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Ten Forgotten American Masterpieces (Leonard Slatkin)

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Author Topic: Ten Forgotten American Masterpieces (Leonard Slatkin)  (Read 2204 times)
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« on: August 08, 2015, 02:32:18 am »

I am a compulsive list-maker  Grin but my lists are of a different sort (all the orchestral/choral compositions of hundreds upon hundreds of late 19th and 20th century composers).

I always recoil from lists of "the best...." and Slatkin's list rather falls into that category. It may be interesting and it may encourage others to produce their own lists or to query omissions but they are by definition personal opinions based on a combination of knowledge of the works included and of individual taste. If one feels that the symphonies of, say, Walter Piston or William Schuman or Peter Mennin, deserve to be heard more often (or indeed at all) then one is obliged by the constraints of "the ten......" to select "the best", "the most worthy" and I have never really seen the point of such an exercise.

I read a review on Musicweb the other day which asserted that Weinberg and Shostakovich were the two Russian symphonists of the 20th century who could truly described as "great". So...where does that leave, say, Prokofiev Huh And if one is asked "so, which is Shostakovich's greatest symphony?" it is possible, I suppose to narrow the choice down to three or four of the symphonies but what does it profit to go further than that Huh Nos. 8 and 10 are both masterpieces but I could not and would not wish to pick one ahead of the other.

Sorry....I ramble but you may get the gist Grin
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