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Melody-meisters


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Author Topic: Melody-meisters  (Read 782 times)
Albion
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« on: April 14, 2014, 05:46:15 pm »

It seems to me that the three most naturally-gifted lyrical melodists operating between 1880 and 1900 were Antonín Dvořák, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Arthur Sullivan. Who knew? Discuss.

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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)

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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2014, 10:57:48 pm »

It seems to me that the three most naturally-gifted lyrical melodists operating between 1880 and 1900 were Antonín Dvořák, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Arthur Sullivan. Who knew? Discuss.

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Saint Saens should be first on the list..
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albert
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2014, 05:16:38 pm »

Much liking (or loving) Sullivan, I would propose Puccini.
In the same years another natural melodist, Verdi, was going to  willingly give up melody.
I would agree about Saint-Saens, but a little below.
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 01:02:56 am »

Much liking (or loving) Sullivan, I would propose Puccini.
In the same years another natural melodist, Verdi, was going to  willingly give up melody.
I would agree about Saint-Saens, but a little below.
I suppose a "natural melodist" would imply original, not derived melodies and that list might be endless.
Tchaikovsky, Rossini, Grieg, Rimsky-Korsakov, Atterberg, Dvorak...and on and on..
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dholling
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2014, 05:50:22 am »

I agree with all of the above (esp. Atterberg). I'll add Glazunov to the discussion (in many occasions does he measure up to Tchaikovsky and even exceeds him).
Others worth considering are:
Bax
Bruckner
Myaskovsky
Melartin
Sibelius
Wagner
Cyril Scott
Massenet
Lehar
Barber
Maurice-Alexis Jarre
John Ireland
Frank Bridge
Schubert
Schumann
--->and so forth (many, many more I'm sure).
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albert
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2014, 10:01:18 am »

"Operating between 1880 and 1900".
Obviously not Rossini, Barber, Schubert, Schumann, Maurice Jarre and I would say also Atterberg (born 1887).
Between those years scant music from Ireland, Bridge, Scott, Scott, Bax, Myaskovsky.
Some more from Melartin.
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dholling
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2014, 04:58:08 pm »

^^^
Yeah, but the time frame is too narrow.
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chill319
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2014, 06:02:11 am »

During those two decades, Debussy wrote oodles of superb melodies.
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Gauk
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2014, 12:53:18 pm »

If the only criterion is melody, you would have to consider the composers of light music also.
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Amphissa
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2014, 04:16:05 am »


Rachmaninoff
Grieg
Foote
Chausson
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dyn
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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2014, 11:31:36 am »

It seems to me that the three most naturally-gifted lyrical melodists operating between 1880 and 1900 were Antonín Dvořák, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Arthur Sullivan. Who knew? Discuss.

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No Johann Strauss II??? Are you insane???
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Gauk
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2014, 09:12:34 am »

I think this discussion is doomed for lack of definition. What constitutes a "naturally-gifted lyrical melodist" (as opposed to an artificially-gifted non-lyrical melodist)? Are we just talking about the ability to knock out good tunes? In which case Johann Strauss has to be considered, plus many other composers of light music. But in symphonic music, the virtue of a melody is not just in whether it is a memorable tune, but whether it is malleable enough to lend itself to development. (Think, for instance, of the famous Paganini theme). The subject is too difficult to reduce to a simplistic "top ten" approach.
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chill319
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2014, 07:59:05 pm »

Quote
The subject is too difficult to reduce to a simplistic "top ten" approach.
Gauk is quite correct. That said, Foote, for one, was clearly more influenced by Dvorak and Tchaikovsky than by other composers of the previous generation. Schumann was a hard influence to shake for quite a few composers between 1880 and 1900. And more than a few chamber works were written where the notation looks nothing like Brahms but the music sings like Brahms.
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