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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Haven't you noticed how many ultra-famous composers have works that are nowadays nearly never performed live and can be hardly obtained recorded?

For example:

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3; seems that people lack interest for those works after hearing the super famous No.1
Liszt: All of his choral and religious works
Dvorak: All of his symphonies before the 7th
Saint-Saens: Christmas Oratorio, Op.12
Grieg: Symphony in C minor
Wagner: Symphony in C major

...just to start the list.

Why does this happen, if many of these pieces also contain catchy melodies and are written with their composers usual mastery?
 

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Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3; seems that people lack interest for those works after hearing the super famous No.1
I don't really think people evade the 2nd concerto, it has been recorded many times (Postnikova, Richter, Gilels, Pletnev, Telerman, Donohoe...); of course, not as many as the first concerto.
But I think this actually applies to the Andante and Allegro, the Concert Fantasy, and the Piano sonata in c sharp minor.

Saint-Saens: Christmas Oratorio, Op.12

(...)

Why does this happen, if many of these pieces also contain catchy melodies and are written with their composers usual mastery?
My interest on this work sticks to the Prelude, I don't really like the rest of it. But there's more Saint-Saens I like more, like the 3rd piano concerto and the second violin concerto. (And his left hand etudes... but they are etudes, perhaps that's why they are not recorded frequently)

Sibelius: even though his violin concerto is part if the standard repertoire, his other works for violin and orchestra (Serenade, Humoresques, etc) are just not recorded/played by anyone. Well... Rosand and Tetzlaff, but that's not enough.
 

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Unplayed and almost unknown: The chamber instrumental works of:
Saint-Saëns - Sibelius except Voces Intimae - Schubert all his SQ before
the 14th - Dvorak all his SQ before the "american" - Mozart all his early
SQ - Strauss all his chamber - Suk all his chamber - Mendelssohn, except
the octet how many other chamber works are played regulary?
And I can go on and on...
 

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Good thread.

Handel: The Choice of Hercules, Almira
Haydn: His piano trios.
 
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Beethoven

His songs (I've never heard them)

String Trios

Choral Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra (compared to his other piano works)

If there is such a thing as an underrated work by Beethoven, it may be his "Choral Fantasy". It's magnificent!
I totally agree!! I keep listening to it these days... I don't see how people say it's simply a curiosity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Opus67, thanks for the link!

Songs are probably the least performed pieces by any author that is not especially famous for them (i.e. Schubert, Schumann, Brahms).

Who ever records songs of Delius & fellow Englishmen, the Nordic composers, Liszt, Debussy, Beethoven as mentioned etc. ?
 

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Dvorak: All of his symphonies before the 7th
- The 6th is often played in the Czech Republic -

But #'s 1-5 are not. The simple reason for this is that there is a dramatic shift in style between #'s 1-5 and #'s 6-9. The early ones are written in a Wagnerian-Lisztian vein and contain very little of the Czech national flavour that are prevalent in the later ones.
 

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- The 6th is often played in the Czech Republic -

But #'s 1-5 are not. The simple reason for this is that there is a dramatic shift in style between #'s 1-5 and #'s 6-9. The early ones are written in a Wagnerian-Lisztian vein and contain very little of the Czech national flavour that are prevalent in the later ones.
I think the 6th is still a german experiment.
 

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Piano concerto in c minor by Gabriel Piernés is Camille Saint-Saens' least known piano concerto. :D :D
Oh boy! Not another debate on the "true genius" of a composer. :rolleyes:
 
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Seems to me that "nearly-forgotten" depends so much on where you're standing. I would never have thought Bizet's symphony was anything but an overplayed warhorse. But that's because the radio station in Sacramento where I grew up played it all the time. I heard it before I'd heard any music from Carmen. And I've known, and loved all of Dvorak's symphonies for as long as I can remember. (I prefer five and six, though I'm pretty sure eight is his best. I would have picked seven and nine as the least Czech-sounding, but I'd better defer to Kurkikohtaus on this!)

Things go in and out of "favor." And so often there seems to be no logic in it but caprice. Why has there never been but one recording of Piston's delightful Incredible Flutist ballet? Roberto Gerhard, well in the running for most underappreciated great composer of the twentieth century, gets a brief flurry of hard to get lps and then a brief flurry of cds. One good thing, the lps seem easier to find nowadays than back in the day.

In fact, on this thread, I'd be tempted to say every piece by Gerhard is "nearly-forgotten." But Gerhard is only nearly famous.
 

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Things go in and out of "favor." And so often there seems to be no logic in it but caprice. Why has there never been but one recording of Piston's delightful Incredible Flutist ballet?
I don't think it's performed in concerts either. But you should take into consideration this is technically a hard piece, as it's not easy to train dogs to bark a tempo.
 
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That's what microphones and sound processing software are for!! 'Course, you do still have to make sure the button gets pushed at the right time. I say get the triangle player to do it. They're used to waiting for half an hour to make one tap on the instrument!
 

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Haven't you noticed how many ultra-famous composers have works that are nowadays nearly never performed live and can be hardly obtained recorded?

For example:

Wagner: Symphony in C major
While I understand (and even somewhat empathize) with this selection, I'd have selected the Das Liebesverbot overture as an example of an excellent Wagner rarity. I've said it before... no such thing as a mediocre Wagner overture(!)
In keeping with a "miniature" theme, let me add Gershwin's Novelette in Fourths. I suppose that, since Ira didn't write words for it, and it didn't materialize in a theatre show nor in a movie, it has languished in obscurity. It really shouldn't, though.
 
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Haven't you noticed how many ultra-famous composers have works that are nowadays nearly never performed live and can be hardly obtained recorded?

For example:

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3; seems that people lack interest for those works after hearing the super famous No.1
Liszt: All of his choral and religious works
Dvorak: All of his symphonies before the 7th
Saint-Saens: Christmas Oratorio, Op.12
Grieg: Symphony in C minor
Wagner: Symphony in C major

...just to start the list.

Why does this happen, if many of these pieces also contain catchy melodies and are written with their composers usual mastery?
I could add, until recently at least, virtually all of Handel's music other than Messiah! I believe regarding his oratorio Theodora, the greatest work in all Baroque, nobody bothered to put a performing edition together until 1985!
 
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I could add, until recently at least, virtually all of Handel's music other than Messiah! I believe regarding his oratorio Theodora, the greatest work in all Baroque, nobody bothered to put a performing edition together until 1985!
Indeed, Handel vocal production is not well known (outside expert circles).
 
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