Author Topic: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.  (Read 13284 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2019, 02:35:10 AM »
Lili Boulanger (an immensely original talent cut off in her prime)
Finzi (maybe we would’ve gotten more large-scale works from him if the epic Cello Concerto written right before his death is any indication)
Korngold (so he could’ve completed that 2nd symphony! The Symphony in F-sharp shows that he was developing a deeper, darker style than in his previous works.)
Magnard (the stunning 4th Symphony shows that he was continually developing and refining his unique style. Imagine if we had a few more symphonies by him?)
Schubert (needs no explanation)

Agree with all these. I've been listening a lot recently to Schubert's 'Unfinished Symphony' which I like more and more.
"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).

Offline kyjo

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2019, 08:35:43 AM »
Lili Boulanger (an immensely original talent cut off in her prime)
Finzi (maybe we would’ve gotten more large-scale works from him if the epic Cello Concerto written right before his death is any indication)
Korngold (so he could’ve completed that 2nd symphony! The Symphony in F-sharp shows that he was developing a deeper, darker style than in his previous works.)
Magnard (the stunning 4th Symphony shows that he was continually developing and refining his unique style. Imagine if we had a few more symphonies by him?)
Schubert (needs no explanation)

Two bonus choices for me: Kalinnikov and Karlowicz.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline kyjo

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2019, 08:37:38 AM »
Agree with all these. I've been listening a lot recently to Schubert's 'Unfinished Symphony' which I like more and more.

Do you know Schubert's String Quintet in C major, Jeffrey? I know you're not usually one for pre-20th century chamber music, but it's a deeply eloquent work I think you'd enjoy.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2019, 04:59:47 PM »
Two bonus choices for me: Kalinnikov and Karlowicz.

Oh yes! Two potential talents who died too early. More Kalinnikov symphonies would have been more than welcome. Ditto Karlowicz.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2019, 09:56:55 PM »
Do you know Schubert's String Quintet in C major, Jeffrey? I know you're not usually one for pre-20th century chamber music, but it's a deeply eloquent work I think you'd enjoy.

No, but will look out for it Kyle. Thanks for the recommendation.
"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).

Offline Madiel

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2019, 02:06:08 AM »
To that end, this is one of my favourite purchases of recent years.

I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Offline Andy D.

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2019, 03:00:17 AM »
In spite of Mozart wrote countless masterpieces, I didn't include him on this list because his style wasn't changing radically that much (maybe I'm wrong, but it's what I kind of feel).


Mozart stuck to the forms Papa Joe had already more than established. The thing is, I think the former might have changed later in the life much the same way LvB did.

LvB's early material was at times practically identical to Mozart and Haydn's efforts, but with his middle period on he became increasingly more personal (and ended up completely superseding the earlier efforts by way of).

I think if Mozart had lived on he would have experienced the same kind of thing. The Requiem (the stuff he wrote, of course) doesn't really knock down any longstanding doors, but there's something so much more personal and so much less Haydn in that composition. Something darker than anything he'd ever written besides the also-later-period Don Giovanni.

In my eyes, had Mozart made the same, trailblazing moves LvB did, he might have eclipsed the latter (certainly through the eyes of history). Sadly, time ran out.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2019, 03:15:43 AM »
Church Music was and is rarely the genre for doing something revolutionary new. (The Mozart Requiem owes more to Handel than to Haydn).

Mozart was highly innovative, but mostly in piano concerto and opera. He did not quite succeed in transforming the staid opera seria despite a masterpiece like Idomeneo but he transformed the opera buffa into something that was not merely light entertainment but emotionally serious comedy of manners. And he created German opera, albeit in the form of a fairy tale piece with some silly aspects (Magic flute)
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Andy D.

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2019, 03:40:17 AM »
Mozart's idea of German opera was awfully close to the Italian idea, throughout most of his career. Give even a cursory listen to  the Italians before to hear how similar they really were (the differences were superseded by the similarities).

As to the church music, yes just as much Handel and Sebastian as Haydn...but was there anything as dramatic as his Requiem? I'd love to  find that one out.

I like that you mentioned the piano concerti and perhaps he did add some important, new-ish ideas. But nobody broke away from those forms anywhere near like Beethoven did.

Mozart wrote under Emperial rule, and the powers that be wanted people to not think too much. Mozart had no choice but to accommodate that, especially given his spending habits.


Offline Andy D.

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2019, 03:57:41 AM »
In a way, Mozart was a Pop composer. His spending habits made it so he had to adhere to a certain set of (Italians-and-Haydn-pioneered) forms.

That said, Mozart might have been the most sensational melody writer in the history of music (somehow I doubt I'll get much thrift over that assertion) and a freakily great composer.

It's more what he did with the pre-existent forms. That will never die.

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2019, 10:28:11 AM »
Mozart stuck to the forms Papa Joe had already more than established. The thing is, I think the former might have changed later in the life much the same way LvB did.

LvB's early material was at times practically identical to Mozart and Haydn's efforts, but with his middle period on he became increasingly more personal (and ended up completely superseding the earlier efforts by way of).

I think if Mozart had lived on he would have experienced the same kind of thing. The Requiem (the stuff he wrote, of course) doesn't really knock down any longstanding doors, but there's something so much more personal and so much less Haydn in that composition. Something darker than anything he'd ever written besides the also-later-period Don Giovanni.

In my eyes, had Mozart made the same, trailblazing moves LvB did, he might have eclipsed the latter (certainly through the eyes of history). Sadly, time ran out.

Good point, the Requiem was his turning point towards a more personal style. It would have been interesting because Mozart wrote mostly "happy" works, works in major keys, not many in minor ones. I think that is a feature why I am a bit reluctant to Mozart. His works are too optimistic for my taste, but of course, his genius is undeniable.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2019, 01:36:55 PM »
Five composers who I wish had lived longer (in order):

1. Claude Debussy - I’m not sure where he was heading stylistically as many works from his ‘late’ period were rather enigmatic. Some of these works even had a Neoclassical tinge to them while others demonstrated an even further development in tonal ambiguity. Also, he had planned on continuing writing sonatas for various instrument combinations. I’m sure more solo piano music would have been written, too.

2. Benjamin Britten - The composer once remarked that he would not live to see 50 but the fact that he lived to see 63 was certainly a blessing in disguise. He was quite ill in the end with his heart condition, but I wonder what if he didn’t have this medical issue? Would his music be affected by this different outlook? We certainly wouldn’t have the late masterpieces like Death in Venice, Phaedra, the 3rd SQ, Cello Suite No. 3, among other works or, at least, they could have come out sounding rather different then the versions that we know. Imagine if he had lived another 15-20 years? There’s no telling where he would’ve gone stylistically as his music was becoming increasingly dark or, at least, darker than it had been before.

3. Lili Boulanger - I have no idea where Boulanger would’ve gone, but I do believe that she would have achieved an even greater synthesis of Fauré and Debussy, but perhaps those influences would wear off? I could possibly imagine her moving onto a style influenced by the Second Viennese School. She died too young, but what an extraordinary compositional talent she had.

4. Karol Szymanowski - He had three distinct compositional periods: early Strauss-influenced, Impressionistic, and, finally, folk-influenced. He died quite young (I believe he was 55). I think he would have probably continued to develop that folk-influenced style and find a way to combine this with the Impressionism of his middle period. That would have been a unique synthesis indeed.

5. Alban Berg - He was 50 when he died and left his second opera, Lulu unfinished. Just imagine if he had another 20 years? Berg worked rather slowly and was meticulous in his compositions making sure nothing was out of place. What else could he have achieved? There’s much speculation here. I imagine that a few more chamber works would have been composed along with perhaps another opera and orchestral work.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 01:42:47 PM by Mirror Image »
"The old idea of a composer suddenly having a terrific idea and sitting up all night to write it is nonsense. Nighttime is for sleeping.” - Benjamin Britten

Offline The new erato

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2019, 07:13:33 PM »
Gershwin. Unique and interesting. How would he have developed?

Offline Christo

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2019, 10:54:48 PM »
Gershwin. Unique and interesting. How would he have developed?

He would definitely have made the things Leonard Bernstein later made in honour of him. :-)
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Christo

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2019, 11:34:41 PM »
Carl Filtsch (28 May 1830 – 11 May 1845) a Transylvanian child prodigy, student of Chopin, buried in Venice: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Filtsch (thanks to Andrei, great story from Sebeș (Mühlbach), many thanks!)

Juan Crisóstomo Jacobo Antonio de Arriaga y Balzola (27 January 1806 – 17 January 1826), Basque composer, nicknamed the 'Spanish Mozart'. Another child prodigy and accomplished composer (who shared his first two baptismal names with one Mozart and was born on the same day, henceforth called birthday (& exactly fifty years apart). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Cris%C3%B3stomo_Arriaga

Marie-Juliette Olga 'Lili' Boulanger (21 August 1893 – 15 March 1918), one of the greatest musical talents of the finest hour in the long history of French music (i.e. the Fin de siècle and beyond), didn't live to see the end of WWI (in which she had played a volunteering role)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lili_Boulanger

Leopold 'Leo' Smit (14 May 1900 – 30 April 1943) a gifted Dutch composer, murdered at the Sobibor extermination camp for being 'Jewish': https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Smit_(Dutch_composer)

Stanley Bate (12 December 1911 – 19 October 1959) studied under Vaughan Williams, Nadia Boulanger and Paul Hindemith a.o., greatest musical talent at the finest hour of British music (i.e. around WW II). Committed suicide (partly because of lack of recognition, probably not caused by the bad marketing instrument of his first name). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Bate
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2019, 11:46:36 PM »
Carl Filtsch (28 May 1830 – 11 May 1845) a Transylvanian child prodigy, student of Chopin, buried in Venice: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Filtsch (thanks to Andrei, great story from Sebeș (Mühlbach), many thanks!)

Juan Crisóstomo Jacobo Antonio de Arriaga y Balzola (27 January 1806 – 17 January 1826), Basque composer, nicknamed the 'Spanish Mozart'. Another child prodigy and accomplished composer (who shared his first two baptismal names with one Mozart and was born on the same day, henceforth called birthday (& exactly fifty years apart). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Cris%C3%B3stomo_Arriaga

Marie-Juliette Olga 'Lili' Boulanger (21 August 1893 – 15 March 1918), one of the greatest musical talents of the finest hour in the long history of French music (i.e. the Fin de siècle and beyond), didn't live to see the end of WWI (in which she had played a volunteering role)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lili_Boulanger

Leopold 'Leo' Smit (14 May 1900 – 30 April 1943) a gifted Dutch composer, murdered at the Sobibor extermination camp for being 'Jewish': https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Smit_(Dutch_composer)

Stanley Bate (12 December 1911 – 19 October 1959) studied under Vaughan Williams, Nadia Boulanger and Paul Hindemith a.o., greatest musical talent at the finest hour of British music (i.e. around WW II). Committed suicide (partly because of lack of recognition, probably not caused by the bad marketing instrument of his first name). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Bate
Definitely agree about Boulanger and Bate. Don't know the others.
"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).

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2019, 12:46:21 AM »
Definitely agree about Boulanger and Bate. Don't know the others.

Boulanger +++++ - one the great French 20th century talents.  Goodness knows what she might have gone onto achieve

What would another 20 years of Tchaikovsky produced into the 20th century?!?

What would another 20 years of Gershwin produced?!?!

What would another 20 years of Mahler produced?!?!

Offline Florestan

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Re: Five composers who you wish had lived longer.
« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2019, 01:03:44 AM »
Carl Filtsch (28 May 1830 – 11 May 1845) a Transylvanian child prodigy, student of Chopin, buried in Venice: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Filtsch (thanks to Andrei, great story from Sebeș (Mühlbach), many thanks!)

You're welcome. In his case we could say we wish he had lived, period. Dying at 15 doesn't make for much of a life. A tragic case.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo