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Thread: Greatest Orchestrator of all time?

  1. #91
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    I think a lot of the pieces here are a bit vague (esp Dutilleux / Boulez). Just meander randomly from one short mood to another, but none of them actually resonate with me. They end up just being an exercise in frustration - hoping that the composer will make something of a fragment of a theme they introduce, but then they don't.

    Especially Notations by Boulez. If you took 4 bars from the middle of 200 different symphonies and strung them together you might end up with something like that. I can see how that sort of music might work as incidental music in film, where there is something else to direct your attention to, but the music itself did not command attention for me. I don't think I'm alone in liking something I can connect with. For me that requires a strong melody. A slide-show progression of disjoint textures simply doesn't do anything for me.
    Last edited by adrien; Jul-11-2021 at 03:55.

  2. #92
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    Rimsky-Korsakov. I just wish he had composed more, or tinkered with more friends' music!

    Tchaikovsky ain't half bad as an orchestrator. Dvorak as well.
    Last edited by haziz; Jul-11-2021 at 10:06.

  3. #93
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    I don't think that you can call anyone from the baroque era an "orchestrator" in the modern sense, but nonetheless, I think that you can give an honorable mention to Telemann for all his experimenting with colorful combinations of instruments in the concertino his concerti grossi. If you could have transported him forward 100 years or so in a time machine, I'm sure he would have done well with a modern orchestra.

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  5. #94
    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    If I recall correctly Wagner considered first drafting his music for 4-staff piano as the "real" work. The orchestration he regarded practically as busywork he worked on now and then when he found the time. I guess he had it fully realized in his head and found writing it out for all the instruments as tedious.
    Last edited by Couchie; Jul-15-2021 at 01:04.
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    Senior Member Neo Romanza's Avatar
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    A few favorite orchestrators: Ravel, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov (he did learn it from Rimsky-Korsakov after all), Mahler, Strauss, Berlioz, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Stravinsky, Sibelius, Bartók, Debussy, Schoenberg, Berg, Nielsen, Takemitsu, Martinů, Boulez, Britten, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Respighi, Saint-Saëns, Milhaud, Villa-Lobos, Mendelssohn, Szymanowski, Ligeti, Penderecki (esp. his earlier avant-garde works) et. al. To answer the OP’s question, I couldn’t pick one as I think each of the afore mentioned composers achieved something special when writing for an orchestra.
    Last edited by Neo Romanza; Jul-15-2021 at 03:02.
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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    I have to mention Duke Ellington. His orchestration was based on the musician playing the part, not just instrumental combinations. He did not write parts for alto sax or trumpet, but parts for Johnny Hodges and Bubber Miley, etc. And often his combinations were unorthodox and produced unique colors.
    Last edited by SanAntone; Jul-15-2021 at 03:45.

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  9. #97
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    Duke Ellington
    Duke Ellington is classical music?

  10. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    Duke Ellington is classical music?
    His various suites are orchestral works - or orchestra with jazz band -

    Harlem
    Black, Brown and Beige
    New World A-comin'
    Three Black Kings
    The River

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  12. #99
    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    Don't forget the Nutcracker Suite and the Peer Gynt. Personally I liked his Uptown more than any of those.

    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil loves classical View Post
    Don't forget the Nutcracker Suite and the Peer Gynt. Personally I liked his Uptown more than any of those.

    Yes Uptown is really good.

  14. #101
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    Duke Ellington is classical music?
    The OP did not stipulate that only orchestrators active in Classical music were to be considered.

  15. #102
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    The OP did not stipulate that only orchestrators active in Classical music were to be considered.
    It's implied since TC (the main section) is a classical music forum. Likewise, no one would make a thread titled "the best melodists in classical music" here. A thread title "the best melodists" just implies it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heck148 View Post
    His various suites are orchestral works - or orchestra with jazz band -
    Harlem
    Black, Brown and Beige
    New World A-comin'
    Three Black Kings
    The River
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil loves classical View Post
    Don't forget the Nutcracker Suite and the Peer Gynt. Personally I liked his Uptown more than any of those.
    Do these facts make Ellington classical music though?
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Jul-23-2021 at 17:37.

  16. #103
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    It's implied since TC (the main section) is a classical music forum. Likewise, no one would make a thread titled "the best melodists in classical music" here. A thread title "the best melodists" just implies it.

    Do these facts make Ellington classical music though?
    The issue is not whether the music of Duke Ellington is Classical music, but if he is a great orchestrator, something that has been widely acknowledged. But, if you wish to request that a moderator remove all posts related to Duke Ellington, I won't complain.

  17. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    ......Do these facts make Ellington classical music though?
    Several of these works have been performed and recorded by Detroit SO [Jarvi] and Buffalo PO [Faletta]....they've certainly been performed in "classical" music venues....

  18. #105
    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    Orchestration is obviously not unique to classical music so I'd also say Ellington is a valid proposal. I've already mentioned some concert music composers who have superlative orchestration skill. However, given a wider definition of an orchestrator, I think one could even include the likes of Burt Bacharach in the category 'great', or if not then a least 'distinctive' which is also a decent accolade as it's not easy to achieve. Oh, and Mancini and Nelson Riddle, the main men.
    I would also include people like Dave Cullen (https://en.schott-music.com/shop/autoren/david-cullen ) who got me out of a tricky scheduling dilemna once with a few superbly done charts in break neck speed.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Jul-23-2021 at 19:14.

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