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Thread: Neglected (but Great) Piano Works of Famous Composers

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    Default Neglected (but Great) Piano Works of Famous Composers

    I am fond of studying neglected pieces :P But since theres already a "Neglected Piano Composers" thread, I am going to start this thread in search for neglected pieces from the Chopins and Schumanns. So post suggestions!

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    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    Sorry no Chopin or Schumann. While not exactly neglected, I wish there were as many different pianists' recordings of Debussy's piano works as there are of say Grieg's piano concerto or stuff that basically every major pianist and their granny recorded. I love the versions that are out there but always find myself wondering how so and so would have sounded. Anyway,...I'll start thinking about something for those two.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    I was going to suggest several works by Alkan, but then considered some of the recordings out there by pianists who, judging by their interpretations, didn't understand the music. Don't need any more of those.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    I was going to suggest several works by Alkan, but then considered some of the recordings out there by pianists who, judging by their interpretations, didn't understand the music. Don't need any more of those.
    Alkan is incredible!
    I'd love to see more recordings of Hamelin's works.
    "Young people can learn from my example that something can come from nothing. What I have become is the result of my hard efforts." - Joseph Haydn

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    Senior Member humanbean's Avatar
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    Chopin's amazing Op. 9 No. 1 is neglected in comparison to the overplayed and inferior Op. 9 No. 2. Typically the piece is only played as part of a cycle so it counts as neglected in my mind.

    And as mentioned in another thread, Schumann's Humoreske is a good example.

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    Senior Member Lisztian's Avatar
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    Last edited by Lisztian; Apr-15-2012 at 03:26.

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    Senior Member Crudblud's Avatar
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    Well, hate to be so predictable, but I rarely see Messiaen's solo piano pieces besides the Vignt Regards get any praise. The Catalogue d'oiseaux is the most engrossing book (or rather, set of books) of piano pieces I know of.

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    All above are known to me, and I'm a generalist in classical, not focused on piano repertoire.

    But I would say Busoni and Godowsky. I haven't heard much of the former but in recent weeks gotten into some of his music.

    Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938) - of Polish origin - was amazing on many levels, I will provide a potted history of what I know -

    - As a virtuoso, composer admired by the likes of Busoni and Rachmaninov (who dedicated his Polka de W.R. to Godowsky)

    - As an innovator in piano technique - eg. use of penatonic scale in his Java Suite (REALLY worth a listen guys - an excerpt HERE) & also things like his Triaktomeron - a collection of 30 miniatures which to my ears sound as varied and visual/symbolic as things like Debussy's Preludes. From that set, HERE is the nostalgic Alt Wien (Old Vienna), a popular encore of yesteryear, but the pieces making up Triaktomeron are very varied, with everything from African rhythms to mountain music of the Alps to ragtime and tango and more (sometimes mixing these up with the most unexpected results!).

    - As a great transcriber and arranger of other composer's pieces - eg. from Baroque to early 20th century (his Schubert transcriptions esp. fine, as are his Symphonic Metamrophoses on waltzes and operettas of J. Strauss II), & like Liszt, he did not transcribe by the book, he did it in a way that was creative and imaginative.

    - As a teacher - most significantly in Vienna and USA.

    I am only at basic to intermediate level with Godowsky, but I really think it's a pity he's less known than his contemporaries, the likes of Debussy and Rachmaninov, I think he's just as good as them.

    Look out for Marc Andre Hamelin's recordings, but there are a number of others available now too.
    Last edited by Sid James; Apr-16-2012 at 09:04.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Paul Hindemith composed quite a few piano works but only the three sonatas seem to maintain any kind of significance, probably due to them being recorded and championed by Glenn Gould. Perhaps the rest are shied away from for the same reasons as to why many other of Hindemith's works are ignored, whatever the genre - accusations of coldness and/or triumphs of academic endeavour over emotional inspiration (so what - I can listen anything by him and still gain satisfaction).

    With Liszt, his piano output was so gargantuan I'd have though it impossible for every piece of his to be popular.

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    Reger's var. and fugue on a Telemann theme. IMHO, best piece in that form since Hendel-Brahms.

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    I agree that Hamelin is a wonderful proponent of more obscure piano works that deserve attention - Alkan being one of the better examples. Not to mention the fact that Hamelin is a top-notch performer.

    I would add Haydn to the list. Too often his piano works are over-looked being sandwiched in between Bach and Mozart/Beethoven. They are justifiably good in their own right. Hamelin again makes these shine, but Ronald Brautigam also brings these to life, especially if you like them performed on the fortepiano.

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    I don't know if Hummel's and Dussek's piano sonatas fall in this category, but they are works that deserve more attention.

    What's this Clara Schumann thing by the way? It reminds me of the movie Invasion of the body snatchers, where all humans become replaced by aliens. If this continues, pretty soon we will all be Clara Schumann's.

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    Senior Member Romantic Geek's Avatar
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    Some of these aren't neglected...but most of them are. I think almost every single one of Grieg's Lyric Pieces are absolutely fantastic.

    Edward MacDowell's Piano Sonatas deserve mention too (they are undervalued as massive works especially behind his character pieces.)

    Amy Beach's Variations on Balkan Themes and Prelude and Fugue are pretty incredible on their own right as well.
    Last edited by Romantic Geek; Apr-18-2012 at 12:44.
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    ^Yes, Grieg is a fantastic piano composer.

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    Schubert's Divertissement on Original French Motifs in E Minor, D 823!
    And his Grande Marche Funèbre in C Minor, D 859!

    Both are for four hands; undeservedly neglected works!

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