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The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => Topic started by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 10:52:55 AM

Title: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 10:52:55 AM
While browsing through this:

http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/ (http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/)

I stumbled upon this:

Quote from: Bohuslav Martinu
Music should always be joyful, even when it is tragic.

IDo you agree with this apparently paradoxical statement? If no, you may skip this thread. If yes, who are your top 5 composers in this respect?

My list, chronological order:

Haydn
Mozart
Schubert
Tchaikovsky
Dvorak


Have at it, and thanks for participating!



Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Todd on October 11, 2020, 10:58:21 AM
I should like to know how Memorial to Lidice conforms to the selected quote.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 11:05:01 AM
I should like to know how Memorial to Lidice conforms to the selected quote.

Well, that's a very good question indeed. Regardless, could you please share your list?
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Todd on October 11, 2020, 11:07:25 AM
Well, that's a very good question indeed. Regardless, could you please share your list?


I do not agree with the statement, so I have no list to offer.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 11:11:06 AM

I do not agree with the statement, so I have no list to offer.

Fair enough, forget about the statement. Please, give me your top 5 most joyful music composers, period.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Todd on October 11, 2020, 11:15:41 AM
Haydn
Chabrier
Francaix
Rossini
Johann Strauss
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 11:18:47 AM
Haydn
Chabrier
Francaix
Rossini
Johann Strauss

Thanks a lot. Except Francaix, whose oeuvre is an unknown quantity to me, all others are a constant source of joy for me as well.

Where should I start with Francaix?
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Todd on October 11, 2020, 11:21:26 AM
Where should I start with Francaix?


My exposure is fairly limited, but literally everything I've heard falls into the joyous category.  Select something at random.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 11:22:39 AM

My exposure is fairly limited, but literally everything I've heard falls into the joyous category.  Select something at random.

Will do, thanks again.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Brian on October 11, 2020, 11:32:48 AM
Where should I start with Francaix?
As Todd says, all but maybe 2 Francaix works are pure joy, but perhaps the piano concerto, double piano concerto, and piano concertino are good starting points, or a collection of chamber music (like the wind quintets and L'Heure du berger). There's a wonderful miniature oboe concerto called L'horloge de Flore. The ballets are all on Hyperion (including The Emperor's New Clothes), which makes them more expensive to collect.

You'd particularly enjoy the conceits behind some of his solo piano works: "Five Encores," all named for the reason you might play that particular encore (No. 3: In case of success, No. 4: In case of triumph, No. 5: In case of delirium!), and the "Promenade d'un musicologue eclectique," containing a series of affectionate portraits of his favorite composers, and then a very not affectionate parody of 12-tone  ;D

Francaix is a perfect choice to go alongside Haydn, Dvorak, J. Strauss, and Chabrier. Hmmm, wonder if Handel would fit here...

Edit: Dug up two (very old - 2013 - I often don't remember the works anymore!) reviews I wrote for MusicWeb covering orchestral (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Apr13/Francaix_100_WER69562.htm) and chamber (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Dec13/Francaix_chamber_INDE043.htm) Francaix, and a couple MWI reviews of other music by other people (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2014/May14/Francaix_strings_TOCC0162.htm) which you may also find useful (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Jan13/Francaix_NI5880.htm).
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 11:37:03 AM
As Todd says, all but maybe 2 Francaix works are pure joy, but perhaps the piano concerto, double piano concerto, and piano concertino are good starting points, or a collection of chamber music (like the wind quintets and L'Heure du berger). There's a wonderful miniature oboe concerto called L'horloge de Flore. The ballets are all on Hyperion (including The Emperor's New Clothes), which makes them more expensive to collect.

You'd particularly enjoy the conceits behind some of his solo piano works: "Five Encores," all named for the reason you might play that particular encore (No. 3: In case of success, No. 4: In case of triumph, No. 5: In case of delirium!), and the "Promenade d'un musicologue eclectique," containing a series of affectionate portraits of his favorite composers, and then a very not affectionate parody of 12-tone  ;D

Francaix is a perfect choice to go alongside Haydn, Dvorak, J. Strauss, and Chabrier. Hmmm, wonder if Handel would fit here...

Thanks a lot.

Following Todd's and your recommendation, Francaix is now top priority on my to-do list.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 11:39:38 AM
Edit: Dug up two (very old - 2013 - I often don't remember the works anymore!) reviews I wrote for MusicWeb covering orchestral (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Apr13/Francaix_100_WER69562.htm) and chamber (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Dec13/Francaix_chamber_INDE043.htm) Francaix, and a couple MWI reviews of other music by other people (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2014/May14/Francaix_strings_TOCC0162.htm) which you may also find useful (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Jan13/Francaix_NI5880.htm).

Will read asap, thanks.

EDIT: and your list is...?
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Jo498 on October 11, 2020, 12:45:31 PM
Beethoven who wrote Ode and die Freude and "O namenlose Freude"

Bach who wrote "Jesu bleibet meine Freude" etc.

Mozart who wrote "Welche Wonne, welche Lust"

Handel who wrote "Rejoice greatly" etc.

Haydn for whom I cannot recall a joyful text right now but who wrote lots joyful instrumental music

With the exception of Handel, the other would be in my unconditional top five anyway.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 12:55:48 PM
Beethoven who wrote Ode and die Freude and "O namenlose Freude"

Bach who wrote "Jesu bleibet meine Freude" etc.

Mozart who wrote "Welche Wonne, welche Lust"

Handel who wrote "Rejoice greatly" etc.

Haydn for whom I cannot recall a joyful text right now but who wrote lots joyful instrumental music

With the exception of Handel, the other would be in my unconditional top five anyway.

Great list, thank you.

Handel is quite underrated when it comes to joyfulness, methinks. I mean, his Italian cantatas are delightful.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: springrite on October 11, 2020, 01:20:22 PM
Haydn
Dvorak
Jacques Ibert
Mozart
Lehar
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 01:22:43 PM
Haydn
Dvorak
Jacques Ibert
Mozart
Lehar

Thanks. Ibert, a new name for me. What is it with these Frenchmen, are they all so joyfull?
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Scion7 on October 11, 2020, 01:28:15 PM
Quote
What is it with these Frenchmen, are they all so joyfull?

Yes, that Robespierre and Cardinal Richelieu were a barrel of larfs.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 01:31:11 PM
larfs.

What?
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Jo498 on October 11, 2020, 01:32:16 PM
"Dopo notte" from Ariodante and the very first aria from Messiah (although in content more exhortative than jubilant) are among the first pieces I think of.

Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 01:36:23 PM
"Dopo notte" from Ariodante and the very first aria from Messiah (although in content more exhortative than jubilant) are among the first pieces I think of.

Well, thanks --- sort of.

The idea of this thread is not that X composed two or three joyful things --- the idea is that most of their output is joyful.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Symphonic Addict on October 11, 2020, 02:06:52 PM
Dvorak
Glazunov
Haydn
Braga Santos
Respighi
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 02:10:43 PM
Dvorak
Glazunov
Haydn
Braga Santos
Respighi

Thanks, Cesar.

Although for me  Braga Santos is amongst the very last names I would think of when it comes to joyful...
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Papy Oli on October 11, 2020, 02:13:20 PM
As Todd says, all but maybe 2 Francaix works are pure joy, but perhaps the piano concerto, double piano concerto, and piano concertino are good starting points, or a collection of chamber music (like the wind quintets and L'Heure du berger). There's a wonderful miniature oboe concerto called L'horloge de Flore. The ballets are all on Hyperion (including The Emperor's New Clothes), which makes them more expensive to collect.

You'd particularly enjoy the conceits behind some of his solo piano works: "Five Encores," all named for the reason you might play that particular encore (No. 3: In case of success, No. 4: In case of triumph, No. 5: In case of delirium!), and the "Promenade d'un musicologue eclectique," containing a series of affectionate portraits of his favorite composers, and then a very not affectionate parody of 12-tone  ;D

Francaix is a perfect choice to go alongside Haydn, Dvorak, J. Strauss, and Chabrier. Hmmm, wonder if Handel would fit here...

Edit: Dug up two (very old - 2013 - I often don't remember the works anymore!) reviews I wrote for MusicWeb covering orchestral (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Apr13/Francaix_100_WER69562.htm) and chamber (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Dec13/Francaix_chamber_INDE043.htm) Francaix, and a couple MWI reviews of other music by other people (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2014/May14/Francaix_strings_TOCC0162.htm) which you may also find useful (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Jan13/Francaix_NI5880.htm).

That sounds like a French composer I should encounter sooner rather than later as well, thank you Brian.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Symphonic Addict on October 11, 2020, 02:17:01 PM
While browsing through this:

http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/ (http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/)

I stumbled upon this:

IDo you agree with this apparently paradoxical statement? If no, you may skip this thread. If yes, who are your top 5 composers in this respect?

I disagree with Martinu. Happy music all the time would bee too monotonous. I like contrasts in everything.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Symphonic Addict on October 11, 2020, 02:19:05 PM
Thanks, Cesar.

Although for me  Braga Santos is amongst the very last names I would think of when it comes to joyful...

His early works are imbued with sheer happiness. The later ones are totally the opposite. But when wanted to be happy, my goodness!!
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 02:20:35 PM
That sounds like a French composer I should encounter sooner rather than later as well, thank you Brian.

 :D
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Symphonic Addict on October 11, 2020, 02:23:28 PM
That sounds like a French composer I should encounter sooner rather than later as well, thank you Brian.

Yes, Françaix is like the epithome of good humour. A great choice that.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Papy Oli on October 11, 2020, 02:26:31 PM
:D

 ;D

We've done Ibert already, you need to catch up  :P  he's a good'un  ;)
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 02:28:30 PM
I disagree with Martinu. Happy music all the time would bee too boring. I like contrasts in everything.

Real life has been harsh to me as of late (meaning the last two years). I need music that gives me pleasure and makes me happy. Happiness is never boring for me.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 02:29:23 PM
;D

We've done Ibert already, you need to catch up  :P  he's a good'un  ;)

I will and will report.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 11, 2020, 02:30:03 PM
Look no further...
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 02:31:16 PM
Yes, Françaix is like the epithome of good humour. A great choice that.

Now I really MUST listen to his music.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Brian on October 11, 2020, 02:57:59 PM
Thanks. Ibert, a new name for me. What is it with these Frenchmen, are they all so joyfull?
You don't know Jacques Ibert?! My goodness. Divertissement may be the single funniest piece of music in existence....maybe. Escales is like a sequel to Ravel. The flute concerto is also well worth hearing and if my memory is right there's a pretty cool 25-minute long Christmas work for choir and orchestra. EDIT: Tropismes pour des Amours Imaginaires is not at all about Christmas, haha.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: kyjo on October 11, 2020, 08:20:27 PM
Boccherini
Braga Santos
Dvořák
Poulenc
Saint-Saëns
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: springrite on October 11, 2020, 08:46:15 PM
You don't know Jacques Ibert?! My goodness. Divertissement may be the single funniest piece of music in existence....maybe. Escales is like a sequel to Ravel. The flute concerto is also well worth hearing and if my memory is right there's a pretty cool 25-minute long Christmas work for choir and orchestra. EDIT: Tropismes pour des Amours Imaginaires is not at all about Christmas, haha.

Those would be the top works that comes to mind for me as well.
The English loved him... well, at least the English who are tired of being so seriousness about everything... He was known to the English, cheekily, as Jackie Bear.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Jo498 on October 12, 2020, 01:36:56 AM
The idea of this thread is not that X composed two or three joyful things --- the idea is that most of their output is joyful.
My idea is rather that I sense a generally joyful and optimistic view which can include dark and tragic pieces. In cases like Bach and Handel this seems at least somewhat connected to faith and a lot of their music explicitly celebrating tidings of great joy. In the case of Beethoven it is more like an indomitable energy and hope of winning against all odds but eventually not ending in futile wrath but triumph or gruff humour (like the 8th or many earlier/smaller chamber/piano pieces) even serenity (like the last string quartet, the final of the Pastoral etc.). Haydn and Mozart are somewhere in-between, so one cannot pinpoint a potential source of joy so clearly, although of these five they are the most joyful if one goes by the sheer number of joyful pieces.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Biffo on October 12, 2020, 03:36:34 AM
Well, thanks --- sort of.

The idea of this thread is not that X composed two or three joyful things --- the idea is that most of their output is joyful.
[/b]

Well in that case I can do no better than copy your choice -

Haydn
Mozart
Schubert
Tchaikovsky
Dvorak

I have to say that Schubert also wrote a good deal of gloomy music, especially the lieder, but probably enough joyful stuff to tip the balance.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: vandermolen on October 12, 2020, 05:07:28 AM
I listen little to 'joyful' composers, but here goes.

Glazunov - in works like the Seasons
Dvorak
Martinu
Rachmaninov - Symphony No.2 (definitely not 'The Isle of the Dead' or 'The Bells'  :o)
Some Finzi ('In Terra Pax'), although it's more ecstatic rather than joyful I think.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Brian on October 12, 2020, 05:25:35 AM
He was known to the English, cheekily, as Jackie Bear.
Hah, I did not know that, but I think of him as Jockey Bear...bit closer to the pronunciation  ;D
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Symphonic Addict on October 12, 2020, 08:35:04 AM
I listen little to 'joyful' composers, but here goes.

Glazunov - in works like the Seasons
Dvorak
Martinu
Rachmaninov - Symphony No.2 (definitely not 'The Isle of the Dead' or 'The Bells'  :o)
Some Finzi ('In Terra Pax'), although it's more ecstatic rather than joyful I think.

Rachmaninov?  ???
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Jo498 on October 12, 2020, 08:44:50 AM
I am struggling to see Schubert and Tchaikovsky as mostly joyful. Schubert is one of the most melancholy composers, I think, although I am skeptical about the alleged remark of his that he didn't know any happy? joyful music. Sure, as with Tchaikovsky that aspect might have been exaggerated in reception and the latter has a lot of festive music to balance the gloom of the "Pathetique" and others.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: vandermolen on October 12, 2020, 09:00:01 AM
Rachmaninov?  ???

Symphony No.2 maybe?
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Christo on October 12, 2020, 09:44:55 AM
Dvořák
Braga Santos
Respighi
Poulenc
Saint-Saëns
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Brian on October 12, 2020, 10:47:57 AM
I am struggling to see Schubert and Tchaikovsky as mostly joyful. Schubert is one of the most melancholy composers, I think, although I am skeptical about the alleged remark of his that he didn't know any happy? joyful music. Sure, as with Tchaikovsky that aspect might have been exaggerated in reception and the latter has a lot of festive music to balance the gloom of the "Pathetique" and others.
To me they are maybe the most bipolar composers? I agree with you that Schubert immediately makes me think of melancholy, and of course Tchaikovsky is famously moody...but then there are things like Schubert's symphonies 2/3/6 and Tchaikovsky's orchestral suites and ballets. Not too many people spent so much time working at both extremes of the emotional spectrum.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 12, 2020, 11:00:00 AM
JS Bach
Haydn
Scarlatti
de Victoria
Vivaldi

I don't think that [music in listening to which I joy] is the same as [joyful music]
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: alkan on October 13, 2020, 06:58:04 AM
Well I don't agree with Martinu !!!
Tragic music should sound tragic.    If it was joyous then it would sound rather superficial IMHO ....        In fact Martinu's quote referred to Dvorak and what I think he meant to say was that Dvorak was such a joyful person that even if he tried to write tragic music it still sounded joyous!

Nevertheless, the composer I most associate with writing joyous, life-affirming music is Carl Nielsen.     His symphonies are a monument to his character, even the 6th in which he faces death with flashes of humour.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Symphonic Addict on October 13, 2020, 07:03:55 AM
Nevertheless, the composer I most associate with writing joyous, life-affirming music is Carl Nielsen.     His symphonies are a monument to his character, even the 6th in which he faces death with flashes of humour.

I agree. When you want vitality, Nielsen is your man.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: André on October 13, 2020, 07:30:36 AM
Milhaud would certainly make the cut.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: some guy on October 13, 2020, 07:21:42 PM
Playing off of Karl's observation, I'd say that all composers are pretty joyful. They're doing a job they enjoy, after all. They keep doing it, anyway, even when bad things happen, which they do, in any job.

Most composers do have other jobs. The jobs that make them money. Often teaching jobs. But what really gives an artist joy is making art.
I would also say that any piece that's well done (or that engages a listener or two) is a cause for joy, a cause of joy, no matter what the subject. I can think of dozens, hundreds, of pieces that have grim or tragic or sad subjects that are a joy, a delight to listen to. We probably none of us take any pleasure in the beheading of nuns, but many of us listen to Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites over and over again because it's a smashing piece.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Mandryka on October 13, 2020, 07:40:28 PM
Stockhausen (Klang Trios)
Franco Donatoni
Dufay

Hard to write interesting joyful music, I’m reminded of Tolstoy: all happy music is happy in the same way, each unhappy piece is unhappy in it’s own way.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Old San Antone on October 14, 2020, 01:11:43 AM
Overall, I think French composers are more joyful than German composers.  For me playfulness sounds joyful, so my choices are inspired by a sense of playfulness I sense in the composer's process.

Poulenc, for sure
Erik Satie
Stravinsky
Cage
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Jo498 on October 14, 2020, 02:45:12 AM
Overall, I think French composers are more joyful than German composers.  For me playfulness sounds joyful, so my choices are inspired by a sense of playfulness I sense in the composer's process.
For me these are not so clearly related. I often tend to find the French style playfulness silly or frivolous and while we are at stereotypes Italian musical jollity seems more authentic to me.  My favorite French composers are all "serious" and neither playful nor joyful (Berlioz, Ravel, Debussy, Roussel). The playfulness in some Ravel or Debussy piano music I tend to find "neutral", like "playing of the waves" in nature. (Maybe Rameau is an exception but I usually prefer German and Italian baroque to French). It's not that I strongly dislike Milhaud or Poulenc, but it's not music that grabs me. This is not to deny that some German/Austrian composers are in fact quite gloomy. But with a few exception like Berlioz I tend to find French composers detached or aloof, not very emotional at all (for Satie this seems to be the central point, musical wallpaper).
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 14, 2020, 04:18:38 AM
I am struggling to see Schubert and Tchaikovsky as mostly joyful. Schubert is one of the most melancholy composers, I think, although I am skeptical about the alleged remark of his that he didn't know any happy? joyful music. Sure, as with Tchaikovsky that aspect might have been exaggerated in reception and the latter has a lot of festive music to balance the gloom of the "Pathetique" and others.

Well, yes, I agree that Schubert is essentially a melancholy guy. But...

Firstly, there is melancholy and melancholy. His is not of the gloomy, hopeless and despairing kind, but a gentle, mild, bittersweet one. Not a cloudy, cold, and snowy mid-winter late evening (Winterreise notwithstanding) but a warm, glowing and beautiful Indian summer sunset.

Secondly, for all his melancholy, to my ears his music sounds mostly joyful (admittedly, this may have possibly got something to do with his infallible melodic gift). The only work of his which has no joy whatsoever, no ray of hope at all, no moment of relief is Winterreise. All others juxtapose sorrow and joy in the most natural manner, and in the end the lighter mood generally prevails.

Pretty much the same applies to Tchaikovsky as well, melodic gift included, the difference being that he has no completely doom-and-gloom work (at least none known to me). Even the Pathetique has that charming waltz.

Overall, I'd say that judging by the works I've heard (not all of them but a susbtantial part and certainly all of the important ones), both Schubert and Tchaikovsky wrote more joyful, or cheerful, at least bittersweet, than sorrowful music. And yes, their reception tended to obscure this fact.


To me they are maybe the most bipolar composers? I agree with you that Schubert immediately makes me think of melancholy, and of course Tchaikovsky is famously moody...but then there are things like Schubert's symphonies 2/3/6 and Tchaikovsky's orchestral suites and ballets. Not too many people spent so much time working at both extremes of the emotional spectrum.

These are good points. But why do you single out Schubert's  symphonies 2/3/6? There's not a single one of all others, not even the Tragic, not even the Unfinished (the second movement strikes me as rather cheerful), which does not have joyful moments interspersed with sorrowful ones. As for Tchaikovsky, there's much more joyful music to him than just the ballets and the suites: all the concertos, the Serenade for String, the Capriccio Italien, Snegurochka, most of the piano music fits the bill. Heck, even Manfred has that delightful pastoral movement.

Now that I think of it, Chopin is not very gloomy either. The PCs and other works for piano and orchestra, mazurkas, waltzes, some of the preludes, polonaises, scherzos, ballades, impromptus and nocturnes, the barcarolle, the bolero and the juvenilia are quite cheerful, actually --- either completely or partially.



Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 14, 2020, 04:29:33 AM
Here's an alternative list of mine, comprising only names which have not been mentioned so far.

Telemann
Paganini
Offenbach
Paul Graener
Leroy Anderson

Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Mandryka on October 14, 2020, 04:32:47 AM
For me playfulness sounds joyful

Ha, that made me wonder what you'd think of Samuel Beckett's Endgame.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Florestan on October 14, 2020, 04:34:50 AM
Ha, that made me wonder what you'd think of Samuel Beckett's Endgame.

We're talking about music, right?
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Mandryka on October 14, 2020, 06:40:19 AM
We're talking about music, right?

Absolutely

https://www.youtube.com/v/ALFiOCXQUek&t=979s&ab_channel=Gygovich

But my real point was that one interpretation of Endgame is that it is a game, people are playing a game which, in fact they wish to bring to an end. But joyful doesn't sound right to me for this work at least. So the connection between play, game etc on the one hand, and joy on the other, is possibly defeasible. 

This is not brought out well in the opera IMO and seems to me a major weakness of Kurtag's work.

Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Brian on October 14, 2020, 08:30:00 AM
My favorite French composers are all "serious" and neither playful nor joyful (Berlioz, Ravel, Debussy, Roussel). ... But with a few exception like Berlioz I tend to find French composers detached or aloof, not very emotional at all (for Satie this seems to be the central point, musical wallpaper).

Oddly and maybe totally wrongly, I thought about suggesting Berlioz as a "joyful" composer. But maybe the more accurate thing to say is that he clearly takes personal joy in the wide range and capabilities of a symphony orchestra and/or chorus. So his music seems happy as a side effect of his own love of composing. There are things in his work which are indisputably happy - parts of the Te Deum, the ball and scherzo from Romeo and Juliet, the Roman Carnival. But when I think of things that give me joy from Berlioz, like the finale of Fantastique or the "chasse royale et orage," those aren't inherently joyful, they're exuberant. The joy was in the writing and hearing, not necessarily in the content.

Many of my favorite composers are the ones who clearly had the best time while they were composing. Haydn. I suspect that Janacek, for all his tortured love story, was having a grand time when he wrote things like the Sinfonietta. Or maybe I am projecting my own emotions onto them, and imagining their personalities in a way that is totally false.  :)
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Jo498 on October 14, 2020, 08:41:53 AM
I agree that "joyful" is a very broad term, maybe overly so. Janacek's Sinfonietta is exuberant, extravert etc. and while I would not directly deny that one could call it joyful, I would not take it as a typical example. Almost every composer, at least most of the great once wrote music in a rather broad emotional spectrum. They could express almost everything, not only in opera or illustrative music. Berlioz can also be ecstatic in the love scene or the first movement of Fantastique or raucously funny as in the Scene with Mephisto and the students (Auerbach's Keller) and some of the pieces you mention could also be called joyful and I'd add the "Harold" theme and most of the first movement of that piece, but it does not seem a dominant strain.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: ritter on October 14, 2020, 11:22:13 AM
Probably nobody would call Wagner a “joyful” composer, and yet...is there a more joyful composition (or work of art for that matter) than Die Meistersinger?
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Mandryka on October 14, 2020, 11:25:20 AM
How about this

https://www.youtube.com/v/LvFyDeOwMtY&ab_channel=lucpebo2

or this

https://www.youtube.com/v/MUixN14CSec&ab_channel=HansGraf-Topic
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: ritter on October 14, 2020, 11:29:21 AM
Good examples....and Verdi is another composer who one would hardly call “joyful”.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: springrite on October 14, 2020, 04:25:30 PM
It's true that everyone has his/her own definition of joyful.

Just imagine the answer to this Most Joyful Composers question from a masochist...  :P
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Brian on October 14, 2020, 04:28:54 PM
It's true that everyone has his/her own definition of joyful.

Just imagine the answer to this Most Joyful Composers question from a masochist...  :P
Ha!! Did I ever mention the guy I knew in college who told us that Le sacre du printemps sounded like his ideal sex? I've never been able to listen to the piece without wondering if he ever succeeded in achieving his goal...
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: springrite on October 14, 2020, 04:55:24 PM
Ha!! Did I ever mention the guy I knew in college who told us that Le sacre du printemps sounded like his ideal sex? I've never been able to listen to the piece without wondering if he ever succeeded in achieving his goal...
Are you sure that wasn't me???
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: DaveF on October 16, 2020, 12:04:37 AM
But what really gives an artist joy is making art.
I would also say that any piece that's well done (or that engages a listener or two) is a cause for joy, a cause of joy, no matter what the subject. I can think of dozens, hundreds, of pieces that have grim or tragic or sad subjects that are a joy, a delight to listen to.

As Auden said in his Composer sonnet:

You, alone, alone, O imaginary song,
Are unable to say an existence is wrong
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: kyjo on October 18, 2020, 08:27:41 AM
Rachmaninov?  ???

My reaction too! :D
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 18, 2020, 09:56:12 AM
Fie on me for losing sight of Nielsen
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: ritter on October 18, 2020, 10:09:51 AM
Just imagine the answer to this Most Joyful Composers question from a masochist...  :P
Bernd Alois Zimmermann?  ;D
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: springrite on October 18, 2020, 05:45:04 PM
Bernd Alois Zimmermann?  ;D
Good one!
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Biffo on October 19, 2020, 02:24:03 AM
Fie on me for losing sight of Nielsen

Fie on me also!
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: OrchestralNut on January 05, 2021, 09:46:17 AM
Myaskovsky
Tchaikovsky
Smetana
Schumann
Mahler

 :D
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Jo498 on January 05, 2021, 10:49:32 AM
Which Mahler strikes you as particularly joyful? There might be a handful of pieces (e.g. finali of symphonies 5 and 7) but overall it is not an adjective that comes to mind first when I think of this composer.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: OrchestralNut on January 05, 2021, 12:22:43 PM
Which Mahler strikes you as particularly joyful? There might be a handful of pieces (e.g. finali of symphonies 5 and 7) but overall it is not an adjective that comes to mind first when I think of this composer.

My listing provided in jest.
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Mirror Image on January 05, 2021, 08:33:18 PM
Hmmm...my ‘Top 5 Most Joyful Composers’?

In no particular order:

Dvořák
Martinů
Milhaud
Villa-Lobos
Bernstein
Title: Re: Your Top 5 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Rosalba on January 07, 2021, 06:26:28 AM
Byrd
Lully
Purcell
Vivaldi
Mozart
Title: Re: The Top 10 Most Joyful Composers
Post by: Symphonic Addict on January 07, 2021, 04:42:13 PM
Now I'm gonna be more rigurous in my decisions. But OK, here it goes:

Dvorák (I mean, this is unmissable!)
Haydn
Martinu
Nielsen
Prokofiev (yes, this was tough to add into!)

I think some honorable mentions must be taken into account:

Respighi, Mozart, Atterberg, Langgaard (I mean, exhilarating!!), and Braga Santos.