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  1. Hello everyone, I take great interest in rarely-played music from the romantic period, and have discovered some true gems among the literally thousands of composers from that era alone. These discoveries have naturally brought the following questions to my mind: why aren't these composers played more often? And why haven't I heard of these geniuses and their music before? The reason I started this post is because of another made by @Maarten Bauer, called "How original do we need to be?", where he asked interesting questions regarding originality in music. I began to consider these questions in an historical context, particularly in the case of lesser known composers. Music historians often say that the music of these lesser-known composers isn't often played because it wasn't "original" enough, and they often refer to them condescendingly. Take, for example, Harold C. Schonberg's comments on the lesser-known composers Sergei Taneyev, Erno Dohnanyi, and Nikolai Medtner, in his chapter about Rachmaninoff from "The Lives of the Great Composers": "Sergei Taneiev (1856-1915) was a Russian academician and specialist in counterpoint, whose music, if his Second Symphony is a fair example, was devoid of life and character and is as individual as a toothpick nestled in a box of toothpicks. Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951) was another Russian eclectic who, like Rachmaninoff, was a pianist-composer and who did Rachmaninoff the great honor of imitating him. Medtner's music has all but disappeared from the repertory. He was a composer in the order of Erno Dohnanyi - a good craftsman who seldom came up with an original idea." Such pleasant writing, huh? But just how "unoriginal" are these composers? Having listened to their music, I personally think that their music is far from unoriginal. Or at least, not entirely conventional. And I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Looking in the comments of videos of these pieces, I see a lot of people saying that these pieces are just as good as many famous compositions, or just people expressing their admiration of these works - quite unlike Schonberg's deprecatory descriptions of them. Obviously, Dohnanyi, Medtner, and Taneyev are not the only rare composers - in fact, there are far more unusual and under-performed masters than those 3. I shall list a few examples: -William Henry Fry, USA (1819-1864) - Niagara Symphony -Franco Alfano, Italy (1875-1954) - Concerto for piano trio -Bernardino Custodio, Philippines (1911-2001) - Nocturne for the Left-Hand -Max Trapp, Germany (1887-1971) - Piano Concerto While all of these composers are arguably late-romantic, some of their pieces are in styles I have never heard before. For example, I have come to believe that had Fry's Niagara Symphony been written by one of the major names in music history (say, Berlioz or Liszt), that piece would have been considered a revolutionary achievement! (It was never played during his lifetime.) I think its safe to say that these composers are not underrated because of supposed "lack of originality". Obviously, the "originality" conundrum is not the only supposed reason for burying certain composers. I hope to go into those other reasons in future discussions, and also mention some remarkable and shocking examples of this apparent historical blacklisting. So, this brings us to those same questions from earlier: why aren't these composers performed more frequently? And why didn't we know about them before now? I'm interested to hear your reasons for this seeming burial of musical legacies; I have a few personal theories, but I want to hear your opinions first. I apologize for the sheer amount of text, but I believe that this is an important issue that needs to be addressed. I also understand that this is an arguably subjective issue, but some things cannot be ignored. My point of view is that I personally care deeply about rare romantic music, and think it should be promoted to much wider audiences.
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