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#1652013 - 03/31/11 08:32 PM Great pieces by lesser known composers?
Drunk3nFist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 640
Loc: London
Its nice to have all the big names in our repertoire. However, I'm now keen to explore lesser known composers which still wrote decent music. I believe it would be nice to grow an affinity with some lesser known piano literature not only as something extra to add to our repertoire, but also so that our own interpretations of that music would be more personal, since it would not be played/recorded by many people.

Some may/may not classify him as 'lesser known' compser, but Charles Alkan springs to my mind. His etudes are colossal, dare I say on par with the Chopin etudes.
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Working on:

Prokofiev - Sonata No. 3
Kapustin - Variations Op. 41
Chopin - Ballade No. 4

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#1652025 - 03/31/11 08:59 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1815
Loc: Connecticut
Karol Szymanowski's Etude in b flat minor Op.4 No.3 is heart-breakingly beautiful:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knW-yv6i6z4


There are other performances of it on youtube and pianosociety.

http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=53


Mel
_________________________
My Recordings

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn

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#1652029 - 03/31/11 09:01 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
WinsomeAllegretto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 824
Godowsky: Java Suite! I don't know if people would call it "great," but I sure think it's cool! The pieces are definitely more than "decent," and are very unique sounding.

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#1652035 - 03/31/11 09:11 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
pianojerome Offline
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Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Some of you know that I recently founded the Joseph Achron Society, devoted to the life and works of the Lithuanian-Jewish composer (1886-1943)

IMO, his "Symphonic Variations and Sonata on a Jewish Theme", Op. 39, should definitely be a staple of the repertoire. A public domain score, along with those for his two brilliant Op. 56 pieces, are available on the JAS website.

His other piano works include a "Concerto for Piano Alone" (i.e. without orchestra - kind of like what Alkan did) and several suites.

Most of his oeuvre is chamber music - violin pieces, string quartets, art songs, cello music - though he also wrote three violin concertos, incidental theater music, film music, and orchestral works.

Unfortunately, most of his music hasn't been recorded or published, and he's so regretfully unknown. I'm hoping to change that.
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#1652045 - 03/31/11 09:33 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: dannylux]
Ridicolosamente Offline
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Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 1448
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
Originally Posted By: dannylux
Karol Szymanowski's Etude in b flat minor Op.4 No.3 is heart-breakingly beautiful:
Interesting that you mention Szymanowski; he was the first composer to pop into my mind. I think his 3rd piano sonata is fantastic.

-Daniel
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-Dane Rudhyar's Stars from Pentagrams No 3

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#1652046 - 03/31/11 09:34 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
frida11 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/08
Posts: 227
Loc: Pacific Northwest
You don't say what specific kind of music, or difficulty level, you're looking for. American composers Godard, Nevin and Gottschalk (I think American anyway) come to mind. Mompou, Fanny Mendelssohn, Czech composer Martinu, and Respighi, with a few piano pieces, also. I'm sure there are many more.

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#1652094 - 03/31/11 11:00 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
DameMyra Offline
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Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1903
Loc: South Jersey
Janacek, Piano Sonata 1.X. 1905, On an Overgrown Path, and In the Mists.
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#1652096 - 03/31/11 11:05 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2281
Loc: NYC
I don't know if you're interested in 20h or 21st century music. I can think of plenty of composers who deserve a hearing, some living, some not.

But contemporary compositional styles run the gamut from conservative to experimental, so that should be taken into account before suggesting anything.
_________________________
Joe

www.josephkubera.com

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#1652101 - 03/31/11 11:10 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
Theodore Slutz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/10
Posts: 329
Loc: California
Ralph Vaughan Williams' Lark ascending.
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“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” J.S. Bach


"I just want to know, if we came from monkeys and apes, WHY DO WE STILL HAVE MONKEYS AND APES?" George Carlin

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#1652265 - 04/01/11 05:53 AM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
Drunk3nFist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 640
Loc: London
Personally I'm looking for Romantic period composers, but of course suggestions of composers from other eras are indeed welcome.
_________________________
Working on:

Prokofiev - Sonata No. 3
Kapustin - Variations Op. 41
Chopin - Ballade No. 4

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#1652278 - 04/01/11 07:01 AM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
andrew f Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 120
Loc: Amsterdam
I've done lots of Liadov with my Russian piano teacher. Extremely gratifying.

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#1652373 - 04/01/11 09:57 AM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: andrew f]
Drunk3nFist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 640
Loc: London
Liadov sounds interesting, he seems to have a wide catalogue of pieces on IMSLP smile .
_________________________
Working on:

Prokofiev - Sonata No. 3
Kapustin - Variations Op. 41
Chopin - Ballade No. 4

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#1652397 - 04/01/11 10:24 AM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: dannylux]
Drunk3nFist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 640
Loc: London
This is wonderful stuff! Thank for this! Keep them coming smile
_________________________
Working on:

Prokofiev - Sonata No. 3
Kapustin - Variations Op. 41
Chopin - Ballade No. 4

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#1652568 - 04/01/11 01:53 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2281
Loc: NYC
You might like pieces in the collection"The Heaven Ladder, Book 7" by Terry Riley.

Everybody knows Terry Riley from his famous minimalist piece "In C," but few know there is a whole body of piano solo music, and even 4-hand music. It's quite fun and accessible.

You can get a taste of it here. Click on any of the titles to hear a short excerpt. Most of the pieces will seem slow, but that's because they have slow intro's and the link just lets you hear a little bit. Start with "Venus in '94."

Gloria Cheng plays Terry Riley

The music is available from Terry's website (terryriley.net) but I heard he has signed with Schirmer, so maybe it will be more widely available now.
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Joe

www.josephkubera.com

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#1652617 - 04/01/11 03:27 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Theodore Slutz]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17666
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Theodore Slutz
Ralph Vaughan Williams' Lark ascending.


Huh?

Ralph Vaughan Williams is one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century; I would hardly consider him a "lesser known" composer!

"The Lark Ascending" is an exquisitely beautiful work.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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Estonia 190 in satin ebony

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#1652646 - 04/01/11 04:31 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1815
Loc: Connecticut
Adolf von Henselt's Etude in E flat, No.11 'Dors tu, ma vie' from "Douze Etudes caracteristiques de concert" Op.2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb2INR_Ym7I

The piece is three and a half minutes of serene loveliness.


Mel



_________________________
My Recordings

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn

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#1652652 - 04/01/11 04:37 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: dannylux]
DameMyra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1903
Loc: South Jersey
Originally Posted By: dannylux
Adolf von Henselt's Etude in E flat, No.11 'Dors tu, ma vie' from "Douze Etudes caracteristiques de concert" Op.2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb2INR_Ym7I

The piece is three and a half minutes of serene loveliness.


Mel

Quite lovely, Mel. Thanks for the link.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher
Faculty, Rowan Prep Community School of Music
MTNA/NJMTA/SJMTA
Managing Director, Northern Lights Music Festival

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#1652678 - 04/01/11 05:09 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
Josh_P Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 201
Loc: Seattle, Washington
Maybe Shchedrin. When my friend played the Basso Ostinato, she made her Yamaha and the whole room shake, and she made a string snap. Yikes!!!

Either way he is pretty awesome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLw1CHmEAKg
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Working On:
Beethoven-32 Variations in C minor
Beethoven- Opus 109

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#1652688 - 04/01/11 05:29 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Josh_P]
Tim Adrianson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 974
I'll post a number of lesser-known French composers, contemporaneous with Debussy and Ravel, all of whom wrote IMO some terrific piano pieces:

Emmanuel Chabrier 10 Pieces Pittoresques; Bourree Fantasque
Deodat de Severac En Languedoc; Cerdana; Le Chant de la Terre
Albert Roussel Sonatine; Suite for Piano
Ernest Chausson Quelque Danses
Guy Ropartz Quelque Femmes
Vincent d'Indy Laufenberg; Aarau
Alberic Magnard Promenades
Jacques Ibert Histoires
Francis Poulenc Mouvements Perpetuel; Suite (1928)

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#1652728 - 04/01/11 06:31 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19097
Loc: New York City

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#1652764 - 04/01/11 07:56 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: dannylux]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4974
Loc: boston north
Originally Posted By: dannylux
Adolf von Henselt's Etude in E flat, No.11 'Dors tu, ma vie' from "Douze Etudes caracteristiques de concert" Op.2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb2INR_Ym7I

The piece is three and a half minutes of serene loveliness.

Mel


Very pleasant. I am always on the lookout for melodious romantic music. Can you share more about Henselt?
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"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1652882 - 04/02/11 12:40 AM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17666
Loc: Victoria, BC
The Henselt is a lovely piece for what it is. I don't think, however, that it would wear very well nor would be worth programming except perhaps as a light encore or maybe grouped with a couple of other Etudes from the same opus.

Fortunately, it is easy to learn/play, so one wouldn't have to spend much time on it. I don't think it would have much of a "shelf life" though, pretty though it is at first hearing.

Regards,


Edited by BruceD (04/02/11 12:43 AM)
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BruceD
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#1652911 - 04/02/11 02:43 AM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1815
Loc: Connecticut
Here is a gorgeous performance by Anthony Goldstone of the second-most beautiful nocturne ever, Sergei Lyapunov's Nocturne in D flat Op.8:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJHrnb3MNzk


Mel
_________________________
My Recordings

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn

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#1652992 - 04/02/11 08:24 AM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Josh_P]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7424
Originally Posted By: Josh_P
Maybe Shchedrin. When my friend played the Basso Ostinato, she made her Yamaha and the whole room shake, and she made a string snap. Yikes!!!

Either way he is pretty awesome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLw1CHmEAKg


There are some other interesting performances of it on YT. I also remember that it was turning up at some competitions. Shchedrin has written a good deal of piano music that's worthwhile (he recorded some of it himself). The set of preludes and fugues in all the keys is a real treasure-trove for people who "get" his style.

Another Russian, still living, who has written a considerable amount of good (and rather tough-minded) piano music is Boris Tishchenko - here's his 6th sonata (I don't think the graphic displayed has anything to do with the music...).


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#1653134 - 04/02/11 01:39 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: dannylux]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17666
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: dannylux
Here is a gorgeous performance by Anthony Goldstone of the second-most beautiful nocturne ever, Sergei Lyapunov's Nocturne in D flat Op.8:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJHrnb3MNzk

Mel



That really is worth a listen or maybe even two. I'd never heard it before; thanks for sharing it.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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Estonia 190 in satin ebony

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#1653173 - 04/02/11 02:47 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19097
Loc: New York City
The Liapunov Nocturne's opening is very similar to Chopin's Nocturne in the same key. I wonder if this was intentional.

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#1653177 - 04/02/11 02:48 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
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Loc: New York City
Double post


Edited by pianoloverus (04/02/11 02:48 PM)

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#1653187 - 04/02/11 03:08 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
PaulaPiano34 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1217
I love Czerny's Variations on a Theme by Rhode (La Ricordanza)


Edited by chobeethaninov (04/02/11 03:10 PM)

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#1653200 - 04/02/11 03:31 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
AaronL619 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/11
Posts: 46
Loc: United Kingdom
Gustav Lange is not very well known.. he composed some nice pieces, his most successful being 'Blumenlied'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KJ2UUoAnt4

Cecile Chaminade.. well she is well known for just a few of her pieces but a lot of her pieces are not often played and they are very beautiful.

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#1653211 - 04/02/11 03:49 PM Re: Great pieces by lesser known composers? [Re: AaronL619]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17666
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: AaronL619
Gustav Lange is not very well known.. he composed some nice pieces, his most successful being 'Blumenlied'



I realize that we're getting into subjective reactions, here, but as far as Lange's Bluemenlied (Flower Song) is concerned, it hardly fits the category of "great" pieces by lesser known composers! Blumenlied is a bit of 19th century salon writing, and "nice" is about the highest praise one can give it.

Regards,
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BruceD
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