Author Topic: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?  (Read 24069 times)

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DavidW

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2011, 04:15:50 AM »
happened with Xenakis, so if only someone will say composer Y sucks we can all have an Ysaye binge...  ;D

And if composer Z sucks then we can have a Zemlinsky binge! :D

DavidW

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2011, 04:17:36 AM »
Well, but that doesn't mean that she would never find it of interest.  That is a snapshot of where her ears were at that time.  Heck, there have been times when I didn't find Beethoven interesting.  (I'm still in a place where I do not find the Bach Cantatas interesting, e.g.)


Karl you suck! ;D  Did you really listen to all 60 cds worth of music and found not one appealing note?  Fess up... you only listened to like 2-3 cantatas right? >:D

karlhenning

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2011, 04:18:30 AM »
I wasn't thinking of Scarpia mostly you and Brian.  You have you listening to the Schnittke after the MI rant... and then notably after the Toucan DSCH smackdown both you and Brian go on DSCH listens, I think Brian trotted out a marathon.  Perhaps it's only being reminded of how much you love the composer... but I still notice a cause and effect.  And I've seen this repeated ALOT.  I might be the only one that notices but I've seen this pattern at least a dozen times on this forum: someone says composer X sucks, several posters say no he is great, a few of those go on a marathon of said composer when there interest was otherwise temporarily petered out before the thread.

Cause & effect, sure. But . . . retaliation? ; )

karlhenning

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2011, 04:20:52 AM »
None of them? asks Sfz, who coincidentally has just embarked on another project to hear the entire set through. (I know, I know, I could be listening to Arnold Bax.)

Well, I'll refine my remark:  I find them interesting and rewarding whenever I sing them (which has not been for a while, now);  but I don't seek them out for listening.

DavidW

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2011, 04:24:50 AM »
I didn't know that you sang Karl, thought you just played the clarinet.  So you

* sing
* play the clarinet
* conduct
* compose

Anything else?  You're like a jack of all trades. :D

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2011, 04:25:28 AM »
There was a pretty universal agreement among my music major friends that I had listened to far more music than they had. Which made me sad, honestly.*  :(

Your experience with music students (and academic professionals) mirrors mine. Most I know have a very limited range of musical interests. That Sid's friend doesn't know the music of H. Brian, etc, does not surprise me and it in no way supports Sid's contention that Brian is a "nonentity."

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
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Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
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karlhenning

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2011, 04:28:20 AM »
Karl you suck! ;D  Did you really listen to all 60 cds worth of music and found not one appealing note?

Dude! Go on a Bach Cantata retaliation binge! Je-je-je!

That's not what I said;  all the notes are fine notes, and (to quote Jeeves) I understand that Bach gives satisfaction.  I just have other things higher in my to-listen-to queue.

DavidW

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2011, 04:30:21 AM »
Your experience with music students (and academic professionals) mirrors mine. Most I know have a very limited range of musical interests. That Sid's friend doesn't know the music of H. Brian, etc, does not surprise me and it in no way supports Sid's contention that Brian is a "nonentity."

Sarge

I've also had that experience.  When I took a class on Beethoven in college I was the smart aleck that had all of the answers, and generally showed more enthusiasm than the other students.  I guess they really just have enthusiasm for playing music.

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2011, 04:33:16 AM »
Oof. Like it or not, knowing LvB's nine is basic musical literacy.

. . . the tangential question (tied in with discussion of the Canon, elsewhere) is, of course: Is there still a Core Literature with which a musician must be familiar, in order to be considered musically literate?


I would prefer to think so. Harold Bloom (the Yale literature professor, who coined the term the School of Resentment to denote those readers who think of Dante, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Molière, Melville, Tolstoy, etc. as Overrated Dead White European Males whose work should be - thank God!-  thrown in the trash heap to make way for the truly "relevant" black, feminist, marxist, what have you Authors That Matter For Our Time) would definitely think so. When I was growing up and first learning music in the 1960-70s, I believed firmly that I should make every attempt to learn the canonical literature, and I did so - even if some of it like the Missa Solemnis or the Art of Fugue seemed remote or difficult at the start. I believe we have many voices exemplifying a similar School of Resentment on this forum - folks who, for whatever reason, turn their back on the established literature and instead prefer to devote their time towards championing lesser known, supposedly "undeservedly neglected" figures.

It truly pains me to read some of what Brian has written. I have no objection to delving into Czerny and Hummel and Paderewski; no doubt there is some worthy music there (most definitely the case with Hummel.) But it disturbs me to hear that these pianists may not be learning their Chopin and Brahms and Debussy. But given the latitudinarian attitudes in the academy today, I should not be surprised. While I was doing my graduate work in English lit. in the early 70s, I remember the prof asking how many people had read King Lear. I was shocked not only by how many hadn't, but even more by the prof's attitude that it wasn't a shortcoming in their literary education.

On the other hand, when I took a graduate course with Charles Rosen during that time, he made a statement that shocked me only a little less in its cynicism, when he said, "I don't care if you haven't read [insert King Lear, or whatever canonical work you like - I think he used The Charterhouse of Parma.] But don't ever let me find out you haven't read that work."
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

DavidW

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2011, 04:34:53 AM »
[Edit: thinking of Sarge's post] This actually makes me think of the interested maverick vs the professional.  I've had this kind of experience before in physics.  Some people not studying physics, but genuinely interested can have acquired a large amount of interesting knowledge and show enthusiasm that the physics student doesn't show.  The student is busy mastering the problem solving skills per subject.

I guess the same can happen in music.  While the student might have deep but not broad knowledge, and the maverick has broad but not deep knowledge, as the student matures into a professional they will have both deep and broad knowledge.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 04:39:35 AM by haydnfan »

karlhenning

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2011, 04:40:29 AM »
. . . Harold Bloom (the Yale literature professor, who coined the term the School of Resentment to denote those readers who think of Dante, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Molière, Melville, Tolstoy, etc. as Overrated Dead White European Males whose work should be - thank God!-  thrown in the trash heap to make way for the truly "relevant" black, feminist, marxist, what have you Authors That Matter For Our Time) would definitely think so.

Hah! Surgically done.

I don't want anybody to take away my Langgaard; but that doesn't change the fact that (whether you find him "interesting" or not) you've got to know Beethoven.

Scarpia

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #31 on: April 26, 2011, 04:46:35 AM »
I wasn't thinking of Scarpia mostly you and Brian.  You have you listening to the Schnittke after the MI rant... and then notably after the Toucan DSCH smackdown both you and Brian go on DSCH listens, I think Brian trotted out a marathon.  Perhaps it's only being reminded of how much you love the composer... but I still notice a cause and effect.  And I've seen this repeated ALOT.  I might be the only one that notices but I've seen this pattern at least a dozen times on this forum: someone says composer X sucks, several posters say no he is great, a few of those go on a marathon of said composer when there interest was otherwise temporarily petered out before the thread.

I don't think "relatiation" is the mechanism.  Negative comments provoke enthusiasts to extol the virtues of the composer in question, and the positive comments result in curiosity, or renewed interest.  In my case it reminded me of several discs I had purchased after my last bout of Schnittke listening but had gotten distracted from listening to.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2011, 04:55:32 AM »
I don't think "relatiation" is the mechanism.  Negative comments provoke enthusiasts to extol the virtues of the composer in question, and the positive comments result in curiosity, or renewed interest.  In my case it reminded me of several discs I had purchased after my last bout of Schnittke listening but had gotten distracted from listening to.

Exactly. Both negative and positive criticism make me run to the shevles to dig out works I haven't heard recently. MI's fanatical insistence on the worth of Koechlin's Jungle Book is a case in point: I'm listening to it for the first time since I bought it (mid 90s). Yesterday it was Haydn's Stumbling Goat  ;D

Sarge
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 05:04:18 AM by Sergeant Rock »
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

DavidW

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2011, 05:05:37 AM »
Dude! Go on a Bach Cantata retaliation binge! Je-je-je!

That's not what I said;  all the notes are fine notes, and (to quote Jeeves) I understand that Bach gives satisfaction.  I just have other things higher in my to-listen-to queue.


No need for retaliation binge, I've never stopped listening to Bach!  He is great, utterly sublime.  The only composer the features higher on my queue is Haydn. 0:)

Alright, alright everyone I'll drop the word "retaliation"... I don't even think I knew how loaded that word is until I used it.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2011, 05:48:40 AM »
I believe we have many voices exemplifying a similar School of Resentment on this forum - folks who, for whatever reason, turn their back on the established literature and instead prefer to devote their time towards championing lesser known, supposedly "undeservedly neglected" figures.


I hope you include this raving Brianite out, who loves and knows his Beethoven, Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler, Stravinsky, Elgar, Vaughan Williams et cetera et cetera...  :o
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

karlhenning

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2011, 05:57:02 AM »
No need for retaliation binge, I've never stopped listening to Bach!  He is great, utterly sublime.  The only composer the features higher on my queue is Haydn. 0:)

Alright, alright everyone I'll drop the word "retaliation"... I don't even think I knew how loaded that word is until I used it.

Okay, laddie!  Though it may inspire Take-That Tuesdays! ; )

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2011, 06:55:37 AM »
Well, I don't know (& don't really care) if those three you mention are "hot" or not, but one has to admit that they were amongst the major movers and shakers of the classical music world after 1945. They're not "big names" for nothing, they all composed some very engaging music (engaging to me at least). Their music isn't "fart" music any more than those composers you like. Much of their music that I have heard - that has mainly been in the chamber and electronic realms - is highly sophisticated and innovative. & it is relevant to any listener who wants to get their head around what happened in music after World War Two. I have an acquaintance who studied the composition degree at the Sydney Conservatorium & she analysed and studied the music of all of those three in depth (whether she likes them or not is another matter). I doubt whether she has ever even heard of guys like Malipiero, Brian, Pizzetti or Koechlin. They might be of curiosity value, but they are basically nonentities to even some (or most?) of the most sophisticated and knowledgeable classical music listeners (but I must add that Brian's "Gothic Symphony" is garnering quite a bit of a cult following in many quarters around the world, so his reputation might be more solid, but only based on that one work)...

& a further "lecture"  :o -

I haven't heard anything by those, and something tells me I'm probably not missing out on that much. They were basically composers on the fringes (not that I only like composers who were/are "mainstream"). I have found loads to discover in the "biggies" like Monteverdi, Handel & Beethoven. The more I delve into composers like this the more I come to the conclusion that they have so much to offer that it can take a lifetime (or a sizeable chunk of it) to fully come to terms with and appreciate their genius. The major innovations in classical music (eg. the things that have had a lasting impact until today) happened up to the Classical Era. What happened after that was just further refinement and exploration of the possiblities set down by the earlier composers...

What utter rubbish these two paragraphs are! ??? Koechlin wasn't on the fringes of anything my friend. A little research and you would know this, but I thought you knew everything about everything, so it's quite surprising to find that you have done zero research on this most prolific composer. Shows what you know.

Here's an idea: go to Wikipedia or wherever you go to research composers and read about Koechlin. And furthermore, go to YouTube and go listen to some of his music. Educate yourself before you continue to run composers who you know nothing about into the ground just because they're not "mainstream." Your general attitude these past few months has been that of an elitist. You're becoming the very thing you so adamantly detest.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 08:03:54 AM by Mirror Image »
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karlhenning

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2011, 07:10:53 AM »
While I hope that it does not take a lifetime to appreciate Beethoven's genius, there are reasons why LvB is "canonical," and Koechlin is not.

That said, it is neither a perspicacious assessment of Monteverdi, Handel or Beethoven, nor a musical evaluation of the great composers since them, to dismiss "what happened after" as mere "refinement and exploration of the possiblities set down by the earlier composers."

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2011, 07:13:35 AM »
That said, it is neither a perspicacious assessment of Monteverdi, Handel or Beethoven, nor a musical evaluation of the great composers since them, to dismiss "what happened after" as mere "refinement and exploration of the possiblities set down by the earlier composers."

I think Sid had a little too much to drink when he made that post. :)
Don’t forget your four A’s, folks: Alex, Arnie, Alban and Anton


Offline Luke

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Re: Composers on GMG - Who's currently hot....and who's not?
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2011, 07:32:46 AM »
I believe we have many voices exemplifying a similar School of Resentment on this forum - folks who, for whatever reason, turn their back on the established literature and instead prefer to devote their time towards championing lesser known, supposedly "undeservedly neglected" figures.

I don't quite see it like that - what I see is

a) a small group of people who fit your description of Bloom's 'relativists', agitating for a neglected group (female composers, ignored classicists, whatever) as being 'as good as' their male counterparts, classicist contemporaries, whatever) - but these I don't see as a major feature of the board.

b) a group of people (a large group of people, probably most of us) who will argue from time to time (or sometimes more often!)  that a particular piece or a particular composer is worth more attention than they might generally get - you've done this yourself with e.g. Clementi sonatas or Auber, Spontini, IIRC...

a) - the wish to promote composers based not on their individual qualities but the basis that they happen to belong to a larger 'excluded' group - strikes me as nonsensical and, yes, it smacks of a resentment. b) however, is perfectly valid. Saying 'I think this composer may be worthy of more consideration than they usually get' doesn't in itself imply resentment, although of course it doesn't necessarily mean that the composer is worthy of that consideration!  ;)

Composers with a strong character tend to attract listeners strongly, though this might be a smallish group of listeners. The Brianites (and I'm one) are an example - I imagine you are at least in part thinking of him/them, as you've not had much time for him before. I don't think there's a single Brian lover on this board who would dream of placing him on a par with Beethoven or Bach, nor, probably of (say) Nielsen and Sibelius, to cite near contemporary symphonists. What they say is - this composer's music is quite odd, but it speaks to me very strongly, I think it might speak to others too, given the chance; its oddness, however, means that it hasn't been given as much of an airing as it needs to be given that chance. In Brian's case that picture is changing - just as it did for other composers before him - the symphonies are being recorded more and more, by better and better ensembles and conductors who make his oddnesses sound a little less...odd! And, lo and behold, new listeners are trying him and liking him all the time. It would be a mischaracterisation of Brian's admirers to suggest that they are in any way turning their backs on the core literature for the sake of the periphery. OTOH, I also think that peripheral art - literally eccentric art - is of its nature bound to appeal strongly to a small but passionate group, where centric art's appeal is bound to be more general, and perhaps not always as passionate.

But it is, after all, possible for a composer to be undeservedly neglected, isn't it? The scare quotes aren't strictly necessary, I think.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 07:36:26 AM by Luke »