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Thread: Dukas, Massenet, Borodin, Delius, and Delibes

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    Default Dukas, Massenet, Borodin, Delius, and Delibes

    In the essay Musical Canonization and Decanonization in the Twentieth Century by Anne Shreffler appears the following phrase: "while the music of Dukas, Massenet, Borodin, Delius and Delibes does not enjoy the respect it used to."

    What are your favorite works of these composers?

    Also, are there composers whose works have become less famous, and if so, what were their great works?

    The author went on, "As if to compensate for those who have disappeared from the repertory, composers including Alexander von Zemlinsky, Franz Schreker, Karol Szymanowski, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Viktor Ullmann, and Berthold Goldschmidt have been discovered or rediscovered."

    I am not sure of the date of the essay, though it can't be earlier than 2007.
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    I think my own pick for composers who has fallen into comparative neglect would be Adam, whose work Giselle used to be regarded as one of the greatest ballets, and now is almost unknown; followed by Gounod, whose 2 most famous operas dominated the late 19th century, but are now completely eclipsed by the operas of Wagner, Verdi, Puccini, Strauss and so on.

    Delibes is a good choice too.
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    Joachim Raff is somewhat forgotten, and I'm rather fond of his 3rd symphony.

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    Dukas: Villanelle
    Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia
    Massenet: Meditation

    I'll check the "Ds" repertoire later as I can't name something right off.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    Thanks to my local radio I listen to those regularly...no favorites in particular but there are some works I really like...Dukas and Borodin perhaps the most.

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    The only symphony by Dukas is a sadly neglected work, and in fact one of the finest of all French symphonies .
    If you haven't heard it, get a recording posthaste, and you'll ask yourself where it has been all your life.
    The EMI version with Jean Martinon and the French National radio orchestra is greatly admired, and there are several other recordings availkable .
    The Met will be doing a production of Borodin's Prince Igor in the 2013-14 season , which is great news for lovers of Russian opera. Valery Gergiev will be the conductor .

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    The only symphony by Dukas is a sadly neglected work, and in fact one of the finest of all French symphonies .
    If you haven't heard it, get a recording posthaste, and you'll ask yourself where it has been all your life.
    The EMI version with Jean Martinon and the French National radio orchestra is greatly admired, and there are several other recordings availkable .
    The Met will be doing a production of Borodin's Prince Igor in the 2013-14 season , which is great news for lovers of Russian opera. Valery Gergiev will be the conductor .

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    Senior Member Richannes Wrahms's Avatar
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    I'm certainly not very happy about it, particularly for Borodin and Delius who were quite innovative at their time and exerted a considerable influence on the musical world. Although, the same could probably be said about many other composers now considered mediocre. However, I do like Zemlinsky and Schreker when they don't sound like film music, and the occasional Szymanowski when he gets serious.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    I have two discs (or sets) by Dukas:





    I quite love the first set, but must admit that I haven't listened to the opera more than once, so I am not prepared to offer an opinion. What I do know of Dukas I find to be quite splendid.

    Delius I quite love. In many ways I prefer him to Elgar... and maybe Vaughan-Williams. A Village Romeo and Juliet, the songs, Sea Drift, On First Hearing a Cuckoo, etc... Delius remains a major composer IMO.

    Massenet? Werther, Thaïs, Cendrillon, Manon, etc... Massenet was one of the major composers of opera of the 19th century opera. Admittedly I am enamored of French music of the period, still I am certainly not alone in my assessment. One need only look at the Massenet recordings still in print...



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    Last edited by StlukesguildOhio; Jul-06-2014 at 02:01.
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    Delibes?



    This and the opera Lakme are about it. Not a major composer... but some lovely ear candy.

    Borodin? The essential works are probably all on the Decca Two-Fer "The Essential Borodin"... with the exception of the opera, Prince Igor, which kicks butt. That alone should keep him alive.
    Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

    Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with
    those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art.

    Pablo Picasso

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    I like the famous aria in Lakme. This is what real beutiful music is about. Anybody can relate to it. Which is why even the composer is a relatively unknown, his one famous aria immortalises his name. No gimmicks, no nothing.

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StlukesguildOhio View Post
    One need only look at the Massenet recordings still in print...
    It is possible that Massenet has 30 recordings in print and yet that he might've been still more honored in the past.
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member brianvds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by science View Post
    It is possible that Massenet has 30 recordings in print and yet that he might've been still more honored in the past.
    What if all thirty of them are recordings of the Meditation from Thaïs?

    The only composer in the OP's list with whom I am really familiar is Borodin, and even with him I know only a handful of works. I like his second symphony, the two string quartets and "In the steppes of Central Asia."
    Last edited by brianvds; Jul-06-2014 at 04:54.

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    I love the Manon with Netrebko and Villazon, and the Lakme from Australia with Emma Matthews, both on Blu ray.

    I am far from the first to note that the Netrebko Villazon chemistry (or the appearance thereof)is an added dimension to the former, while the sheer musicality of Lake overcomes the silly plot.

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by science View Post
    ... "while the music of Dukas, Massenet, Borodin, Delius and Delibes does not enjoy the respect it used to."

    What are your favorite works of these composers?
    Dukas - Sorcerer's Apprentice, La Peri, Symphony in C

    Delius - Cello Concerto, Walk to the Paradise Garden, Paris

    Borodin - Nocturne from String Quartet #2; Polovtsian Dances; Steppes of Central Asia

    Also, are there composers whose works have become less famous, and if so, what were their great works?
    Leopold Godowsky is one, I have a Naxos 3 disc set (in the "Easy Listening Piano Classics" series, a compilation of old Marco Polo recordings) that includes parts of Triakontameron, his transcriptions of the likes of Bach, Rameau, Schubert, etc.; Java Suite; various salon/encore type works and his Metamorphosis on themes of Johann Strauss II. He was held in similar regard to Rachmaninov and Busoni around the turn of the 20th century but kind of disappeared from the mainstream repertoire. One reason was that his pieces can be very difficult to play. Marc-Andre Hamelin has done some great recordings, I have heard his account of the Strauss pieces, pretty amazing playing there (on yt last time I checked).
    Last edited by Sid James; Jul-09-2014 at 07:43.
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