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1  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Unrecorded British Symphonies: an update on: February 19, 2020, 10:26:52 pm
Apologies for necroposting.

I forgot about John White, who is sadly neglected on disc. According to Wikipedia, he wrote 25 symphonies. I think I have or had a cassette tape with two of them, which were fairly dire electronic works. But given the attractiveness of his piano sonatas, he could certainly write well when he wanted to.
2  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Simpson and Walton's 70th birthday. on: February 19, 2020, 10:17:46 pm
In 1972, the BBC aired a programme to celebrate Walton's 70th birthday, in which were played tributes by several British composers. The highlight was a very clever piece by Robert Simpson, which started off as the opening of Walton's first symphony, but in which the statement of the first subject morphed subtly into "Happy Birthday to You". I'd love to hear it again. Does anyone know if it was ever preserved?
3  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Gotovac: Ero the Joker on cpo on: February 19, 2020, 10:10:47 pm
Very interesting!

My father, back in the 60s, had a number of LPs issued by "World Music", which I think may have been a subscription service. One of these contained, amongst other things, a track labelled "Kolo (round dance) from Ero the Joker" - which I very much enjoyed, and which sparked an interest in the music of the Balkans. So here is the complete opera. Not the first recording, though. When I came to sort through my father's possessions after his death, though, all these LPs had vanished.
4  Little-known music of all eras / Downloads discussion / Re: Azerbaijani Music on: February 19, 2020, 09:49:02 pm
What a treasure trove!
5  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Vienna on: July 16, 2019, 11:00:30 am
Actually, it's partly a reflection of how ignorant most concert-goers are of contemporary or post-war composers of any nationality other than their own. You and I could rattle off a long list of post-war Swedish composers, but if you stopped someone in the foyer of the Wigmore Hall, they might be stumped.
6  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Mario Pilati on: July 16, 2019, 10:55:54 am
I don't doubt that they are fine works. But I suggest that we only know of them because Respighi became famous after his Roman triptych. Without that, those early works would languish with the many fine works by many fine composers who never "hit the big time".

Even then, it doesn't always work - witness the number of composers famous for one work which is frequently performed, and seemingly no-one ever asks "what else did he write?" I make an exception for M. Canteloube, where the answer is (besides the Songs of the Auvergne), almost nothing.
7  About music in general / Members' own compositions / Re: Music of Edward Schaffer on: July 16, 2019, 10:48:30 am
Yes, I saw the link at the head of the first post.
8  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Vienna on: July 14, 2019, 10:40:58 pm
A thought that has been with me recently:

Think about how dominant Vienna was in the history of music from the late 18th century to the early 20th. Now, imagine you asked a modern concert-goer to name a post WW2 Austrian composer (excepting those who emigrated). Whatever happened to Austrian music? Admittedly they lost Hungary, but even so!
9  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Mario Pilati on: July 14, 2019, 10:37:00 pm
I think my point stands. Would those youthful works by Respighi be remembered at all if Respighi had died aged 35? I suspect not. We only have recordings of them today because Respighi is famous on account of what he went on to become.
10  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Joseph Holbrooke from CPO on: July 14, 2019, 10:25:04 pm
A French friend of mine who thought he knew English better than he did, once remarked of something he disapproved of, "Ugh! They are terrific!"
11  About music in general / Members' own compositions / Re: Music of Edward Schaffer on: July 14, 2019, 10:23:04 pm
Well done in putting all these up for listening!
12  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Mario Pilati on: June 01, 2019, 06:24:16 pm
However, suppose you only knew the music Respighi wrote before the age of 35 (the age Pilati died). Would you say the same thing? There would be no Roman Trilogy, for instance.
13  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: SOME unrecorded British Piano Concertos, 1934-94 on: June 01, 2019, 10:03:38 am
The Rubbra concerto is a great work - I suppose it suffers from the lack of bravura in the first movement.
14  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Whatever happened to Fritz Brun? on: June 01, 2019, 10:01:54 am
The thing about humour is that it's supposed to be funny, or at least amusing. The "sex and the Swiss" remark is simply stupid and offensive however you look at it.

Actually, I am reminded of a remark along those lines that manages to be more successful; the writer George Mikes once remarked that "continentals have sex lives - the British have hot water bottles".
15  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Leonid Polovinkin (1894-1949) on: May 30, 2019, 11:52:38 am
I have been listening with interest to the 7th symphony of Leonid Polovinkin. Particularly notable is the slow movement, which is one long unfolding melody. There doesn't seem to be much internet biographical information about the composer, a contemporary of Prokofiev, but it seems he wrote nine (!) symphonies of which only #7 and #9 have been recorded. It seems he went through the typical stages for a composer of his generation - influence of Scriabin, then experimentalist in the 1920s, and then moving to a social realist phase in the Stalin era.

It seems to me to be very surprising he is not better known. His works apparently include an opera based on JM Synge's "Playboy of the Western World", which would be interesting to hear. He is not even mentioned in SD Krebs's study of Soviet composers, though he does get an article in the 1953 Groves.
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