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Composers – Ignored and Almost forgotten!

Composers Composers - Ignored and Almost forgotten!

Ignaz Pleyel another ignored, almost forgotten composer

Here’s another composer who has been almost forgotten and whose music is rarely performed these days; and yet ‘back in the day’ was hugely popular. The interesting thing about Pleyel from what I gather via the Wikipedia link below, is that his popularity was due in some part to the simplicity of his compositions. Easy listening!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignaz_Pleyel

Here’s his concerto for Clarinet in B flat major followed by the Sinfonia Concertante for flute in B flat major. Both pieces are the second movements.

Concerto for Clarinet in B flat major orange_download_button

 

Sinfonia Concertante for flute in B flat major orange_download_button


Arensky Composers - Ignored and Almost forgotten!

Another almost unknown almost forgotten composer

I stumbled upon Anton Arensky when I went to a concert in my local small town. While introducing this piece, the pianist in the trio mentioned that Arensky taught Scriabin and Rachmaninoff. My ears perked up!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Arensky

It so happened that my wife Tricia had painted the violinist and entered the painting in a prestigious Australian  art prize. We took it along and showed Niki.

http://www.dancingdust.com/large/niki.html

So many ignored and forgotten great composers. Now with the internet we all can find them much more easily!

Enjoy Arensky’s Trio in D minor, op. 32: Elegia – Adagio

The Nash Ensemble – Arensky- Trio in D minor, Op.32- Elegia – Adagio


Cherubini Composers - Ignored and Almost forgotten!

Cherubini String Quartets

Cherubini was BIG – back in his day – but pretty much ignored and forgotten until recently. (see the post Cherubini for how he was admired by Beethoven and other great composers) Here are a few comments about his String Quartets:

“….. his six late string quartets. Fastidiously crafted and supremely musical, these quartets recall Haydn, Beethoven, and Mozart in their superior thematic workmanship and classical sense of balance. They’ve ranked among the best-kept secrets of quartet lovers for years…”

Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Handbuch für Streichquartettspielers (Handbook for String Quartet Players) about Cherubini’s six string quartets, states that they are first rate and regarded Nos. 1 and 3 as masterworks.

So here’s a “best kept secret” and one of the ‘masterworks’. Approx. 15 minutes of String Quartet enjoyement.

From Cherubini’s String Quartet #3 – the second and third movements

Cherubini String Quartet

 

Cherubini String Quartet third move


Bortkiewicz Cherubini Composers - Ignored and Almost forgotten! Glazunov Hummel Hunt! Opera/Vocal Rubinstein

Obscure and underdog Composers. Why obscure?

In the case of Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778 – 1837) there doesn’t appear to be a good reason as to why he has become somewhat obscure. At the time he was composing; his music and compositions were spoken of in the same breath as Beethoven and Mozart. (see Hummel and Hummel Hunt on the right)

BUT … it’s a different story with SERGEI BORTKIEWICZ. He suffered every possible trauma from the Russian Revolution, The First World War … and the Second WW too! Even Nazi persecution! Constantly fleeing this, or losing that. How can a musician function? As he wrote:

“I’m writing to you from my bathroom where we have crawled in because it is small and can be warmed on and off with a gas light (!) The other rooms cannot be used and I cannot touch my piano. This is now! What awaits us further ? Life is becoming more and more unpleasant, merciless. I teach at the Conservatory with the heat at 4 degrees, soon even less! […]”

So here’s the Second (the shortest) Movement to Borkiewicz’ Piano Concerto #1 in B minor Op. 16. The passionate “theme” in this movement is so beautiful it could probably spawn a Popular Hit! (maybe it already has and I just don’t know it)

Hey! – I just listened again … and wonder?! Is there inspiration for George Gershwin here?

Bortkiewicz piano concerto no. 1 second movement

 

Another one from the list Lance sent me of “obscure / underdog” Composers. Lance says that this is his favourite violin concerto! So it’s gotta’ be worth a listen. WARNING: it’s Long!

Glazunov violin concerto in a minor op-82-moderato-andante-allegro

 

Anton Rubinstein

Not to be confused with the great pianist Artur Rubinstein, born in 1887, Anton Rubinstein, an even greater performer in his time and a clear rival to Liszt and other great pianists of the 19th century, had a marked effect on the development of music in Russia, establishing the first system of professional musical training at a new Conservatory in St. Petersburg in 1862.

Rubinstein grand sonata for piano 4 hands second movement

 

ANOTHER “Underdog” Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) Italian composer who spent most of his working life in France.

Talk about being cheated out of fame and posthumous recognition!!! Just read what was said about him … by “Them” – back then! And then listen to a movement from that vocal piece “They” raved about.

Posterity has a habit of elevating the obscure and neglecting the famous. Thus it is that Cherubini, hailed by Beethoven as ‘the greatest living composer’, is today often forgotten; ‘If I were to write a Requiem, Cherubini’s would be my only model’, Beethoven continued and the work was performed at his funeral in 1827. Schumann’s opinion was that it was ‘without equal in the world’. Berlioz considered that ‘the decrescendo in the Agnus Dei surpasses everything that has ever been written of the kind’.

Cherubini requiem-no-1-in-c-minor-agnus-dei


Cherubini Composers - Ignored and Almost forgotten! Opera/Vocal

Cherubini

ANOTHER “Underdog” Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) Italian composer who spent most of his working life in France.

Talk about being cheated out of fame and posthumous recognition!!! Just read what was said about him … by “Them” – back then! And then listen to a movement from that vocal piece “They” raved about.

Posterity has a habit of elevating the obscure and neglecting the famous. Thus it is that Cherubini, hailed by Beethoven as ‘the greatest living composer’, is today often forgotten; ‘If I were to write a Requiem, Cherubini’s would be my only model’, Beethoven continued and the work was performed at his funeral in 1827. Schumann’s opinion was that it was ‘without equal in the world’. Berlioz considered that ‘the decrescendo in the Agnus Dei surpasses everything that has ever been written of the kind’.

Cherubini requiem-no-1-in-c-minor-agnus-dei


Composers - Ignored and Almost forgotten! Taneyev

Another ‘Ignored’ Composer

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev was an important figure in the Russian music scene of the 1800’s. He was Tchaikovskys pupil and the teacher of Rachmaninoff and Scriabin. I read somewhere that in Russia today his bust will appear alongside Beethoven, Tchaikovsky etc. And yet … “By the time of his death at the age of 58, Taneyev had left behind a substantial catalog of works, virtually none of which has entered the standard repertory.”

The virtuosic and scintillating Suite de concert, Taneyev’s first work for solo violin and orchestra. This is the final variation and coda.

Taneyev Suite de concert Final variation and coda

 

As a virtuoso pianist Taneyev could display his own piano works, as Chopin, Liszt, Anton Rubinstein, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, and Medtner had done and were to do. Somewhat unusually for a pianist-composer of his calibre, however, he wrote very few compositions for the instrument, and he did not perform these at concerts…

Taneyev Repose (Elegy) in E major

 

From the String Quartet #3 – opus 7 (Theme and Variations)  I’ve picked out three of the variations

SQ variation


Bear