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I've noticed a certain prejudice I have when it comes to exploring music I haven't yet heard or know very little about. Often the names of composers have influenced my decision whether to listen to them or not and this has had some adverse effects! For example: Arnold Bax, Robert Simpson and Franck have always been some names which at first glance appear to be rather "dull" according to my prejudice, and I keep convincing myself that I can't judge their music solely on their name as they all seem to have their fans! However Khaikosru Shapurji Sorabji is a composer whose music does not float my boat, but his name is undoubtedly awesome and is probably the main reason I keep coming back to give his music a try.

Does this sort of prejudice happen to any other listeners here?
 

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It's an interesting thought, COAG. At least composers don't 'sex their names up' as often as actors or rock musicians in order to draw more attention to themselves. Peter Warlock changed his, but I think his original name of Philip Heseltine is actually the better of the two!

In one respect, perhaps British-sounding names can come across as more, for want of a better word, 'exotic' for some people of other races than they do for us?

And then there is the translation angle. For a British perspective of this, the names John Brook and Joseph Green sound somewhat nondescript when compared to the German and Italian equivalents, Johann Bach and Guiseppe Verdi.
 

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I'm more inclined to avoid dull music than names. I love Cesar Franck. As for Bax, I haven't listened to the symphonies enough to decide if I like them. However, I do recommend his piano sonatas.
 

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Only some names have had an affect on me.

Ralph Vaughan Williams - Has this elegant air to it
Edward Elgar - Sounds kind of dull, which doesn't reflect his music
Igor Stravinsky - With a name like that, I would have never expected 12-tone[ish] works!
Olivier Messiaen - I expected his music to be more lyrical rather than atmospheric
Giovanni Sgambati - Thought his music would be lighter and happier, like salon music
 

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It does happen to me to judge them because of their names before hearing their music. What turns me off are common names such as John Adams; unpleasant/boring names like Louis Spohr, Cesar Cui, and also names similar to other composers/famous people like William Schuman and Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber :lol:. However after listening to them I don't care about that, it's the music that decides wether I like them or not.
 

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It does happen to me to judge them because of their names before hearing their music. What turns me off are common names such as John Adams; unpleasant/boring names like Louis Spohr, Cesar Cui, and also names similar to other composers/famous people like William Schuman and Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber ( :lol: ). However after listening to them I don't care about that, it's the music that decides wether I like them or not.
This just about sums it up for me :lol:
 

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I pretty much listen to everything so I don't discriminate against any composer honestly.
 

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Let's just say I will be more inclined to listen to a symphony composed by someone with a name like Wolfgang Friedrich von Falkenstein than a name like Mumbai Ashanti or Mohammed bin Sahid. It is a matter of cultural preferences.
 
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The whole notion of this delights me. I am hypersensitive to the sound and look of languages, words, letters and numbers, and tend to perceive the visual and auditory aspects of things as a gestalt. Now that you mention it, I fear it's a fact that I've never investigated, or even thought much about, the music of Cesar Cui, and I can think of no reason for it except that his name is Cesar Cui. What's wrong with that name I can't say, but I know I dislike it. Now I probably dislike the name of Ludwig van Beethoven just as much, but he has regularly persuaded me to overlook my aversion. By contrast, the name Sergei Rachmaninov (or Rachmaninoff, the spelling he used in America - my sensibilties are on the fence about that) resonates in my soul with the splendour (which is more splendid than splendor) of a Russian Orthodox cathedral carillon, and if I didn't know his music today I would feel compelled to investigate it tomorrow.

In the end, of course, music must speak for itself. But we should probably be alert to the possible consequences of our reactions should we hear that Ima Hogg from Corncob has written her first symphony.
 

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A postscript to the above:

Do not let the name Ludwig Thuille frighten you off. No one knows how to pronounce it, and all the options are equally weird-sounding (my apologies to the man himself, who, if it helps any, was a distinguished and beloved professor of composition, a good friend of Richard Strauss, and a dashingly handsome fellow with great hair and a moustache to die for)...

Anyway, as I was saying, Herr Thuille (Twee-yeh, Twil-lah, whatever) left us some very beautiful Romantic chamber music and other stuff. I recommend this:

http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Quintet...e=UTF8&qid=1418765181&sr=1-5&keywords=thuille

And if you want to sample him first:

 

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As Morimur said, "I am allergic to Bruckner not because of his name, but his music. Talk about 'dull'."

But the Q does give pause for thought:
is Medtner dull because he was saddled with a (to me) stick-in-the-mud sort of surname -- perhaps affecting him through his developmental years -- or was he just a dull composer with an accidentally appropriate plodding name?

Would the operas of Guiseppe Verdi have the same "glam-cache" for English-speaking music / opera fans if those pieces were composed instead by Joe Green :-\ ?

Current star / celeb management certainly knows the value of a name such as Cary Grant (née Archibald Macleash) -- and Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji certainly carries more of an exotic (to western ears) caché vs. his given name, i.e. née: Leon Dudley Sorabji. I mean, Leon Dudley anything just does not "sound like" a creative artist, now does it? LOL.
 
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