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Ture Rangstrom: Symphony No. 3 "Song Under the Stars"
Sir Hubert Parry: Symphonic Variations
Arthur Honegger: Symphony No. 4 "Deliciae basilensis"

And three operas that may or may not be well known, depending on your tastes and where you live, but you have to wish more opera companies would mount productions of off-the-beaten track works rather than the seemingly endless Traviatas and Les Bohemes.

Carl Nielsen: Maskarade (or even Saul and David)
Walter Braunfels: The Birds
Bohuslav Martinu: Julietta

And finally some choral works:
Wilhelm Stenhammer: The Song
Carl Nielsen: Hymnus Amoris
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Hodie (real Christmas music compared to that hoary old Lenten chestnut Messiah)

That's all for now. Don't get me started on unknown Baroque masterpieces.
 

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On the Dutch front, I have been enjoying some Rontgen, Escher, and van Gilse. Some of the other Dutch composers were a bit more advanced than I, being rather slow, could understand.

Also, I was browsing eclassical.com (a webshop owned by BIS), and came across an album of Alberic Magnard's Symphonies No. 2 No. 4 by the Malmo Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Sanderling. It was half off as part of their daily deal. Wow, I had never heard of the guy before, but it is great stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
On the Dutch front, I have been enjoying some Rontgen, Escher, and van Gilse. Some of the other Dutch composers were a bit more advanced than I, being rather slow, could understand.

Also, I was browsing eclassical.com (a webshop owned by BIS), and came across an album of Alberic Magnard's Symphonies No. 2 No. 4 by the Malmo Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Sanderling. It was half off as part of their daily deal. Wow, I had never heard of the guy before, but it is great stuff.
We went to see some strange Escher graphics in The Haag right before the pandemic!
 

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John Dowland: Say, Love, if Ever Thou Didst Find (Book of Songs 3)
Debussy: Le Plus que Lente
Bohuslav Martinů: La Revue de Cuisine

The Dowland is best heard in a fabulous performance by Michael Slattery on the CD "Dowland in Dublin"
Arthur Rubinstein owned "Le Plus que Lent," IMHO. This piece captures for me the feeling of strolling the avenues of Paris and drinking in the sights and sounds on a lazy summer afternoon. Any of Rubinstein's performances is a jewel--except the first, from a 1919 piano roll, which is too fast, IMHO.
Martinů's La Revue de Cuisine is a delightful soufflé, also with a Parisian flavor, though it was premeired in Prague.

None of these pieces is exactly unknown—but neither are they core repertoire, and do I love them all.

It's great to have the recommendations of many others as well. So much to explore.
 

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I am pleased to have the opportunity to tell everyone how much I love Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3, aka Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. I like the version with Dawn Upshaw as soloist. It might be my favorite piece of classical music. I find it hauntingly beautiful and I often listen to it. It is definitely on my desert island list of favorites. I do wish I knew whether it is uncommon or not, but I think it is.
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The Symphony No. 3, Op. 36, also known as the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs (Polish: Symfonia pieśni żałosnych), is a symphony in three movements composed by Henryk Górecki in Katowice, Poland, between October and December 1976. The work is indicative of the transition between Górecki's earlier dissonant style and his later more tonal style and "represented a stylistic breakthrough: austerely plaintive, emotionally direct and steeped in medieval modes".[1] It was premièred on 4 April 1977, at the Royan International Festival, with Stefania Woytowicz as soprano and Ernest Bour as conductor.[2]
A solo soprano sings Polish texts in each of the three movements.[3] The first is a 15th-century Polish lament of Mary, mother of Jesus; the second a message written on the wall of a Gestapo cell during World War II; and the third a Silesian folk song of a mother searching for her son killed by the Germans in the Silesian uprisings.[4] The first and third movements are written from the perspective of a parent who has lost a child, and the second movement from that of a child separated from a parent. The dominant themes of the symphony are motherhood, despair and suffering.
Until 1992, Górecki was known only to connoisseurs, primarily as one of several composers from the Polish School responsible for the postwar Polish music renaissance.[5] That year, Elektra-Nonesuch released a recording of the 15-year-old symphony performed by the London Sinfonietta that topped the classical chartsin Britain and the United States.[6] It has sold more than a million copies, vastly exceeding the expected lifetime sales of a typical symphonic recording by a 20th-century composer. This success, however, has not generated similar interest in Górecki's other works.[7]
 

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Arne Nordheim: The Tempest (Suite from the Ballet)
Lili Boulanger: Du fond de l'abîme (Psalm 130) Surely, there has to be at least one little known "masterpiece" by a female composer.
Luigi Nono: Como una ola de fuerza y luz
 

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Please recommend 1-3 masterpieces you think not all that many know of but which you truly love.

I feel that it is getting harder and harder for me to find true gems. I am sure many feel the same. So let’s help each other!

Not a list of tens and tens. But if you insists, split the tens and tens into posts of 3. Easier to process.

My three:

Joonas Kokkonen: Symphony no. 3 (Berglund conducting, especially)
Joonas Kokkonen: Durch Einen Spiegel
Esa-Pekka Salonen: LA Variations

They are Finns and the works are of course known by some, but it is OK. They sure are outside mainstream. Wonderful music!

(Edit: Please do not take pressure AT ALL for making sure that nobody has ever heard of the piece. That is not the point at all.)
Ernest John Moeran: Symphony in G minor
Marcel Tyberg: Symphony No 3
Sibelius: Symphony No 6 (hardly anyone talks about this one, but it's an absolute gem)
 

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Charles T. GRIFFES: Piano Sonata (1917–18, rev. 1919)
:: William Masselos [M-G-M ’56] Naxos Classical Archives
While not obscure, Griffes’s Piano Sonata doesn’t get a whole lotta love (as Led Zeppelin is wont to say) and is often overlooked. It always gets a mention when discussing the finest American piano works, yet aside from William Masselos and Garrick Ohlsson (and perhaps a few others that I don’t know about), big-name pianists have managed to avoid it … on record, at least. The work is abstract, angular, dissonant and is based on its own scale, which sort of resembles D minor, and it represents an abrupt and drastic change from Griffes’s rather Debussyan/impressionistic earlier output. Superficially, the Sonata sounds like an unlikely stepping stone between Scriabin’s Piano Sonata No. 9 “Black Mass” (1913) and Copland’s Piano Variations (1930), conveying something of the diabolical atmosphere (but none of the programmic implications) of the former and something of the angular rhetoric of the latter … but with an almost Lisztian sense of wandering/journeying about the dramatic narrative. Indeed, some of it, the slow movement especially, sounds as if it could be from «Années de pèlerinage, Quatrième année: Amérique».


Frank BRIDGE: String Quartet No. 3 (1926)
:: Endellion String Quartet [Virgin ’89]
String Quartet No. 3 is the highlight of Bridge’s one-man English Expressionism movement of the 1920s and ’30s and one of my favorite English or Expressionist string quartet of any decade. The work is laid out and structured traditionally enough, having a sonata-allegro first movement, an intermezzo second, and a sonata-rondo third/final. It’s with tonality and harmonics that Bridge breaks with tradition: it’s chromatic, with all twelve tones and a lot of dubious harmonies revolving around a nebulous C-major tonal center. The work is based entirely on thematic material (all manner of motifs) introduced in the slow introduction of the main Allegro section of the first movement.

What makes the work go is the sheer vigor and intellectual rigor of Bridge’s development, which makes for one highly wrought and organic piece of music. Even when I can’t specifically cite why—which, sad to say, is much of the time—the music at any given point always “sounds” strongly related to the rest of the music; nothing comes across as extraneous or gratuitous or out of place. The themes built from the basic thematic material morph and develop in long stretches (especially in the first movement) that are worked out to the bitter end, giving the work an ever-evolving sinewy quality. The lyrical Intermezzo, a muted discussion between violins over a spare viola (pizzicato) and cello accompaniment, serves as a respite from the obsessive development and stressed, sighing lyricism of the first movement before Bridge ramps things back up in the combative, march-like final movement.

There’s a certain Bergian lyrical and harmonic feel about much of the writing, though it seems to presage the Violin Concerto as much as look back on Berg’s earlier works. (Berg’s Lyric Suite, also of 1926, would make for an intriguing coupling on disc.) The more vigorous rhythmic writing has a Bartókian quality about it, and the Intermezzo verges on “night music,” though I might term it “twilight music” in this case. If the prevailing mood of the work is postwar grim, it’s not all grim, and the various signs of hope make strong impressions.


Peter Maxwell DAVIES: Ave Maris Stella (1975)
:: The Fires of London [Unicorn-Kanchana ’80] Treasure Island
Ave Maris Stella is a rarefied and mysterious lament meditating on time and death and is composed for a “Pierrot” ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin/viola, cello, piano, and percussion (marimba in this case)—the same ensemble required for Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire. Religious symbolism and Medieval and Renaissance techniques are synthesized in a 20th Century crucible to produce a work “filled with fragile beauty but fraught with danger, a stage for bedeviling demons and consoling angels” (from liner notes). Davies bases the work on his own setting of a Greek text by Roderic Dunnett comprising nine phrases of nine notes. This matrix of phrases undergoes a clever systematic metamorphosis, yielding music that subtly but constantly shifts and evolves as it goes, generating a tense and eerie Medieval religious atmosphere in the process. The music also invokes at various times and to varying degrees the plainchant “Ave Maris Stella” (“Hail, Star of the Sea”), a choice apparently inspired by the composer’s experiences on a tiny Orkney farm overlooking the Atlantic Ocean that he’d been restoring around and about the time he was contemplating the work.
 

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Reichardt - Erwin und Elmire (1793, Berlin)
Act I. Aria. Ein Schauspiel für Götter

"Much of Reichardt's reputation as a composer rests on his Lieder that number about 1500, using texts by some 125 poets. Important among these are the settings of Goethe's texts, some of which were known to, and influenced, Schubert. He was also known by his Singspiele, a genre that he refined with Goethe's support."
........​
Act I. Duet. Hörst du, er hat geschworen
Act II. Aria. Mit vollen Athemzügen saug' ich, natur aus dir
Act I. Aria. Nein! Nein! Nein, nein, ich glaube nicht

Trauerkantate auf den Tod Friedrich des Grossen (1786)
 
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