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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was responding to Lisztfreak's interesting thread on "Nearly-forgotten works by famous composers" and found I was proffering a lot of pieces that were well known enough, but only in truncated versions.

So I cut all but one of those bits from my post and made a new thread for them--famous pieces hardly ever played complete.

I'll start with what I left in the other thread, Piston's Incredible Flutist. The most incredible thing about it is that there's only one recording of the complete ballet.

Copland, Grohg--famous as the Dance Symphony, which is at least its own piece and very nice it is, too. (You know, like Prokofiev's third and fourth symphonies.)

Nielsen, Aladdin--one recording of the whole thing.

Grieg, Peer Gynt--wildly famous, but only as a short little suite.

Bizet, L' Arlésienne--this one gets two suites, but only one of them compiled by Bizet.

In fact, many ballets and operas are best known in suites extracted from them, which means a lot of the best music in these works goes unheard by the majority of listeners. That's a great pity, to my mind, so let's get a big list going all of us and then go on buying sprees!!
 

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In fact, many ballets and operas are best known in suites extracted from them, which means a lot of the best music in these works goes unheard by the majority of listeners.
I think they compile suites with the material they think is the best from the whole work. But you have a point there.

Grieg, Peer Gynt--wildly famous, but only as a short little suite.
The 2cd whole set is available.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think they compile suites with the material they think is the best from the whole work.
Well, it ain't THAT simple, Manuel!! Composers (and others) extract material from longer works for all sorts of reasons. A big one is to get more audience, more hearings of what might daunt in its original length, for its original forces. There's the closely related "to get more money" reason.

There's the "fulfil a commission when I'm busy and don't have time to write a new piece" reason. And the "so many people have trouble with singing so I'll redo bits of this opera for those woosies" reason. Or the polite version of that: operas are expensive to put on, and symphony concert goers have a right to hear this splendid music.

Same goes for ballet, at least so far as length and staging are concerned. There aren't that many ballets with singing. Some, not many.

And I fear that in the new, shortened version, it's going to be what works best in the altered circumstances, not what's the best music. Or, the nasty version of that: what's big and flashy and will pull the crowds in.

Otherwise, there've been at least two recordings of the "complete" Peer Gynt. Point is, the wildly popular version is only a handful of short bits from it.
 

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Well, it ain't THAT simple, Manuel!! Composers (and others) extract material from longer works for all sorts of reasons. A big one is to get more audience, more hearings of what might daunt in its original length, for its original forces. There's the closely related "to get more money" reason.
It doesn't matter if it's for monetary reasons, to gain more audience, etc. My point is that if the composer himself is who chooses the material for the suite, it's not crazy to suppose the results are what he tought was the best from the whole work.

And I fear that in the new, shortened version, it's going to be what works best in the altered circumstances, not what's the best music. Or, the nasty version of that: what's big and flashy and will pull the crowds in.
I don't agree at all. That depend on the listener, if they enjoy the intermezzo from Cavalleria, without knowing Turiddu dies at the end (manly because they have the right to don't care), it's fine with them. However, if you heard that lovely orchestral work with some other opera extracts (something that's likely to happen) and you liked it, you may have an impulse to get the whole work.

I don't care if it puts the crowds in. You shouldn't either. You can't force everybody to listen to a 70 minute Aladdin if what they find catchy is only the Oriental Festive March.
It gets worse if your intention is to get some numbers of Spartacus and you need to purchase the 3 hour ballet. :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm not sure which button I must have inadvertantly pushed, but my intention was never (and would never be) to force people to listen to anything. (And a 70 minute Aladdin would also be truncated, by about ten minutes!)

The intent was simply to identify some pieces that are better known in shorter versions, on the off chance that people maybe know, and maybe prefer the complete versions, and that maybe the rest of us who are gluttons can read about them and then sally forth to the corner cd store and drop some more money.

That's all. The other thing was just to elaborate the idea that started the thread, that is, that the complete versions have at the very least some fine music, and sometimes have better music in them than the short, famous ones. (And no, I don't agree that if the composer selects it, it must be the best music from it. Composers are no more reliable about matters of taste than... than...

...members of this forum.:eek:
 

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(And a 70 minute Aladdin would also be truncated, by about ten minutes!)
Yeahh !. My complete version of the work will definitely exclude the djinn, speaking through that weird device.

Back to Grieg. His lyric pieces (not a single work, but an interesting set, as a whole), are most a truncated thing. Wedding day at trold(... whatever) appart, most of them are ignored by performers.
 
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