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Thread: Nearly-forgotten works by famous composers

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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Default Nearly-forgotten works by famous composers

    Haven't you noticed how many ultra-famous composers have works that are nowadays nearly never performed live and can be hardly obtained recorded?

    For example:

    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3; seems that people lack interest for those works after hearing the super famous No.1
    Liszt: All of his choral and religious works
    Dvorak: All of his symphonies before the 7th
    Saint-Saens: Christmas Oratorio, Op.12
    Grieg: Symphony in C minor
    Wagner: Symphony in C major

    ...just to start the list.

    Why does this happen, if many of these pieces also contain catchy melodies and are written with their composers usual mastery?
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisztfreak View Post
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3; seems that people lack interest for those works after hearing the super famous No.1
    I don't really think people evade the 2nd concerto, it has been recorded many times (Postnikova, Richter, Gilels, Pletnev, Telerman, Donohoe...); of course, not as many as the first concerto.
    But I think this actually applies to the Andante and Allegro, the Concert Fantasy, and the Piano sonata in c sharp minor.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lisztfreak View Post
    Saint-Saens: Christmas Oratorio, Op.12

    (...)

    Why does this happen, if many of these pieces also contain catchy melodies and are written with their composers usual mastery?
    My interest on this work sticks to the Prelude, I don't really like the rest of it. But there's more Saint-Saens I like more, like the 3rd piano concerto and the second violin concerto. (And his left hand etudes... but they are etudes, perhaps that's why they are not recorded frequently)


    Sibelius: even though his violin concerto is part if the standard repertoire, his other works for violin and orchestra (Serenade, Humoresques, etc) are just not recorded/played by anyone. Well... Rosand and Tetzlaff, but that's not enough.

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    Senior Member oisfetz's Avatar
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    Unplayed and almost unknown: The chamber instrumental works of:
    Saint-Saëns - Sibelius except Voces Intimae - Schubert all his SQ before
    the 14th - Dvorak all his SQ before the "american" - Mozart all his early
    SQ - Strauss all his chamber - Suk all his chamber - Mendelssohn, except
    the octet how many other chamber works are played regulary?
    And I can go on and on...

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    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
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    Good thread.

    Handel: The Choice of Hercules, Almira
    Haydn: His piano trios.
    At first, I discovered the wonders of classical music through the marvels of its baroque period and especially those from Mr. Handel, which explain my forum nickname. About 10 years ago, my interest leaned over classical period and Herr Haydn's production. The music bus recently drove me to the early 1800s. Where will it end?

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    Mendelssohn - his violin concerto for string orchestra.
    Regards,
    Navneeth

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    Senior Member ChamberNut's Avatar
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    Beethoven

    His songs (I've never heard them)

    String Trios

    Choral Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra (compared to his other piano works)

    If there is such a thing as an underrated work by Beethoven, it may be his "Choral Fantasy". It's magnificent!

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    Senior Member Morigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChamberNut View Post
    Beethoven

    His songs (I've never heard them)

    String Trios

    Choral Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra (compared to his other piano works)

    If there is such a thing as an underrated work by Beethoven, it may be his "Choral Fantasy". It's magnificent!
    I totally agree!! I keep listening to it these days... I don't see how people say it's simply a curiosity.

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    More about unheard Beethoven compositions.
    Regards,
    Navneeth

    Want a piece of classical music identified? Post a link or upload a clip here. Someone might have an answer.


    A quick and gentle introduction to audio formats and compression

    2009: It's the International Year of Astronomy
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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Opus67, thanks for the link!

    Songs are probably the least performed pieces by any author that is not especially famous for them (i.e. Schubert, Schumann, Brahms).

    Who ever records songs of Delius & fellow Englishmen, the Nordic composers, Liszt, Debussy, Beethoven as mentioned etc. ?
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisztfreak View Post
    Dvorak: All of his symphonies before the 7th
    - The 6th is often played in the Czech Republic -

    But #'s 1-5 are not. The simple reason for this is that there is a dramatic shift in style between #'s 1-5 and #'s 6-9. The early ones are written in a Wagnerian-Lisztian vein and contain very little of the Czech national flavour that are prevalent in the later ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurkikohtaus View Post
    - The 6th is often played in the Czech Republic -

    But #'s 1-5 are not. The simple reason for this is that there is a dramatic shift in style between #'s 1-5 and #'s 6-9. The early ones are written in a Wagnerian-Lisztian vein and contain very little of the Czech national flavour that are prevalent in the later ones.
    I think the 6th is still a german experiment.

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    Piano concerto in c minor by Gabriel Pierné is Camille Saint-Saens' least known piano concerto.
    Last edited by Manuel; May-05-2007 at 18:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manuel View Post
    Piano concerto in c minor by Gabriel Piernés is Camille Saint-Saens' least known piano concerto.
    Oh boy! Not another debate on the "true genius" of a composer.
    Regards,
    Navneeth

    Want a piece of classical music identified? Post a link or upload a clip here. Someone might have an answer.


    A quick and gentle introduction to audio formats and compression

    2009: It's the International Year of Astronomy
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    Quote Originally Posted by opus67 View Post
    Oh boy! Not another debate on the "true genius" of a composer.
    I was thinking more in a debate about copycats.

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    Seems to me that "nearly-forgotten" depends so much on where you're standing. I would never have thought Bizet's symphony was anything but an overplayed warhorse. But that's because the radio station in Sacramento where I grew up played it all the time. I heard it before I'd heard any music from Carmen. And I've known, and loved all of Dvorak's symphonies for as long as I can remember. (I prefer five and six, though I'm pretty sure eight is his best. I would have picked seven and nine as the least Czech-sounding, but I'd better defer to Kurkikohtaus on this!)

    Things go in and out of "favor." And so often there seems to be no logic in it but caprice. Why has there never been but one recording of Piston's delightful Incredible Flutist ballet? Roberto Gerhard, well in the running for most underappreciated great composer of the twentieth century, gets a brief flurry of hard to get lps and then a brief flurry of cds. One good thing, the lps seem easier to find nowadays than back in the day.

    In fact, on this thread, I'd be tempted to say every piece by Gerhard is "nearly-forgotten." But Gerhard is only nearly famous.

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