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Overlooked Pieces by Great Composers


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G'day fellas,

We may associate each of the greatest composers with a condensed list of pieces that cemented their places in musical history. But now and again, we may encounter works by those same people that we feel showcase their talent, heart and soul equally or in some cases even more than many of those that made them into household names.

In short, what are some of your favourite pieces from great composers that often get overlooked in favour of their more "popular" pieces? Here are a few of mine:

String Quartet No. 3, Op. 30 & Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70 (Tchaikovsky)

Ruy Blas Overture, Op. 95 (Mendelssohn)

Tragic Overture, Op. 81 (Brahms)

Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 8 (Grieg)

Cello Sonata, Op. 19 (Rachmaninoff)

Symphony No. 4, Op. 60 (Beethoven)

Symphony No. 3, Op. 52 (Sibelius)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Grieg - 4 Album Leaves, op. 28 ( all four are beautiful hidden gems to me )

Some other of his even more obscure Lyric Pieces.

Sibelius:

- op 24 no 9: Romance in D-flat major

- 6 Impromptus, Op.5 (No. 5 Vivace: B Minor)

- The Sapin Op.75-5

- Etude In A Minor Op. 76 No. 2

Heino Kaski Night By The Sea - Op 34, No 1

Oskar Merikanto:

- Idyll Op. 73 No. 1

- Valse A La Chopin Op. 6 No. 5, in G minor, Piece No. 14

- Merella Op. 47 No. 4

Aarre Merikanto Six Piano Pieces op. 20 ( all six )

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Still quite well-known, but ( perhaps undeservedly ) much less known than their other pieces:

Brahms Rhapsody in G minor, Op. 79, No. 2

Tchaikovsky - October of "The Seasons, Op. 3" and other months other than June.

Edited by Aw Ke Shen
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  • 1 month later...

tchaikovsky 3rd piano concerto is imo his best.  when i heard it i was baffled by who it could be because it sounded too complex in certain respects to be a melodic composer like tchaikovsky. 

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This topic would make a fascinating thesis for someone.  Make a list of under appreciated works, make the case for why they are great, and try to determine why each didn't make as big a splash as other pieces by the same composer...  Requires an instrument that's a little harder to find?  Premiered at the same time as some other really great pieces, so it got a little lost in the crowd?  Composer was going through a difficult patch popularity-wise at the time it premiered because of local politics, a snit with someone influential in their local music community, some known bad behavior?  Local tastemakers were promoting a particular type of sound at that moment in musical history, and this was not that?  Composer too busy with personal or family obligations to give it a good premiere and it just sat in a drawer for a long time, while their other works gained popularity and became the big pieces in their canon?  What are the conditions that make something really gain momentum, and why weren't they met in this case?

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22 hours ago, pateceramics said:

This topic would make a fascinating thesis for someone.  Make a list of under appreciated works, make the case for why they are great, and try to determine why each didn't make as big a splash as other pieces by the same composer...  Requires an instrument that's a little harder to find?  Premiered at the same time as some other really great pieces, so it got a little lost in the crowd?  Composer was going through a difficult patch popularity-wise at the time it premiered because of local politics, a snit with someone influential in their local music community, some known bad behavior?  Local tastemakers were promoting a particular type of sound at that moment in musical history, and this was not that?  Composer too busy with personal or family obligations to give it a good premiere and it just sat in a drawer for a long time, while their other works gained popularity and became the big pieces in their canon?  What are the conditions that make something really gain momentum, and why weren't they met in this case?

 

That sounds like a beautiful idea. 

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Posted (edited)

Mendelssohn's Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings in D minor (1823).

 

  Composed when he was 14----but irrelevant--It's a great piece of music.   Martha  Argerich and Gideon Kramer recorded it, so....

  One reason it languished was that Mendelssohn didn't publish it, and a critical edition wasn't published until 1999.

Edited by Rich
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