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#2296394 - 06/29/14 01:23 AM Re: The 5 Most Original Keyboard Composers [Re: jeffreyjones]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19873
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
I'm still a bit shocked that not a single composer from after the second world war has been brought up!

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
I'm struggling to think of who we could nominate.

Ginastera merely aped Bartok's late style (particularly the Mikrokosmos). Other than a few standouts like Op. 87, Shostakovich's piano works are among his weakest. Copland could qualify, but he already had his signature style in the 1920's.

Ligeti probably does deserve a mention; he said that he did not play the piano that well, but obviously he knew enough about the instrument to create interesting new problems for the pianist to solve in his Etudes. There's really no other music quite like it.. other composers wrote music with mathematical rigor, but in Ligeti's music the math itself seems to spring to life.

.....and I don't think very many people would argue much that any of these composers are in the top 5, probably not even they themselves. (I mean if they were all living. Y'all don't have to tell me they aren't.) grin

Does this mean that keyboard writing was mostly a "mature art" by the mid-20th century? Maybe it does.

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#2296395 - 06/29/14 01:25 AM Re: The 5 Most Original Keyboard Composers [Re: jeffreyjones]
outo Offline
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Loc: Finland
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones

Other than a few standouts like Op. 87, Shostakovich's piano works are among his weakest.


Even if one thinks that, they certainly are original (ie. different from others).


Edited by outo (06/29/14 01:26 AM)

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#2296396 - 06/29/14 01:25 AM Re: The 5 Most Original Keyboard Composers [Re: rbeltz48]
BDB Offline
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Post WWII there is Wendy Carlos, who explored the possibilities of the synthesizer.
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#2296397 - 06/29/14 01:32 AM Re: The 5 Most Original Keyboard Composers [Re: Kuanpiano]
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8027
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
I'm still a bit shocked that not a single composer from after the second world war has been brought up!

(Though I mentioned Lachenmann, as well as Cage previously....).


Somebody mentioned George Crumb.

Has anyone mentioned Ives? He wrote quarter-tone pieces for two pianos tuned a quarter-tone apart, and who also asked for a board to be used to play a large cluster in the Concord sonata. Both were pretty original.

There was also composer for harpsichord in the 18th century (I think that's the right century) who wrote microtonal music, and built special instruments to play it. Can't remember his name, unfortunately.

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#2297046 - 06/30/14 06:09 PM Re: The 5 Most Original Keyboard Composers [Re: rbeltz48]
dolce sfogato Offline
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Carl Maria von Weber, Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Jan Ladislav Dussek propelled pianotechnique way into the 19th century, more than Beethoven/Schubert, they paved the way for Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Alkan. Emanuel Chabrier did the same for the french school, without him no Ravel, Poulenc, Satie. Henry Cowell used armclusters and stringplucking in the 20's...
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#2297062 - 06/30/14 07:15 PM Re: The 5 Most Original Keyboard Composers [Re: rbeltz48]
ClsscLib Offline

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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1836
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Armclusters and string-plucking. Progress? Beats me.
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#2297069 - 06/30/14 07:27 PM Re: The 5 Most Original Keyboard Composers [Re: rbeltz48]
RealPlayer Offline
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Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2359
Loc: NYC
How about Xenakis? Pianists are still figuring out how to play some of his pieces.

Of course, he made similar demands of other instruments.

I remember, when I was in my teens, looking at the score to the Concord Sonata and thinking it was nearly impossible. Now, it's considered a classic.
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#2298387 - 07/03/14 09:10 PM Re: The 5 Most Original Keyboard Composers [Re: Mark_C]
jeffreyjones Offline
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Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2393
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
I'm still a bit shocked that not a single composer from after the second world war has been brought up!

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
I'm struggling to think of who we could nominate.

Ginastera merely aped Bartok's late style (particularly the Mikrokosmos). Other than a few standouts like Op. 87, Shostakovich's piano works are among his weakest. Copland could qualify, but he already had his signature style in the 1920's.

Ligeti probably does deserve a mention; he said that he did not play the piano that well, but obviously he knew enough about the instrument to create interesting new problems for the pianist to solve in his Etudes. There's really no other music quite like it.. other composers wrote music with mathematical rigor, but in Ligeti's music the math itself seems to spring to life.

.....and I don't think very many people would argue much that any of these composers are in the top 5, probably not even they themselves. (I mean if they were all living. Y'all don't have to tell me they aren't.) grin

Does this mean that keyboard writing was mostly a "mature art" by the mid-20th century? Maybe it does.


Keyboard writing was a mature art in the 19th century. The difference is that solo keyboard composition hasn't remained relevant since, oh, about 1920. Even as a trained classical musician I struggle to name works less than 30 years old.

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#2298393 - 07/03/14 09:42 PM Re: The 5 Most Original Keyboard Composers [Re: jeffreyjones]
outo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 822
Loc: Finland
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Even as a trained classical musician I struggle to name works less than 30 years old.


That would partly be explained by the fact that new works are not spread as easily not least due to copyright issues?
People do still compose for the piano though.

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