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Thread: One Hour Compositions...

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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    Default One Hour Compositions...

    After Vivaldi, what?

    I propose K379, composed in April 1781 between 11 o'clock and midnight and performed the next day for the emperor.

    Any other great music bashed out between supper and bedtime that you know of?
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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    Senior Member Kleinzeit's Avatar
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    Oooh! Oooh! Hindemith's Trauermusik. Only one I know, get it in first.

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    Shostakovich's Tahiti Trot - an arrangement of Vincent Youmans' Tea for Two. As a student, Shostakovich's teacher, Nikolai Malko bet his gifted student that he couldn't make a full-orchestra arrangement of Tea for Two overnight after only one hearing. Shostakovich won the bet.

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    Senior Member Neo Romanza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kleinzeit View Post
    Oooh! Oooh! Hindemith's Trauermusik. Only one I know, get it in first.
    It took Hindemith longer than an hour to compose Trauermusik. More like 7-8 hours.
    “Competitions are for horses, not artists.” - Béla Bartók

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    Stephen Montague's "Four Hours to Midnight: The Last Piece of the 20th Century", written and performed during the evening of 31st December 1999.
    "I like to think that oysters transcend national barriers" - Roger Waters

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    Senior Member Kleinzeit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Romanza View Post
    It took Hindemith longer than an hour to compose Trauermusik. More like 7-8 hours.
    Ach! And I knew about Turkey Trot too...!

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    Senior Member Kleinzeit's Avatar
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    Obviously not.... TAHITI trot.

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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    Longer than an hour? The overture to Don Giovanni was supposedly composed the night before the first performance. Two things on that: there are conflicting tales, though none contradict the fact that it was written in one sittin'. And also, I think the idea and key and a lot of the music must have already been in his mind, given the Supper scene music, and all...
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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    Senior Member brianvds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    Longer than an hour? The overture to Don Giovanni was supposedly composed the night before the first performance. Two things on that: there are conflicting tales, though none contradict the fact that it was written in one sittin'. And also, I think the idea and key and a lot of the music must have already been in his mind, given the Supper scene music, and all...
    Apparently, he also wrote out the parts straight from his head without first writing down a master score.

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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianvds View Post
    Apparently, he also wrote out the parts straight from his head without first writing down a master score.
    I don't know about that. I think the writing in his head stuff is largely exaggerated. Sketches exist and he made corrections. I think he'd have an advanced idea of what he was going to do, however, if that looks like the same thing...
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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Apparently Rossini had a propensity to compose at VERY short notice - he admitted with devilish self-satisfaction that promoters, directors, copyists and conductors would occasionally have kittens as a result. This from a Madison SO program page from 2011:

    '...Barber’s overture has a convoluted history. Rossini typically wrote his operas in unbelievably short stretches of time—depending on which account you believe, he spent between 13 and 21 days composing the whole of the Barber of Seville—and the overture was saved until last. [Note: There is a well-known story concerning his overture to The Thieving Magpie, which was composed the day of the premiere. It seems that the management, panicked about his procrastination, finally locked him in an upstairs room with a few hulking bodyguards. Rossini tossed the hastily-composed pages of overture one by one out the window to a group of copyists waiting below. - M.A.] The original overture to the Barber, composed—undoubtedly at the last minute—for the disastrous Rome performance, has not survived...'

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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    I like that in Rossini. I read here somewhere that he was so lazy that when he composed in bed, if a music sheet fell on the floor he'd be too lazy to pick it up: he'd just stay put and write another page instead of it...
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    I like that in Rossini. I read here somewhere that he was so lazy that when he composed in bed, if a music sheet fell on the floor he'd be too lazy to pick it up: he'd just stay put and write another page instead of it...
    Excellent! He was so wealthy I'm surprised he didn't have a flunky standing by to retrieve any dropped pages and save himself the effort of re-writing.

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgars ghost View Post
    Excellent! He was so wealthy I'm surprised he didn't have a flunky standing by to retrieve any dropped pages and save himself the effort of re-writing.
    First opera, age 18, 38th Opera, age 38. I just can not in any way imagine calling that lazy :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    After Vivaldi, what?

    I propose K379, composed in April 1781 between 11 o'clock and midnight and performed the next day for the emperor.

    Any other great music bashed out between supper and bedtime that you know of?
    If that's entirely true, that's actually an astonishing feat (even in terms of physically writing out the entire violin part to the sonata in under an hour, let alone composing the damn thing). I wonder how much the sonata changed between the time he hastily wrote out the violin part and actually wrote out the entire sonata for publication.

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