Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19
Like Tree13Likes

Thread: Question for people who have listened to a lot of music and obscure composers

  1. #1
    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,200

    Default Question for people who have listened to a lot of music and obscure composers

    1. First identify how many years you've been listening to classical and how many CDs you own (or tracks if the collection is digital)

    2. How much do the major top 30 or so "canon" composers deserve their limelight over the more obscure composers you have heard? Limit yourself to the lesser known pre-1950's composers to prevent this from becoming a contemporary vs. "old" music debate. Which of the very famous composers deserve their prominence, which don't?

    3. To prevent another "who is the most overrated" type thread, this is again aimed only at our members who have listened to a large variety over quite a few years and gone far beyond the boundaries of conventional composers. Sorry if this excludes you, it also excludes me.
    Last edited by Couchie; Sep-18-2011 at 22:16.
    samurai likes this.

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    2,846
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default

    1) Roughly 8 years. 1,752 of my own MP3s, plus around a further 500 on Spotify (I've stopped downloading my own now).

    2) Such a BIIIG question. I wouldn't ever say that any of our most beloved composers don't deserve the attention they get, but I would say - regardless of my joking around with Brahms - that people should be wary of idolising and deifying. These were all just talented human beings.

    3) This should be number 1.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    8,968
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Well I could have taken part here, except your focus is pre-1950, so that cuts out virtually all Australian composers I've come to know since getting into classical music over 20 years ago. Classical music here really kicked off after 1945. I think there are some Aussie composers who have composed music of a very high quality deserving more attention internationally, but I guess the same could be said of any other countries/regions where classical music has emerged more recently than the established UK-Europe-USA axis/focus...
    Contrasts and Connections in Music

    Avatar image: Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus).

  4. #4
    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,908

    Default

    1. Roughly 43 years. My catalog claims I have 14,211 tracks. I'd say about half of those are classical.

    2. In general the big name composers do deserve their limelight (yes, I'll concede even Mozart does). A few seem overrated, and a few underrated, but for the most part I concur with the general consensus. Probably my enjoyment of composers who seem underrated (Berwald, Gliere, Tournemire, etc.) are just a temporary diversion when I get tired of Beethoven's mannerisms for instance. I always come home to the bigger names eventually. For an example of bigger names I find overrated, I rarely branch into Tchaikovsky or Mozart or the 2nd Viennese school for some reason, but never say "never."

    3. Oh - this isn't a question. I'm not sure how far beyond the boundaries of conventional composers I've gone. I still have quite a few I'm completely ignorant of, in spite of all that time and all those CD's and tracks. Then there are still quite a few I've heard the name, but I couldn't tell you what kind of music they compose. The biggest names listed in ArkivMusic have the following composers I am nearly or completely ignorant of:

    Albeniz
    Bellini
    Delibes
    Donizetti
    de Falla
    Gluck
    Gounod
    Granados
    Kreisler
    Lehar
    Leoncavallo
    Mascagni
    Massenet
    Offenbach
    Ponce
    Puccini
    Sarasate
    Verdi
    Villa-Lobos

    These are all considered among the biggest name composers for that site. I suspect a lot of those I don't know of are opera composers, but not all. And then of course there are many hundreds of second tier composers within the other pages. I know I've never heard of most of those.


  5. #5
    Senior Member some guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    3,583

    Default

    1. Fifty years. Around 4,000 CDs currently, but the amount waxes and wanes. I used to have upwards of 3,000 LPs, too. Concert attendance should count, too, eh? I don't think I have all that many CDs, but I do attend a lot of concerts. Several hundred a year. (In bursts. Some weeks have no concerts. Some days have four or five.)

    2. No canonical composer deserves anything, good or bad, "over" the other composers. Some composers get famous for some reason. Some stay famous for decades or centuries. How many people would consider Gluck to be canonical (or as wellknown, well played as Mozart or Haydn)? But I listen to him more often than to any of the other composers of that era.

    Most* of the famous composers deserve their eminence. Many of the less famous composers deserve just as much eminence or more.

    3. Fairly large variety, I guess. I don't really know. I listen to a lot of different things, just because I like music. And for fairly long. Fifty years doesn't seem like very many to me, but what do I know? It seemed like I fit the category, anyway....

    *That is, I like most of the famous composers quite a lot. I esteem Purcell over Handel and I don't particularly like Chopin or Liszt, but those things say almost nothing about the quality of any of those composers and say only a very little bit about me.
    samurai and violadude like this.

  6. #6
    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    25 Brook Street, Mayfair
    Posts
    3,516
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    ... but I do attend a lot of concerts. Several hundred a year. (In bursts. Some weeks have no concerts. Some days have four or five.)
    Do you make a living (i.e. earn financial remuneration) directly or indirectly from these concerts by any chance? Just curious. I suspect you probably do.

  7. #7
    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Ottawa Canada
    Posts
    583
    Blog Entries
    180

    Default

    I've been collecting music for well over 35 years, and have a modest collection covering most analogue and digital media.

    This may sound a bit like a cop-out, but I don't really distinguish music based on "who wrote it" - I do have an affinity for some composers, but I have more of an affinity for the late romantic/early 20th century era. That means the music of, say, Nielsen and Rachmaninov resonate more with me than the music of, say, Bach and Vivaldi. This is not to say I dislike or pan music from those comoposers, but rather that I would probably be inclined to listen to Tchaikovsky over Haydn.

    Why is that? Maybe (from a visceral perspective), I like the "big sound" of large orchestras, and the more complex rythmic structires developed, say, starting in the mid-19th century over that of the late 18th.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Kampen (NL)
    Posts
    2,880
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    1. First identify how many years you've been listening to classical and how many CDs you own (or tracks if the collection is digital)

    Since 1986, so about 25 years. I own about 4000 CD's, ranging from gregorian chant to contemporary.

    2. How much do the major top 30 or so "canon" composers deserve their limelight over the more obscure composers you have heard? Limit yourself to the lesser known pre-1950's composers to prevent this from becoming a contemporary vs. "old" music debate. Which of the very famous composers deserve their prominence, which don't?

    I can only answer this subjectively, so "deserve" might not be the best word. For me, of the regular big shots, Verdi and Handel are the ones I like least, and I could easily name hundreds of composers I prefer over them. Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann, Liszt and Wagner would rank lower in my own preference than in the general lists, even though I like them (Schumann, Liszt and Wagner less than the other two though). I would rank Brahms, Mahler and Schubert very high, and JS Bach highest of all. Of the names not usually mentioned as the greatest top30 or so, I would give the nod to the likes of Bax, Barber, Takemitsu, Respighi, Gubaidulina, Alwyn and Raff.
    violadude and HerlockSholmes like this.
    Und Morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen.....

  9. #9
    Senior Member some guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    3,583

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HarpsichordConcerto View Post
    Do you make a living (i.e. earn financial remuneration) directly or indirectly from these concerts by any chance? Just curious. I suspect you probably do.
    You would be wrong.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    5,353

    Default

    Yep, many of these are predominantly opera composers [O]. Other are 'provincial', in the sense that most of their music is strongly flavored by the music characteristics of their region [P]. And most of them didn't create a 'major composer' volume of works.

    Albeniz - [P]. Spain/Catalonia
    Bellini [O]
    Delibes [O]
    Donizetti [O]
    de Falla [O] and [P]. Spain
    Gluck [O]
    Gounod [O]
    Granados [P]. Spain
    Kreisler - Violin virtuoso, violin music.
    Lehar [O]
    Leoncavallo [O]
    Mascagni [O]
    Massenet [O]
    Offenbach [O]
    Ponce [P]. Spanish, don't remember if New World or Old.
    Puccini [O]
    Sarasate - same deal as Kreisler
    Verdi [O]
    Villa-Lobos [P] Brazil

    I can't speak to the fame of the opera guys, but the others are well known and frequently recorded, except maybe Ponce. Albeniz is one of my favorite composers.
    Weston likes this.
    Experience teaches you to recognize a mistake when you've made it again.
    - anonymous

  11. #11
    Senior Member jaimsilva's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Lisboa, Portugal
    Posts
    410

    Default

    In short: I have more then 4500 cd cases (some with just one CD, others are box collections with 3, 6 or more).

    Since a couple of years I don't buy any more CD: I download them.
    For the moment in my external drives I have 150610 files of music in 12664 folders (let's say each folder corresponds to 1 CD).

    Oh yes I know I'll never listen to all of them

    And I like to discover "obscur" composers and compositions. Thus, I'm allways on my way to enlarge the number of virtual CDs.

    And, yes: I am a compulsive collector
    Last edited by jaimsilva; Sep-19-2011 at 23:32.
    Conor71 and kv466 like this.

  12. #12
    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    25 Brook Street, Mayfair
    Posts
    3,516
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Couchie View Post
    2. How much do the major top 30 or so "canon" composers deserve their limelight over the more obscure composers you have heard? Limit yourself to the lesser known pre-1950's composers to prevent this from becoming a contemporary vs. "old" music debate. Which of the very famous composers deserve their prominence, which don't?
    This boils down to a personal preference obviously. Take Bruckner for example. I have his symphonies (some more than one version on recording), his masses, several other vocal religious music and his string quartet. Probably a decent sample of his oeuvre. Do I personally rate his music very highly? No, I don't but I do enjoy it in moderation. As for lesser recorded/known/performed ("obscure") composers, I might have more music on CD by say, Johann Christian Bach than I do Bruckner, or roughly similar amounts of French Baroque composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and Rachmaninoff (recently I bought Rach's complete solo piano music).

    The most significant contemporary works on recording I own are an opera by Kaija Saariaho, L’amour de loin (2000), and another opera by Einojuhani Rautavaara, Rasputin (2001–2003). The earliest are works around pre-1300 and a significant amount up to 1500. Between them, there is a swell of music around 1600 to 1900, three hundred years of music that I would like to think I have broad experience and awareness of over all genres, including opera (I mention opera because it's not a genre everybody likes).

  13. #13
    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,200

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jaimsilva View Post
    In short: I have more then 4500 cd cases (some with just one CD, others are box collections with 3, 6 or more).

    Since a couple of years I don't buy any more CD: I download them.
    For the moment in my external drives I have 150610 files of music in 12664 folders (let's say each folder corresponds to 1 CD).

    Oh yes I know I'll never listen to all of them

    And I like to discover "obscur" composers and compositions. Thus, I'm allways on my way to enlarge the number of virtual CDs.

    And, yes: I am a compulsive collector
    Extremely impressive. Do you have any insights on #2 above?

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY.
    Posts
    1,295

    Default

    I've been a classical music freak since the age of about 13, about 43 years ago.
    I've listened to a wide,wide variety of classical music over the years, but there's still so much I haven't heard ! I love this old saying : The more you know about a subject, the more you realize how much you don't know about it !
    There's an absolutely mind-boggling amount and variety of classical music available on CD now, ranging from 500 or more years ago to recent works by living composers.
    In opera alone, there are hundreds of operas that had never been recorded until recently, ranging from about 400 years ago to the present day.
    I like to listen to all kinds of classical music, orchestral works,operas, chamber music,piano music, choral works, you name it. I have an insatiable curiosity to hear
    works I've never heard before, because I've heard all the most famous works zillions of times. I love the Beethoven symphonies as much as any one, but how many times can you listen to them without getting jaded and bored?
    It's a lot like our food preferences. We all have certain favorite foods, but if you eat the same thing every day it gets awfully boring a frustrating. It's wonderful to have a juicy,tender and flavorful steak, but you wouldn't want to have steak every day !
    It wouldn't be good for your arteries anyway !
    So my CD collection,which may be between 400-500, not very big, is rather quirky.
    I don't have recordings of a lot of great works by Bach,Handel, Beethoven,Mozart,
    Schubert, etc, not because I don't love them.I sure do ! But there are so many interesting rarities out there, and I've got a lot of them.

    For example : The 3 symphonies of Max Bruch. The six of Carlos Chavez.
    Respighi's Sinfonia Drammatica, his only symphony. The Ocean symphony of Anton Rubinstein. The Asrael symphony of Josef Suk.,as well as his symphonic poem,the Ripening. The 3 symphonies of Czech composer Zdenek Fibich..The 4 of Karol Szymanowski. The 4 of Franz Berwald. Several by Nikolai Myaskovsky.
    The four of Albert Rouseel. The one by Korngold. The "Color" symphony of Arthur Bliss. The first 2 of Gheorghe Enescu. The 3 of Reinhold Gliere,including the massive "Ilya Murometz" symphony.
    Also : Nielsen's complete incidental music to the play "Aladdin". Hans Pfitzner's Oratorio :Of the German Soul", the Max Bruch oratorio "Song of the Bell",
    The complete Richard Strauss ballet "Legend of Joseph", Michael Tippett's oratorio "The Mask of Time", the 3 piano concertos of Nikolai Medtner, Prokofiev's "Cantata on the 20th Anniversary of the October Revlution", the Dvorak "Slavonic Rhapsodies"(not to be confused with the familiar Slavonic Dances), Janacek's "The Danube", "The Fiddler's Child",the Ballad of Blanik", the Martinu oboe concerto,
    Nielsen's orchestral works such as Helios overture, Fantasy overture, Pan and Syrinx,
    his violin,flute and clarinet concertos, symphonies by Norwegian Johan Svendsen,
    Russian Vasily Kallinikov, and much much more.
    Instead of the usual operas by Verdi,Puccini,Bizet,Gounod, Mascagnia nd Leoncavallo, I have operas such as Padmavati by Albert Roussel, Nielsen's Saul and David,Enescu's Oedipe, Krenek's Jonny Spielt Auf, Schreker's Der Ferne Klang, Notre Dame by Franz Schmidt,Zemlinsky's Florentine Tragedy, Zanonai's francesca da Rimini, Chabreir's Gwendoline, Weber's Oberon, Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa,
    Intermezzo, the Egyptian Helen, Friedenstag, Daphne, and The love of Danae,
    Rimsky-Korsakov's Kashchei the Immortal, Sadko, Legend of Kitezh, Janacek's Fate and The Excursions of Mr. Broucek, Smetana's The Devil's Wall, The Kiss and Libuse,
    Dvorak's The Devil and kate and Armida, Flammen by Erwin Schulhoff,the Birds by Walter Braunfels.etc.
    And a lot more cool stiff. No one could ever accuse me of having an uninteresting CD collection !
    Couchie and violadude like this.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    Yep, many of these are predominantly opera composers [O]. Other are 'provincial', in the sense that most of their music is strongly flavored by the music characteristics of their region [P]. And most of them didn't create a 'major composer' volume of works.

    Albeniz - [P]. Spain/Catalonia
    Bellini [O]
    Delibes [O]
    Donizetti [O]
    de Falla [O] and [P]. Spain
    Gluck [O]
    Gounod [O]
    Granados [P]. Spain
    Kreisler - Violin virtuoso, violin music.
    Lehar [O]
    Leoncavallo [O]
    Mascagni [O]
    Massenet [O]
    Offenbach [O]
    Ponce [P]. Spanish, don't remember if New World or Old.
    Puccini [O]
    Sarasate - same deal as Kreisler
    Verdi [O]
    Villa-Lobos [P] Brazil
    those are considered major composers in the guitar repertoire
    StlukesguildOhio and Weston like this.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Obscure Swedish composers
    By matsoljare in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: Jun-09-2013, 22:17
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: Sep-18-2011, 22:11
  3. Somewhat Obscure Composers 2: Gluck
    By science in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Jan-31-2011, 05:40

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •