whatever' that I find in Janacek, and that means so much to me. So I couldn't possibly be happy with them alone. And that, of course, is only one example.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2008, 02:07:08 AM »
The sheer excitement of being able to play a CD of a piece one has never heard before and discovering what it is like! Often it does turn out to be run-of-the-mill but sometimes one does turn up a real undiscovered masterpiece which fills one with amazement and wonder....and THAT is a fantastic experience!

YES
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

ChamberNut

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2008, 03:09:37 AM »
And how do you define "less popular or talented composers" anyway?  What criteria do you use?  Composer whose record sales are outside the Top 100 or Top 200 composers in the classical genre?

I'm asking the question, because Janacek's name has been mentioned.  To me, he would seem to be one of the "popular and talented composers". ???

lukeottevanger

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2008, 03:17:11 AM »
And how do you define "less popular or talented composers" anyway?  What criteria do you use?  Composer whose record sales are outside the Top 100 or Top 200 composers in the classical genre?

I'm asking the question, because Janacek's name has been mentioned.  To me, he would seem to be one of the "popular and talented composers". ???

To me too - but then you get get folks round here who are loathe to admit anyone outside quite a narrow central core of composers to the very top set. Janacek tends to get lumped into a second layer with, say, composers such as Grieg or Falla. And I'm not complaining, mind you, as I can see why that would be, though he means as much or more to me than any other composer.

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2008, 03:30:44 AM »
Exploration is fun and informative in and of itself, I've discovered many gems off the beaten path, and I do indeed get tired of hearing the same old canonical works. (And some of those just never did much for me, anyway. Some Bach, for example, I love, but much I really don't care for or about.)

For example, I've been exploring the complete symphony cycles of just about whatever composers I can get my hands on. I have around 50 different composers represented so far, with the selected symphonies of quite a few others. Have I encountered duds? Yes. But then again, I've also found masterworks like Pettersson's 7th (which can stand head to head with any great 20th-century symphony) and Korngold's Symphony in F#, as well as the beautiful and diverse symphonies of Sibelius's Finnish contemporary Leevi Madetoja, which are particular favorites of mine. And then there are symphonies by Bax, Barber, Diamond, Harris, Mathias, Honegger, Roussel, Rautavaara, Kokkonen, Norgard, Huber, Atterberg, Martinu, etc. that I also love. In fact, I've often gotten more enjoyment out of those than I have listening to the symphonies, of say, Brahms or Mozart.

Of course, I also periodically return to old core-repertoire favorites, having recently purchased a new cycle of Schumann's symphonies, for example, and my first new Mahler set in a decade.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 03:33:23 AM by Grazioso »
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MN Dave

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2008, 04:38:22 AM »
And how do you define "less popular or talented composers" anyway?  What criteria do you use?  Composer whose record sales are outside the Top 100 or Top 200 composers in the classical genre?

I'm asking the question, because Janacek's name has been mentioned.  To me, he would seem to be one of the "popular and talented composers". ???

I think Janacek it probably in the top 100, so no, he's not one.

Maybe someone like Joly Braga Santos.  ;D

springrite

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2008, 04:39:57 AM »
Maybe there should be the following catergories:

Less Popular BUT More Talented

More Popular BUT Less Talented

MN Dave

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Re: Less Popular and/or Talented(?) Composers
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2008, 04:42:31 AM »
Maybe I should have titled this thread: Lesser Known  :-*