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Thread: Favorite pieces by least favorite composers and vice versa

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    Senior Member Common Listener's Avatar
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    Default Favorite pieces by least favorite composers and vice versa

    20centrfuge's post in another thread prompted this. What are 1-5 works or so that you love by a composer you don't like so much otherwise and vice versa? And if you know of the piece someone doesn't like and like it yourself, maybe you could provide "the keys" to it. (This isn't intended to express contempt for any composer or work or start fights but the other way around, really - to just talk about those odd "expectation breakers.")

    For instance, I've recently been raving about Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra and, while I wouldn't say he was a "least" favorite composer, it is odd to me that I can't find anything else that does it for me in quite the same way (though some pieces are okay). Flipside, despite loving almost everything by Mozart, I can't get into his violin concertos as much as the rest, perhaps No. 2 most of all (though being deaf to post-Baroque violin concertos generally isn't unusual for me).

    Anybody else have any exceptional pieces?
    Last edited by mmsbls; Mar-30-2020 at 04:31.

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    I have very few composers that I totally dislike. But here are some works from my favorite composers that I can’t get along with:

    Bach: Flute Sonatas and Flute Partita, Christmas Oratorio
    Brahms: Double Concerto, string quartets
    Mahler: No. 8
    Schubert: String Quintet (pitchfork time!), Death and the Maiden
    Sibelius: Kullervo
    Beethoven: Symphony 7, Tempest Sonata
    Elgar: Cello Concerto

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    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    There was a thread similar to this some time ago.
    With Bartok, I like Music for strings, percussion, celesta. With Debussy, I like Toccata from Pour le piano (just a bit)
    Your avatar's awesome, btw

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    Senior Member chu42's Avatar
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    I cannot stand many of the overplayed works from composers that I generally like, such as Massanet's Meditation, Ravel's Bolero, Pachelbel's Canon, etc. Although this goes for most classical music fans.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    From composers I like, well-known compositions I really don't like:

    Beethoven - Symphony 9, Cello sonatas, Triple concerto
    Brahms - Piano sonatas, String quartets
    Mozart - Operas
    Wagner - Meistersinger

    From composers I don't like, compositions I really like:

    Orff - Carmina Burana
    Verdi - Requiem
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Member Caryatid's Avatar
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    The only piece of Alkan's that I love is Le festin d'Esope. I have listened to many of his other works, and they have considerable merits, but I haven't found any of them entirely satisfactory. A similar case is Cecile Chaminade's variations Op. 89 - her only great work for piano, so far as I can tell.

    On the other hand, I like most of Brahms, but I don't listen often to the third string quartet. The first movement is an excellent reimagining of Mozart's String Quintet No. 6, but the other movements are largely a disappointment. Nor do I listen often to most of his lieder, the variations on an original theme (Op. 21 No. 1), or the variations for four hands Op. 23.
    Last edited by Caryatid; Mar-29-2020 at 10:54.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Sullivan - I can appreciate a couple of the orchestral and choral works and that's all.

    Handel - I know I'm probably doing him a massive disservice but my blind spot is his numerous sonatas - I've always thought them to be pretty thin gruel compared to other baroque works for two or three instruments.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

    ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνῄσκει νέος [Those whom the gods love die young] - Menander

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    Senior Member AbsolutelyBaching's Avatar
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    Composers I generally like, but works I am not keen on:

    Michael Tippet: Songs for Dov
    Richard Wagner: Rienzi
    Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace

    Composers I can't really get on with, but works I like:

    Peter Maxwell Davies: The Lighthouse
    Franz Schubert: Octet
    Marcel Poot: Symphony No. 7

    The Schubert is an embarrassing admission: I can't be doing with most of his music, I fear!
    Last edited by AbsolutelyBaching; Mar-29-2020 at 15:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dizwell View Post
    The Schubert is an embarrassing admission: I can't be doing with most of his music, I fear!
    Even his Piano Sonata No. 21?

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    Senior Member AbsolutelyBaching's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janxharris View Post
    Even his Piano Sonata No. 21?
    'Fraid not. I've one of those Brilliant Classics types of collection, so potentially own everything or nearly everything he wrote. But I barely listen to him. Neither he nor most of Beethoven really make me work up a sweat, I'm sorry to say. It's something I need to work on, I realise!

    Is No. 21 the D958 one? I'll take a listen now if you're recommending it...
    Last edited by AbsolutelyBaching; Mar-29-2020 at 15:17.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dizwell View Post
    'Fraid not. I've one of those Brilliant Classics types of collection, so potentially own everything or nearly everything he wrote. But I barely listen to him. Neither he nor most of Beethoven really make me work up a sweat, I'm sorry to say. It's something I need to work on, I realise!

    Is No. 21 the D958 one? I'll take a listen now if you're recommending it...
    D.960

    I don't think anyone should feel compelled to like any particular composer - even LVB.

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    Senior Member AbsolutelyBaching's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janxharris View Post
    D.960

    I don't think anyone should feel compelled to like any particular composer - even LVB.
    Thanks for the clarification. I put on the D958 in the meantime and thought it.. ahem... reasonable background music. Sorry. It's always the way with Franz: I just don't get it, but feel somehow that I ought -and might, if I concentrated enough.

    I'll see if the D960 knocks me sideways!
    Last edited by AbsolutelyBaching; Mar-29-2020 at 15:32.

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    Senior Member AbsolutelyBaching's Avatar
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    OK, I listened to Klára Würtz playing D960.

    I made a mistake however: I only obtained the score after the first movement. So whilst I found the first movement just a lot of notes, I warmed up to the Andante sostenuto as soon as I could follow it in score. It made more sense to see it as well as hear it. And I pretty much enjoyed it from there on, until the last movement where there are passages of quavers in the left hand which are a quaver beat out from whatever the right hand is up to. Maybe it was Klara's fault, but it just sounded 'wonky' to me at those points: annoying syncopation, not the good stuff! These moments were mercifully few in number, however.

    Overall though: would I recognise this piece again if I heard it on the radio? Probably not. I still don't 'get' what makes it unique or special. It just seemed rather charming, in places exhilarating -and at least three times in the Andante, I was quite moved (enough to make me go get the score, at least).

    But I am struggling to work out why you would recommend it (but not doubting that you have your reasons!)

    I'll have more goes at it in the coming weeks: so thank you for the suggestion.

    Sadly, I think I have a general problem with the first quarter of the nineteenth century: all those Romantics, a-swooning and angst-ing away, I suppose. I never liked Shelley or Byron much, either.
    Last edited by AbsolutelyBaching; Mar-29-2020 at 16:25.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dizwell View Post
    OK, I listened to Klára Würtz playing D960.

    I made a mistake however: I only obtained the score after the first movement. So whilst I found the first movement just a lot of notes, I warmed up to the Andante sostenuto as soon as I could follow it in score. It made more sense to see it as well as hear it. And I pretty much enjoyed it from there on, until the last movement where there are passages of quavers in the left hand which are a quaver beat out from whatever the right hand is up to. Maybe it was Klara's fault, but it just sounded 'wonky' to me at those points: annoying syncopation, not the good stuff! These moments were mercifully few in number, however.

    Overall though: would I recognise this piece again if I heard it on the radio? Probably not. I still don't 'get' what makes it unique or special. It just seemed rather charming, in places exhilarating -and at least three times in the Andante, I was quite moved (enough to make me go get the score, at least).

    But I am struggling to work out why you would recommend it (but not doubting that you have your reasons!)

    I'll have more goes at it in the coming weeks: so thank you for the suggestion.

    Sadly, I think I have a general problem with the first quarter of the nineteenth century: all those Romantics, a-swooning and angst-ing away, I suppose. I never liked Shelley or Byron much, either.
    I enjoyed your detailed response...for me the the first movement is particularly interesting - the modulation right in the second or third bar got me immediately when I first heard it. It sense of calm reflection is imo quite delightful.



    Would appreciate a Britten recommendation - I like Grime's Sea Interludes but struggle with the War Requiem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dizwell View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. I put on the D958 in the meantime and thought it.. ahem... reasonable background music. Sorry. It's always the way with Franz: I just don't get it, but feel somehow that I ought -and might, if I concentrated enough.

    I'll see if the D960 knocks me sideways!
    Well, who said one had to listen to each and every piece of music with total concentration? Seriously, most of my listening *is* background music. If I can tolerate any music as background while doing stuff, good enough. It is when I cannot like a piece of music no matter what I am doing then it is what it is.

    I think we might be too preoccupied with interpretation on what it means to like music. Kinda like one person saying they "love" and "like" this piece. I do not concern myself with self analysis so if Schubert is good enough as background (yes, he is that for me) then what is the problem? Do I need to go to therapy for help if I cannot get most of the classical music integrated into my psyche because practically most of it is nothing but background music?

    Beethoven symphonies and other large scale works are sometimes too much because Beethoven, to me, is a composer who is in my face too much. Like people who are yelling and screaming at you, demanding that you listen to what they are saying.
    Last edited by Bigbang; Mar-29-2020 at 23:26.

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