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Thread: Neglected Piano composers?

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    Default Neglected Piano composers?

    Just wondering, whos out there that most of us don't hear from very often that had wonderful piano pieces?

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    Alkan and Medtner.

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    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    CPE Bach could be a great piano composer as well, if he were ever played on that instrument and not just Clavichord/Harpsichord. Also, Clementi is underrated.

    Some wonderful piano pieces from the relatively small outputs of Balakirev, Lyadov, and Chabrier.

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    The sonata by Dukas, but he didn't exactly sanction a fat lot else of his output, did he?

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    Grieg's Holberg Suite for solo piano is magnificent as well.

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    Sibelius. Well, I don't know if he's neglected in the sense that his piano works are never recorded or performed...they are. It's just that they have a bad reputation.

    They are often dismissed as worthless trifles that were composed just so the composer could make money in between larger, more substantial works. I am not sure who the first person was to say that, but those words have stuck over the years, influencing many to believe that Sibelius's piano output is indeed worthless.

    And as for the statement "he wrote them just to make money." The Finnish pianist Folke Grasbeck has a wonderful retort to that statement: "What composer doesn't write to make money?"

    What we hear in Sibelius's piano works is often quite a bit lighter than most of his orchestral works. They are melodic and direct, almost deceptively so. His best works for the keyboard are solemn and meditative, yet quite intimate. Some may feel that they present a more accessible side of the composer than they are used to.

    And no less than Glenn Gould was a champion of Sibelius's piano works. "He never wrote against the grain of the piano," he said.

    And I may also look to put forth the piano music of Enrique Granados of Spain. You will be hard pressed to find keyboard music with more natural flair and amazing melodic invention. "Natural" and "effortless" are words that come to my mind when I think of Granados's writing for the instrument.
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    How about Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (Felix Mendelssohn's sister!). This disc definitely belongs in every classical piano music lover's collection. For example, her Notturno in G minor (2nd track) is a wonderful and very moving piece. Check it out!

    album.jpg

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    John Field, alleged inventor of the Nocturne

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    Masashi Hamauzu is pretty cool.


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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Just listening to Willam Alwyn's piano music as this topic came up.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Joaquin Rodrigo

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    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    Lyapunov's Transcendental Etudes.

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    Smetana
    Dvorak
    Gottschalk
    Turina
    Lyadov
    Suk
    Shostakovich
    Taneyev
    Paderewski
    Reger
    Hindemith
    Godowski

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    A year ago I would've said Medtner, but we have so many Medtner fanatics on this forum it's incredible. I love it. Alkan, I feel, is still underrated, probably because his style is a lot quirkier and harder to appreciate for aficionados of Romantic era piano music. It can also be said that his piano music is less pianistic, but rather more symphonic, and overall, it has a lot of modern qualities to it - it explores complex rhythm and dissonances that completely transcend its era.

    Other composers that come to the top of my mind:

    Frescobaldi
    Froberger
    Weckmann
    Hummel
    Fanny Mendelssohn
    Heller
    Bortkiewicz
    Eiges
    Roslavets
    Janacek
    Villa-Lobos
    Glass
    Liebermann
    Last edited by Air; Nov-12-2011 at 18:28.
    "Summit or death, either way, I win" ~R. Schumann

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    This is real mine field, history of music is full of piano virtuosos and composers who fell into obscurity and now are revived - I dare to say that most of them are really unrewarding. The Hyperion's series which we all know should be praised for bringing up many gems but among this impressive numbers of forgotten piano stuff they released there is much more of mediocrity and repetative, uninspired pieces than true masterpieces. I got really sick sometimes when listening to all this boring music. Lyapunov got me heavily annoyed with his concertos. Bortkiewicz didn't strike me with anything special as well. But let's write about something positive.

    Szymanowski gets some attention around the world for his great orchestral and violin music (sometimes for vocal stuff too) but his piano music is still forgotten. He wrote many works for piano, from beautiful post-romantic works summarized with 2nd piano sonata to magical, quasi-impressionist works like Masks or the 3rd sonata.

    There is also that awesome geezer which I mentioned something like 32498345425 times already on this forum but which gets little attention despite the fact that he, contrary to most of forgotten XIXth century geezers of piano, offers real depth, originality and beauty:

    Forgotten masterpiece of piano literature
    Last edited by Aramis; Nov-12-2011 at 18:22.

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