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Thread: Non-Mainstream composers

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    Question Non-Mainstream composers

    I know this is something which is asked quite a bit, but I have been looking into some composers lately which are a bit outside of the mainstream (or, really, very rarely within public discourse), but am unable to find anything that instantly strikes me. Being a Beethoven fan, I have ordered a box set of Ferdinand Ries' symphonies and also, after hearing some downloads, a box set of Vaughn Williams' -- which is a bit odd being a Mahler/Shostakovich fan, I know. Other "classics" I always enjoy include Bartok and Prokofiev and Arnold-- just to name a few. Can anyone think of some composers to check into who were heavily influenced by any of these? Nationality doesn't matter to me as much as the style/era (Late-romantic -- 20th century).

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    If you're in the mood for some English non-mainstream composers (since you mentioned Williams), you might want to check out Arnold Bax, Benjamin Britten and Frank Bridge.

    And with your Shostakovich/Prokofiev preference, I'll toss you a mixed bag of late 19th and 20th century Russian composers: Medtner, Goedicke, Catoire, Khachaturian, Bortkiewicz (Russian-trained), Anatoly Alexandrov, Shchedrin, Kabalevsky, Roslavetz, and Miaskovsky.

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    Im familiar with Bax, Britten, Kabalevsky and Khachaturian. Ill look into those others. Thanks!

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    The symphony in g minor by Ernest Moeran is in the style of those by Vaughan Williams. And the rest of his output deserve recomendation: String quartets, the e minor violin sonata, the rhapsody for piano and orchestra and the Fantasy quartet (for oboe and strings).

    Granville Bantock comes to my mind also. Check out Sapho (nine poems for mezzo and orchestra).

    And there's more Vaughan Williams than just his symphonies. His orchestral works like Serenade to music, Towards the unknown region, the Tallis Fantasy (I bet you already know that one), and his many concertos. He wrote for two pianos (available as one piano also), tuba, violin, oboe.

    Moving to the continental Europe I would suggest symphonies by Joachim Raff. Try the third and fourth first.

    And with your Shostakovich/Prokofiev preference, I'll toss you a mixed bag of late 19th and 20th century Russian composers: Medtner, Goedicke, Catoire, Khachaturian, Bortkiewicz (Russian-trained), Anatoly Alexandrov, Shchedrin, Kabalevsky, Roslavetz, and Miaskovsky.
    Bortkiewicz is an excellent choice. His piano works are a mix of Liszt and Rachmaninov, and his etudes even sound as polished concert pieces.

    Oistrakh recorded the violin sonatas by G. L. Catoire (with Alexander Goldenweiser), try to get ahold of them too.

    And just to throw in some names at random:
    Charles H. Parry
    Fibich
    J. N. Hummel (music for a sunny morning)
    Charles V. Alkan (very imaginative piano works, fiendishly difficult all of them)
    Vainberg (he has interesting concertos for violin and for cello, and the piano quintet I heard sounds Prokofievan)
    Taneyev (Oisfetz has already suggested his chamber works, I reinforce that)

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    And there's Franck. Eduard Franck. Great romantic composer, almost
    nobody knows.

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    Another russian that caught my attention recently is Boris Lyatoshinsky. He composed five symphonies, from which I only heard the first (even though I have the other four). The Naxos release also includes the colorful symphonic ballad "Grazhyna".

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    I recently listened to the music of Erkki Melartin and Joly Braga Santos. Especially the latter struck me as very interesting. His symphonies might be worth your time.

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