Kurt Atterberg was one of my favorite finds...definitely a man who knew how to write some achingly beautiful melodies. If you're into late romantics and haven't heard him, you're missing out!
The slow movement of Atterberg's 4th is also something to behold. David58117, do you know Alfven's music at all? He might be a good place to look if you're aching for something similar (if a little less heart-on-sleeve romantic than Atterberg)
I don't have any Alfven, although he's been on my list for a while now.
I think all eight of his symphonies have been recorded, but they're all out of print now.
The 3rd & 4th and the 7th & 8th are still pretty easy to find. The eighth has some cool tape bits. The seventh is a lot of hard pounding on the drum. Really. Just pounding and nothing else for a long time. It's delightful!!
I have several of his symphonies. They're all pretty quirky, with funky little titles--the music is much better than the titles. The best I can say is that Norholm's music isn't terribly extreme or difficult or anything, but it's always interesting, simply because it never quite goes where you expect it to. It always sounds fresh and surprising, even after many listenings.
Frankenstein Symphony. Of all the albums I've recommended to friends over the years, this one has gotten the most favorable responses. Which is very gratifying to me, as Dhomont is not only a very fine composer but a good friend. Well, a good acquaintance, anyway. The symphony is not about Shelley's doctor, nor about the monster he created. It is an assemblage of many electroacoustic pieces by Dhomont and by students and colleagues who have had impressive careers of their own. It's almost an emprientes DIGITALes* sampler, except that all the bits and pieces of everyone's music has been very skillfully woven into a new creation, hence the reference to Dr. Frankenstein.
I have a disc with two symphonies by this alumn of the outrageous ONCE festival, which also featured such sixties rowdies as Pauline Oliveros, Gordon Mumma, David Behrman, Alvin Lucier and Robert Ashley. The symphonies are late works and not as edgy as his antecedents (or even his other output) would lead you to expect, but they're still pretty good. Like Terterian, his have tape parts, too. Well, the earlier one does. What? I have to listen to the 1990 symphony again right now, just to write this post?
Marco Polo put out a disc of three short symphonies by this Irish composer, who also does chamber works and electroacoustics. The symphonies reminded me of Varese at first. The more I listen to them (and they repay repeated listenings), the less I think Varese and the more I think Corcoran. Very good sounds. Very tightly constructed works.
Well, those are some very good guys, there. And some smashing symphonies.
*a Canadian label of electroacoustic, live electronics, soundscapes, and a whole sub-label of uncategorizable new music.
Here are a few:
Louise Farrenc - All Three Symphonies
Gliere - Symphony No. 3
Balakirev - Symphony No. 1
Rimsky-Korsakov - Symphony No. 2
Borodin - Symphony No. 2
As you might be able to deduce, I am a musical Russophile.
Sergei Taneyev's 4th Symphony - So, so catchy and so underrated.
Definitely not a "lesser known" composer, but I think it may be easy for Rachmaninoffs symphonies to become lost in the mix. Particularly his second is a beautiful work.
I just bought a couple of sets from Naxos, the complete symphonies of Albert Roussel and William Schuman, both severely underperformed composers.. great!
To add one more to this list, who here has heard Karl Weigl's "Apocalyptic" Symphony (no. 5)? Weigl's name barely appears at all on these forums, but he was a figure of considerable renown in Vienna during the first quarter of the century. The "Apocalyptic" was written in 1945 in memorium of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and is one of the more interesting works I've come across.
Cue the obligatory blog plug! I've just written an entry on it. Worth checking out for anyone who likes Bruckner or "neo-Bruckner." The recording, from BIS is quite fine, and the cover art is insane:
Has anyone heard any symphonies by Lowell Liebermann? What do you make of him? I'm listening to this album on my Rhapsody account and I'm considering picking it up, but I can't decide. It's almost too lush, like a saccharine modern movie soundtrack, maybe not overly innovative. But does it have to be innovative? Am I just falling for pretty sonorities and will I get bored with it down the road?
I couldn't find any examples of the Symphony No. 2 on YouTube, but the album also contains his Flute Concerto. Again, I'm torn whether I'm temporarily liking the accessibility of this music.