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The conductor as a want to be composer

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Author Topic: The conductor as a want to be composer  (Read 293 times)
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« on: August 28, 2013, 12:29:36 am »

Having retrieved my post from GMG-

"There is an obvious 'A' List of conductors who were/are equally famous as composers-

Leonard Bernstein and Pierre Boulez are modern examples.

In their time one would have to consider the cases of Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss-two famous composers but recognised as very considerable conductors. Mahler's work at the Vienna State Opera(1897-1907) and in New York(1908) is fairly well recognised. Strauss, however, was one of the leading conductors of his day. He succeeded von Bulow at the Berlin Philharmonic in 1894 at the age of 30, he directed the Berlin Opera(1898-1918), the Vienna State Opera(1919-24) and the Leipzig Gewandhaus(1933).

There are another couple of conductors who might just qualify-

Felix Weingartner, one of the greatest conductors of the period from 1885-1940, who composed seven symphonies and ten operas and who certainly considered his work as a composer as equal to his achievements as a conductor.

Howard Hanson was the founder and longtime conductor of the Eastman Rochester Symphony Orchestra in New York State.

The 'B' list would include conductors who regarded their compositions as more important than their conducting but found that few people necessarily agreed with them(Furtwangler is the obvious example)-

Bruno Walter(two early symphonies)
Otto Klemperer(two acknowledged symphonies but apparently six in total, a Mass and two operas)
Wilhelm Furtwangler(three symphonies and a Te Deum)
Paul Paray(two symphonies and a Mass)
Victor de Sabata(two operas and a number of tone poems)
Sir Eugene Goossens(two symphonies)
Dmitri Mitropoulos(an early opera)
Paul Kletzki(three symphonies; stopped composing in 1942)
Antal Dorati(two symphonies, concertos, an opera, a cantata and a wide range of other music)
Jean Martinon(four symphonies and several concertos)
Gunther Wand(ballet music and a cantata)
Igor Markevitch(a remarkable number of compositions produced between the ages of 16 and 30 but then switched over completely to   
Rafael Kubelik(three symphonies, three Requiems, operas)
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski(who continues to compose, including a recent Concerto for Orchestra)
Evgeny Svetlanov(a symphony, a piano concerto, a cantata and several tone poems)
Andre Previn(concertos and film music)
Lorin Maazel(an opera and concertante works)
Jose Serebrier(a wide range of music including three symphonies)
Leif Segerstam(189 symphonies, 11 violin concertos, 8 cello concertos, 4 piano concertos, and 30 string quartets; presumably he
     occasionally sleeps?)
Giuseppe Sinopoli(an opera and serial and electronic music)
Esa-Pekka Salonen(a growing body of compositions including a recent Piano Concerto)"

The post is a few years old-Segerstam was up to 261 symphonies as of last year Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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