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The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => Topic started by: romboid on May 13, 2011, 07:10:28 AM

Title: Composers who died young
Post by: romboid on May 13, 2011, 07:10:28 AM
... or relatively young, talent scattered. Contribute to the list.  :)

Joaquin Beristain (1817- 1839), mexican composer, cellist an pianist. His overture La Primavera:

http://www.youtube.com/v/JxTn3zVF028
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Mirror Image on May 13, 2011, 07:32:16 AM
One of my favorite composers that died way too young was Lili Boulanger. She showed enormous potential and during her short life composed some very stellar works, especially for choir and orchestra.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Luke on May 13, 2011, 08:03:23 AM
We've had a thread like this before, I think - all sorts of interesting names cropped up. The one I always mention, because he was pretty incredible, was Alexander Scriabin's son Julian, who died whilst still a young boy (11 IIRC), but who showed superb talent in the few works he wrote - piano pieces in the vein of his father's early-mid period style.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Scarpia on May 13, 2011, 08:04:46 AM
Bruckner.  Could have finished that damn ninth symphony.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Florestan on May 13, 2011, 08:42:41 AM
Norbert Burgmueller (1810-1836)
Juan Crisostomo Arriaga (1806-1826)
Vasily Kalinnikov (1866-1901)

All three composed great symphonies.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on May 13, 2011, 09:04:31 AM
The one I miss the most is Jan Vorisek (1791-1825), whose one and only symphony is better than most of Schubert's, and about as good as the first 2 Beethovens.

I don't really feel a sense of loss with guys like Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn, because they left so many masterpieces behind. But my feeling about Vorisek is that he was just getting started when he died.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Luke on May 13, 2011, 09:09:08 AM
Thomas Linley is the other one that always springs to my mind - the 'English Mozart' He was, in fact, Mozart's exact contemporary, close friend and fellow pupil, a hugely talented figure who died young, much younger than Mozart himself, in a boating accident.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Drasko on May 13, 2011, 12:35:58 PM
Alexei Stanchinsky and George Butterworth.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Luke on May 13, 2011, 12:45:08 PM
Rudi Stephan

Gideon Klein
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on May 13, 2011, 12:56:07 PM
Purcell,Mozart,Schubert,Berg,Webern,Zappa

Berg died at 50. I think we can safely move him to the "Composers who died in middle-age" thread.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on May 13, 2011, 12:57:15 PM
The one I miss the most is Jan Vorisek (1791-1825), whose one and only symphony is better than most of Schubert's, and about as good as the first 2 Beethovens. . . . . My feeling about Vorisek is that he was just getting started when he died.

Absolutely! that symphony is exceptional. Have you found any other of his works to match it?
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: mgendron on May 13, 2011, 03:51:52 PM
Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, (1876-1909) died from an avalanche. If you like Strauss and german tone poem go get this guy.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: petrarch on May 13, 2011, 03:58:52 PM
- Pergolesi
- Grisey, Maderna (though both were in their early 50s)
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Coco on May 13, 2011, 04:42:02 PM
Claude Vivier, murdered at 35, was a student of Stockhausen and wrote some highly unique music.

Jehan Alain is one of the most interesting of these "what-if?" cases — an organist with a unique harmonic use whose heavy modality seems to prefigure Messiaen. He was killed during combat WWII — but not before taking out more than a dozen German soldiers by himself with a single pistol.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Mirror Image on May 13, 2011, 05:28:09 PM
Claude Vivier, murdered at 35, was a student of Stockhausen and wrote some highly unique music.

I need to explore some of Vivier's music as I heard it is quite good. Wasn't he a Spectralist?
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Octo_Russ on May 13, 2011, 06:23:53 PM
Schubert!, he was only 31, i've always wondered what he would have done next, i'm sure he would have started writing Piano Concertos, or maybe he would have just fizzled out, we'll never know.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on May 13, 2011, 11:13:03 PM
Absolutely! that symphony is exceptional. Have you found any other of his works to match it?

Can't say I have, but then I haven't looked very hard. I've got his Mass on the same disc as the symphony, but haven't given it a careful listen. I did hear snippets of V's piano music, which impressed me; but I didn't explore further. I do want to dig into the piano music at some point.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: The new erato on May 13, 2011, 11:27:36 PM
All of you contemplating becoming composers, please note. It's a very hazardeous occupation!
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: abidoful on May 14, 2011, 12:20:23 AM
-Chopin. Died at 39.
After his start in late 1820's Warsaw with chamber music and orchestral works he composed almost solely for solopiano in the 1830's, but in the light of his sketches from late 1840's was making plans for an orchestral work and for more chamber stuf including a violin sonata.
-Toivo Kuula. Died at 35 two weeks after he was shot in the head. Intriquinf, passionate late romantic music with a serious intent to develop a new style of impressionism wich he never quite realised. His name means a bullit in finnish btw (KUULA: BULLIT )
- Ernst Mielck: Died at 22. Pupil of Bruch. First professional Finnish symphony.
- Heikki Suolahti. Died in a boat accident at 16. Wrote a symphony.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 14, 2011, 12:53:06 AM
50 is young, too soon in my book ..

I've got the same book.

I'll mention Albéric Magnard, died age 49 defending (heroically or stupidly, depending on your point of view) his property against German cavalry in 1914.

Mahler, age 50.

Sarge
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on May 14, 2011, 02:42:09 AM
Havergal Brian. He should have lived a few months into 1973 to see the first LP of his music issued.  ;) 
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Lethevich on May 14, 2011, 05:25:53 AM
As we seem to be amassing a secondary list of middle aged guys too (;)): Schumann, Bizet, Chausson, Albéniz, Weber, Mendelssohn, Mussorgsky...

For the original list: Vincenzo Bellini, Giovanni Pergolesi, Peter Warlock, Lili Boulanger, George Gershwin, Guillaume Lekeu.

I need to explore some of Vivier's music as I heard it is quite good. Wasn't he a Spectralist?

It's sad that the best disc of his music is OOP :( link (http://www.amazon.com/Vivier-Lonely-Prologue-Zipangu-Bouchara/dp/B0000041EX)
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: romboid on May 14, 2011, 06:27:06 AM
-Toivo Kuula. Died at 35 two weeks after he was shot in the head. Intriquinf, passionate late romantic music with a serious intent to develop a new style of impressionism wich he never quite realised.

Didn't know him. An extensive production for his age. I made an entry in Wikipedia Spanish.
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toivo_Kuula
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: abidoful on May 14, 2011, 08:54:47 AM
Didn't know him. An extensive production for his age. I made an entry in Wikipedia Spanish.
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toivo_Kuula
Yeah, but most of his works are miniatures and he was no prodigy; he started composing seriously only at about 22-24.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on May 14, 2011, 02:36:43 PM
As we seem to be amassing a secondary list of middle aged guys too (;)): Schumann, Bizet, Chausson, Albéniz, Weber, Mendelssohn, Mussorgsky...

If Havergal Brian qualifies (96), next thing we'll be hearing about Elliott Carter when he dies.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Lethevich on May 14, 2011, 03:47:13 PM
If Havergal Brian qualifies (96), next thing we'll be hearing about Elliott Carter when he dies.

Hehe, Brian was many things, but young is not one of them ;D
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Mirror Image on May 14, 2011, 06:25:20 PM
Lili Boulanger

I mentioned her earlier and will say that it's truly a shame in her case as she showed so much potential and the works she did compose show a brilliant mind at work.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: springrite on May 14, 2011, 06:33:48 PM
Lili Boulanger and Lekeu are the first two names that comes to mind, although I suspect that had they both lived long lives, Boulanger would have given us more great music than Lekeu.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Sid on May 14, 2011, 07:14:20 PM
I too think that passing away in one's 40's or 50's is still young, at least by today's standards when life expectancy in the West is about 70-75...

Dorian Le Gallienne (1915-1963) - Australian modernist composer

Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-1953) - American avant-garde composer, influenced people like Carter...
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Coco on May 14, 2011, 07:57:51 PM
Another middle-age death: Jean Barraqué (45), who wrote a small but essential amount of music, and seemed to have had a pretty difficult life.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on May 14, 2011, 10:05:59 PM

 If Havergal Brian qualifies (96), next thing we'll be hearing about Elliott Carter when he dies.

 
 :D
 
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: knight66 on May 14, 2011, 11:30:35 PM
Thomas Linley is the other one that always springs to my mind - the 'English Mozart' He was, in fact, Mozart's exact contemporary, close friend and fellow pupil, a hugely talented figure who died young, much younger than Mozart himself, in a boating accident.

Luke, I had never heard of this composer. I looked on Amazon and have ordered this....

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/519EHeZviuL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

The customer review on Amazon was for once very informative. Thanks for mentioning Linley Jnr.

Mike
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Sid on May 14, 2011, 11:51:26 PM
Another middle-age death: Jean Barraqué (45), who wrote a small but essential amount of music, and seemed to have had a pretty difficult life.

I was thinking of Barraque as well, but couldn't remember his name. Like Mussorgsky (another one who left us way too early), he was a heavy alcoholic. I heard part of Barraque's piano sonata on youtube, and it struck me as being in the league of Boulez's 2nd sonata, composed around the same time. They were of the same generation (of course Boulez, who has probably avoided such harmful addictions and maybe has better genes, is still with us in fairly advanced age). As a tangent to this, I just finished reading Augusten Burrough's memoir Dry, which is about how he kicked his heavy booze addiction. Pretty harrowing reading, it takes the reader right into the head of an alcoholic, and to tell you the truth it ain't very pretty (or straightforward) in there. I'm glad that both my parents were teetotallers & this has rubbed off on me. I hardly drink a drop (although I am an ex-smoker, so I know what addiction of another kind is about)...
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: abidoful on May 15, 2011, 02:56:01 AM
There's terrible "drinking-culture" in Finland among the musicians----alcoholism is even considered "cool".
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Coco on May 15, 2011, 04:42:12 AM
I was thinking of Barraque as well, but couldn't remember his name. Like Mussorgsky (another one who left us way too early), he was a heavy alcoholic. I heard part of Barraque's piano sonata on youtube, and it struck me as being in the league of Boulez's 2nd sonata, composed around the same time. They were of the same generation (of course Boulez, who has probably avoided such harmful addictions and maybe has better genes, is still with us in fairly advanced age). As a tangent to this, I just finished reading Augusten Burrough's memoir Dry, which is about how he kicked his heavy booze addiction. Pretty harrowing reading, it takes the reader right into the head of an alcoholic, and to tell you the truth it ain't very pretty (or straightforward) in there. I'm glad that both my parents were teetotallers & this has rubbed off on me. I hardly drink a drop (although I am an ex-smoker, so I know what addiction of another kind is about)...

I didn't know Barraqué was an alcoholic — the wiki bio makes it seem like he was simply ill for most of his life. I'm interested in reading this:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41A1ABG6AAL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

It's rather expensive. I'll have to check the big library here for it.

Also, not to bring the thread further off track, but I can relate — both my parents are alcoholics, which would probably be the sole reason why I never drink if it weren't for the fact that... I just don't like it!
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: matti on May 17, 2011, 10:13:23 AM
There's terrible "drinking-culture" in Finland among the musicians----alcoholism is even considered "cool".

Is there? Is it? Examples, gossips please! I do think you need to update your knowledge, even the rock musicians are turning sober nowadays.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: karlhenning on May 17, 2011, 10:25:22 AM
Is there? Is it? Examples, gossips please! I do think you need to update your knowledge, even the rock musicians are turning sober nowadays.

I see our Andy has been busting heads over there, very good, very good.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: abidoful on May 17, 2011, 10:47:09 AM
Is there? Is it? Examples, gossips please! I do think you need to update your knowledge, even the rock musicians are turning sober nowadays.
When I was a student people drank heavily for example in masterclasses (=summercourses). Besides that drinking wasn't banned or anything. Comment's more like "well, if you can play at 9 am at my class class I don't care"). So it was very pro-alcohol. Certainly not anti. And all those stories about Sibelius and his drinking. It was cool to be "a drunk" and still be able to play great!

The sad thing is that quite few people really had/have serious problems with drinking. I can recall at least 3 of my friends and colleques who had/have those problems. And one of my teachers died of that... :(

 Anyway, I don't know how's the situation nowadays; I wouldn't know since i'n not young anymore :)
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: matti on May 17, 2011, 11:16:08 AM
When I was a student people drank heavily for example in masterclasses (=summercourses). Besides that drinking wasn't banned or anything. Comment's more like "well, if you can play at 9 am at my class class I don't care"). So it was very pro-alcohol. Certainly not anti. And all those stories about Sibelius and his drinking. It was cool to be "a drunk" and still be able to play great!

The sad thing is that quite few people really had/have serious problems with drinking. I can recall at least 3 of my friends and colleques who had/have those problems. And one of my teachers died of that... :(

 Anyway, I don't know how's the situation nowadays; I wouldn't know since i'n not young anymore :)

I'm sure you are partly right, but being drunk and playing great is not possible, the human body does not work that way, not even a Finnish one. The legend of Sibelius being a hard core alcoholic may have been true at some point of his life, but staying alive that long... his liver must have been more of a miracle in the field of medicine than all his symphonies put together in the musical one.

I am not young either, but I think alcoholism is hardly admired anymore, in any field of expertise. There are sad examples of course who suffer from it, but they are considered... well sad. Not tolerated well, no matter how talented. It's a hard core world, (unfortunately) too hard for hard core drunks.

 

Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on May 17, 2011, 11:38:51 AM
The legend of Sibelius being a hard core alcoholic may have been true at some point of his life, but staying alive that long... his liver must have been more of a miracle in the field of medicine than all his symphonies put together in the musical one.


 :D
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: arkiv on March 01, 2015, 11:06:40 PM
Juventino Rosas (1868–1894).


https://www.youtube.com/v/090zNqcqZF4
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Mandryka on March 02, 2015, 05:38:33 AM
I'm sure you are partly right, but being drunk and playing great is not possible, the human body does not work that way, not even a Finnish one. The legend of Sibelius being a hard core alcoholic may have been true at some point of his life, but staying alive that long... his liver must have been more of a miracle in the field of medicine than all his symphonies put together in the musical one.

I am not young either, but I think alcoholism is hardly admired anymore, in any field of expertise. There are sad examples of course who suffer from it, but they are considered... well sad. Not tolerated well, no matter how talented. It's a hard core world, (unfortunately) too hard for hard core drunks.

There's an story that when Solti was recording Rheinegold, he wasn't satisfied with the way they were playing the overture, so he ordered some champagne, got them drunk, and bish bash bosh Bob's your uncle - fabulous performance.

Nikolai Demidenko gave some of the greatest Schumann recitals ever when he was totally pissed, in the Wigmore Hall about 20 years ago. I was on the front row and I could smell the booze.

I'm interested in the way substance induced altered states of mind inspire great art.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: EigenUser on March 02, 2015, 06:40:19 AM
No one has mentioned Hans Rott? I really liked his symphony when I heard it a few months ago.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: vandermolen on March 02, 2015, 09:21:01 AM
Agree about Lili Boulanger - a real tragedy. Also, Kurka, George Butterworth, Farrar, Finzi, Magnard.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: jochanaan on March 04, 2015, 09:02:38 AM
I need to explore some of Vivier's music as I heard it is quite good. Wasn't he a Spectralist?
Yes.  I have (or had; long story) his opera Marco Polo on DVD, and it is very interesting and very good.  Among other features, the instrumentalists (not in traditional "orchestra" numbers or configuration by any means) are expected to interact with the singers on stage. :o 8) ;D
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Mirror Image on March 04, 2015, 04:49:53 PM
Yes.  I have (or had; long story) his opera Marco Polo on DVD, and it is very interesting and very good.  Among other features, the instrumentalists (not in traditional "orchestra" numbers or configuration by any means) are expected to interact with the singers on stage. :o 8) ;D

Pretty strange stuff, jochanaan.

Thread duty:

Not sure if he's been mentioned yet, but E. J. Moeran died in his 50s. Surely, he would have went on and composed a lot more music.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: vandermolen on March 09, 2015, 08:47:31 AM
Pretty strange stuff, jochanaan.

Thread duty:

Not sure if he's been mentioned yet, but E. J. Moeran died in his 50s. Surely, he would have went on and composed a lot more music.

Perhaps but I think that Moeran was going a bit 'off the rails' by the time he fell off the pier at Kenmare.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Jo498 on March 09, 2015, 09:02:11 AM
I think 55 cannot really count as "dying young" although it seems rather early for 20th century standards. The threshold is about 40, I'd say. Tragic as his decline and death were, I would not claim that Robert Schumann died "young" (at 46).
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Mirror Image on March 09, 2015, 11:11:48 AM
Perhaps but I think that Moeran was going a bit 'off the rails' by the time he fell off the pier at Kenmare.

Interesting. I'm not familiar with this story. When and how did Moeran fall off a pier?
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Mirror Image on July 26, 2015, 05:41:11 AM
Lili Boulanger and Lekeu are the first two names that comes to mind, although I suspect that had they both lived long lives, Boulanger would have given us more great music than Lekeu.

I don't agree. I think Lekeu would have continued to develop his idiom and while it may not have been as modernistic perhaps as Boulanger's at least we know where his heart is, especially when he says things such as this: "Joy is a thousand times harder to paint than suffering". My kind of composer.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Cato on July 26, 2015, 06:01:38 AM
Hans Rott certainly must be mentioned again.

Julius Reubke must also not be forgotten.

https://www.youtube.com/v/U9gCvM7PaYA

https://www.youtube.com/v/qNMWu2_T94g
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: vandermolen on July 31, 2015, 09:49:57 PM
Interesting. I'm not familiar with this story. When and how did Moeran fall off a pier?

Sorry John, just saw this. Many people thought that Moeran must have been drunk when he fell into the sea off the pier at Kenmare as he had an alcohol problem but I think that a post-mortem revealed that he'd had a heart attack. Sadly, he was not very balanced at the time ( no sick pun intended ). W Denis Browne was another who died much too young (killed in World War One).
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Mirror Image on August 02, 2015, 07:57:28 AM
Sorry John, just saw this. Many people thought that Moeran must have been drunk when he fell into the sea off the pier at Kenmare as he had an alcohol problem but I think that a post-mortem revealed that he'd had a heart attack. Sadly, he was not very balanced at the time ( no sick pun intended ). W Denis Browne was another who died much too young (killed in World War One).

No worries, Jeffrey. Thanks for the information.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: starrynight on August 04, 2015, 02:37:21 AM
I think 55 cannot really count as "dying young" although it seems rather early for 20th century standards. The threshold is about 40, I'd say. Tragic as his decline and death were, I would not claim that Robert Schumann died "young" (at 46).

Yes, young/early can be used interchangeably sometimes on threads like this.  Often it amounts to the same thing though in that people tend to be arguing over who would have produced the most substantial output had they lived longer.

Maybe a different view would be to contrast those who had promise but were never able to really bring it to fruition (died very young in their composing career) and those who did reach great standards but could have given us much more (died early before their muse had dried up). 
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: romboid on September 08, 2021, 12:04:01 PM
G.B. Pergolesi (1710-1736).
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: MusicTurner on September 08, 2021, 12:11:04 PM
William Baines (23, more than 150 works, including some fine piano music)  wasn't mentioned.

Arvid Kleven (29), a Norwegian.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Roasted Swan on September 08, 2021, 12:34:15 PM
Vítězslava Kaprálová was a massive talent who died aged 25.  I haven't heard the recent Naxos discs but her music that was recorded on older Supraphon discs is of real distinction

(https://grandpianorecords.com/content/images/thumbs/0000303_kapralova-vitezslava.jpeg)
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: relm1 on September 08, 2021, 03:17:11 PM
Vítězslava Kaprálová was a massive talent who died aged 25.  I haven't heard the recent Naxos discs but her music that was recorded on older Supraphon discs is of real distinction

(https://grandpianorecords.com/content/images/thumbs/0000303_kapralova-vitezslava.jpeg)

How did she die so young?   :(
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Mirror Image on September 08, 2021, 05:51:09 PM
How did she die so young?   :(

Tuberculosis I believe.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: T. D. on September 08, 2021, 05:59:50 PM
Tuberculosis I believe.

The Kapralova Society website (credited in above photo) is extensive, I've visited some pages before.

Website claims that the cause of death is not clear:

Main page says Despite her untimely death in 1940, from what was misdiagnosed as miliary tuberculosis, Kapralova left behind an impressive body of work.

Footnote 10 on the Life page says The latest research into possible causes of Kapralova’s death suggests that she may have died of typhoid fever, caused by S. typhi bacteria. I am indebted to Dr Philip Mackowiak, professor emeritus of University of Maryland School of Medicine, for making this educated guess as to the etiology of Kapralova’s fatal illness, which is based on Kapralova’s original medical record from Saint-Eloi clinic in Montpellier, France.
Title: Re: Composers who died young
Post by: Mirror Image on September 08, 2021, 06:01:34 PM
The Kapralova Society website (credited in above photo) is extensive, I've visited some pages before.

Website claims that the cause of death is not clear:

Main page says Despite her untimely death in 1940, from what was misdiagnosed as miliary tuberculosis, Kapralova left behind an impressive body of work.

Footnote 10 on the Life page says The latest research into possible causes of Kapralova’s death suggests that she may have died of typhoid fever, caused by S. typhi bacteria. I am indebted to Dr Philip Mackowiak, professor emeritus of University of Maryland School of Medicine, for making this educated guess as to the etiology of Kapralova’s fatal illness, which is based on Kapralova’s original medical record from Saint-Eloi clinic in Montpellier, France.

Strange stuff. Whatever the circumstances, her death was a great loss to classical music. She showed enormous potential.