Jump to content

Underappreciated Composers/Works?


Qmwne235
 Share

Recommended Posts

Sorry if a similar thread has already been made. I ran a search and couldn't find any.

So, the other day, Voce showed me a piece (String Quartet No. 1) by a composer I'd never heard of - Alexander Mosolov. It was amazing, so I was inspired to create this thread.

The title explains it all. What are some works/composers that are not appreciated on this forum, or the world of music in general, as much as you think they should be?

I'll give a few:

-Giacinto Scelsi - An absolutely phenomenal composer. Some of his works, like his Four Pieces on a Single Note, are just plain cool, whereas others, such as Uaxuctum, seem to have a more creepy, mystical aspect.

-George Antheil - In my opinion, one of the greatest American composers of all time. I remember J. Lee describing one of his violin sonatas as having moments of "atonal jazz", while I think his Second Violin Sonata is as close as one can ever get to cubism in music.

-Leo Ornstein - One of the most radical innovators of the 20th century. Check out some of his piano works, such as the relatively well-known Wild Mens' Dance.

-Anton Reicha - Reicha is one of those classical-era composers who is often cast in the shadow of MHB (Mozart-Haydn-Beethoven). He was a contemporary of Beethoven, and his music also began to tend toward the romantic, but in a very original way.

-Galina Ustvolskaya - I can't really even begin to describe her music...

Oh, and here are some more: Joachim Raff (who was very popular in the 19th century, but then somehow fell into relative obscurity), Sofia Gubaidulina, Conlon Nancarrow, Wallingford Riegger...the list goes on.

Here is the piece that inspired the thread:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy6ZJ4V_m8k

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leo Ornstein, yes! Always felt his music was pretty under-appreciated.

How could you leave Griffes though? While he's labeled as an "Impressionist", I don't really see him as such. I can't really think of a label that suits him. His music has tinges of Romanticism but it was far too dissonant/strange to really be considered part of the Romantic tradition. He's an interesting composer.

I feel like a lot of late Scriabin works are relatively under-rated in comparison to his Romantic works. The 6th, 7th, and 8th sonata I feel are rather under-appreciated as well as several of his late etudes and preludes.

For as radical as Satie was at the time, I feel he's relatively unappreciated for what he was.

Cowell was another quite radical composer that I feel doesn't get as much credit as he deserves. I've never heard a Cowell piece I disliked and they're always rather listening.

I'm tempted to say Varese as well but I'm not quite sure what level of popularity he enjoys. I do know that he was one of the biggest musical geniuses of the 20th century though and pioneered electronic music way before it was fashionable or technologically feasible to do so.

I feel a lot of Barber's works are relatively over-shadowed by his damn Adagio for Strings but since he's probably one of the easiest and best known 20th century composers, I won't count him as "underappreciation".

Will add to this list later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry for not including Griffes! He must've slipped my mind at the moment. :P I really admire his originality in not blindly following any musical trends. However, I think his underappreciatedness stems more from the small size of his body of work than anything else. Same goes for Chausson.

I also agree with Cowell. I'm an especially huge fan of his later music.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
For as radical as Satie was at the time, I feel he's relatively unappreciated for what he was.

Although, considering his philosophy about music, he almost would have wanted it that way...

Personally, I wish Astor Piazzolla and Gabriel Faur

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Other under-appreciated composers...

I think I'd have to add Antonio Salieri (contrary to popular belief, his music isn't that bad... it's a shame, though, that barely any of his music has actually survived) and Henry Purcell (Dido and Aeneas is a pretty cool opera - "Dido's Lament" is one of my favourite pieces of music ever written!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't think of any underappreciated composers at the moment. For underappreciated works, though, I don't see much about BWV 542 (Prelude and Fugue in G Minor) or 543 (Prelude and Fugue in A Minor) in comparison to the rest of Bach's works, and it's a shame because I think those two really bring out the awesomeness that is the organ. Even in terms of just his organ works, I always see the Little Fugue in G Minor pop up much more than anything else (while I don't think that one's bad at all, I think it's not as good as the two above).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Orff:

He has both, super-appreciation in 1 work and none in the others....

"Trionfo di Afrodita" is such a magnificent work, I thing is performed 1 time for each 50 times of "Carmina burana"....

I think I'll post "Trinfo di Afrodita" in "suggest a work" ...

same with Holst,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anton Bruckner, I think he is one of the best composers of the 19th century, but he get little recognition or attention. His Symphonies, masses, and motets are some of the best written ever IMO. His Mass No.1 in D minor ranks as one of my all time favorite pieces of music.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Faure was hardly a one-hit wonder! He wrote a lot of famous works, like his Dolly suite, Elegie, etc. He also wrote a lot of music that's very interesting, in my opinion, but not very popular, like this one modal barcarolle QcCowboy showed me.

There were a lot of Russian composers during the early part of the previous century who went largely underappreciated - Roslavets, Mosolov, Protopopov, Krein, and others.

In my opinion, Joachim Raff also deserves more attention from modern audiences. He was one of the most popular composers of his time, but his mid-romantic music is mostly forgotten now, besides a couple of his symphonies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To expand upon my earlier comment, I think Nikolai Roslavets is one of the most criminally underrated composers of the 20th century, even though, yes, there are a lot of them. Here's an excerpt from his 5th Piano Sonata (1923):

Piano Sonata No. 5

By the way, the guy who put up this video, Hexameron, has a great youtube channel. Check it out.

So anyway, Roslavets was known as the "Russian Schoenberg," and much of his music was quite expressionist. (According to the information for that video, Hamelin described him as "Scriabin on acid," although he reminds me a little of Berg, too.) As a result, he was persecuted by Soviet authorities and later shipped off to Central Asia.

Speaking of Schoenberg, the great man himself said Joseph Achron was one of the most underrated composers of his generation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

based on what?

Oh right, your opinion

kthxbai

Yes, it's totally absurd that anyone would voice personal opinions in a thread titled "underappreciated composers"…

I think everyone here should give solid scientific proofs why certain composers are underappreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...