2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
75 members (Bill McKaig,RPT, antune, BMKE, accordeur, 5stringbanjo, 0day, AJB, 10 invisible), 663 guests, and 299 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 2 of 4 1 2 3 4
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,022
Originally Posted by patH
One opinion I heard from a professional once: Plenty of obscure music has rightfully fallen into oblivion.
I guess that many pieces by lesser-known composers are simply not as interesting as pieces by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven.

But there are some composers who have failed to fall into oblivion, although their music is not that interesting IMO. But they have a famous name, or more precisely, a famous relative.
Examples: The Bach sons, or the father and son of Mozart.
A few months ago I checked out a sonata by Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach; and concluded that it was simply not as interesting as a sonata written by his contemporary Joseph Haydn.

I wonder if a famous name or relative is a blessing or a curse.
On the one hand, the famous name prevents you from being completely forgotten; since Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are counted among the greatest composers of all time, and arise curiosity in the music of their relatives. On the other hand, your music is compared unfavorably to the music of your great relative.
What is the lesser evil: Being known as a lesser member of a composing family; or not being known at all?

Good thing neither Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach nor Franz Xaver Mozart have to answer this question.
Several of Bach's sons and Mozart's father were considered significant composers during their lifetime and several of Bach's sons are still considered to be important composers in the history of music. Can they compare to their much greater relatives or to an all time great like Haydn? Of course not, but that could be said about 99.99% of all composers. Bach, Mozart, and Haydn are among the absolute greatest composers in the history of music so that's an awfully high bar to set.

Maybe this terrific piece by C.P.E. Bach from Trifonov's new album will convince you that some of Bach's sons were excellent composers even if not as great as their father:

Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 643
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 643
It's aka the Hamelin trick.
You start your career by playing mostly neglected repertoire, preferably virtuosic. Not much competition to worry about. Play it well enough, make a name for yourself as the absolute reference for that repertoire and voila, you're a superstar. You can then expand your repertoire to more standard stuff and people will still be listening. Easy peasy shmeezy.


Soli Chopin gloria
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,022
Originally Posted by Rubens
It's aka the Hamelin trick.
You start your career by playing mostly neglected repertoire, preferably virtuosic. Not much competition to worry about. Play it well enough, make a name for yourself as the absolute reference for that repertoire and voila, you're a superstar. You can then expand your repertoire to more standard stuff and people will still be listening. Easy peasy shmeezy.
I find this unnecessarily and incorrectly critical of Hamelin.

Much if what he has recorded is so difficult that few pianists would attempt it, especially in the quantity he did. Most would say he played this music much better than "well enough", and most of his recordings have gotten high critical praise. You seem to imply that Hamelin recorded a lot of the relatively rare and virtuosic literature with the goal of making a big name for himself, but there could have been many other reasons why he chose that path. Many consider Hamelin to be a very great pianist, and I don't think he needed "tricks" to launch a big career.

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,022
Originally Posted by Rubens
It's aka the Hamelin trick.
You start your career by playing mostly neglected repertoire, preferably virtuosic. Not much competition to worry about. Play it well enough, make a name for yourself as the absolute reference for that repertoire and voila, you're a superstar. You can then expand your repertoire to more standard stuff and people will still be listening. Easy peasy shmeezy.
I find this unnecessarily and incorrectly critical of Hamelin.

Much if what he has recorded is so difficult that few pianists would attempt it, especially in the quantity he did. Most would say he played this music much better than "well enough", and most of his recordings have gotten high critical praise. You seem to imply that Hamelin recorded a lot of the relatively rare and virtuosic literature with the goal of making a big name for himself, but there could have been many other reasons why he chose that path. Many consider Hamelin to be a very great pianist, and I don't think he needed "tricks" to launch a big career.

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,432
S
3000 Post Club Member
Online Content
3000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,432
Originally Posted by patH
A few months ago I checked out a sonata by Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach; and concluded that it was simply not as interesting as a sonata written by his contemporary Joseph Haydn.

I wonder if a famous name or relative is a blessing or a curse.

On the one hand, the famous name prevents you from being completely forgotten; since Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are counted among the greatest composers of all time, and arise curiosity in the music of their relatives.

Both Carl Philipp E. Bach and his older brother Wilhelm Friedman are 2 wonderful composers and talented musicians. Probably WF is the most original and also the most talented of the 2, but he is very seldom played. He did not compose much and had little success and a poor carreer but some of his compositions are at the same level or better than the early Haydn pieces and sound already like romantic compositions, demonstrating a unique sense of harmonic colors.

It is difficult to find a good piano version of his sonatas as there are so few recordings. But this one is good enough.



Pletnev recorded a fantastic full cd dedicated to Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach in 2001.



Blüthner model 6
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 319
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 319
Originally Posted by 13bwl
A vast majority of our favourite and most championed classical composers are German, and this seems to rise from the trend of 19th century German nationalism and the emergence of romantic values. I think there's something to be said about these works withstanding the test of time, but there's also something to be said about the institutions and ideologies that prop up classical music to begin with.

I can't agree with the example you give. Between 1870 and 1945 Germany gave the rest of Europe lots of reasons to be viewed with disfavour, and in spite of that its composers were revered in France and England. To me it says a lot about the universality of an art that is probably as dissociated as it comes from local languages and customs, to judge by its popularity in Asia today.

Originally Posted by 13bwl
I don't really understand what you mean by this. I think it really depends on the context that you are turned off by. I think a program of all female composers for instance is just as valid as an all Chopin program, or the existence of the International Chopin Competition.

Well I believe we have to distinguish between musical or political intentions. An all Chopin program is a genuine exploration of the art of one master. A concert of 17th century English religious music is also an investigation into a genre, not necessarily associated with English jingoism. But what would you say of a celebration of be-bop piano that would exclusively feature white composers? (with due respect to Bill Evans or Dave Brubeck)

Last edited by Vikendios; 01/13/22 09:50 AM.

Life is a smorgasbord, and I want to taste everything.
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 6,299
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 6,299
I've been thinking about this and I remembered my teacher saying that some wonderful pieces are not commonly played because of their difficulty. Even if a pro has the technique, they simply don't want to put in the time to master such pieces.

Originally Posted by BruceD
One answer to the question of ubiquity of standard repertoire and the relative scarcity of lesser-known works on recordings may be marketing, which is determined to a considerable degree, is it not, by the recording companies?

Regards,

Good point.


Best regards,

Deborah
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 113
1
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
1
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 113
Originally Posted by Vikendios
I can't agree with the example you give. Between 1870 and 1945 Germany gave the rest of Europe lots of reasons to be viewed with disfavour, and in spite of that its composers were revered in France and England. To me it says a lot about the universality of an art that is probably as dissociated as it comes from local languages and customs, to judge by its popularity in Asia today.
I do agree with you about that the success of what we call classical music in Asia does speak to it having wide appeal, but I think it's ignorant to pretend that there aren't certain associations with classical music. I think of the terms early musicologists used, "oriental" and "primitive" music to describe non-classical music outside of Europe, are telling of the sort of mindset European academics had towards other types of music. All I'm really getting at is that although I am a classical musician and I love classical music, I also love hiphop, jazz, rnb, folk, pop etc. I don't believe in "universals" in music. I think musical language is something that is learned from the human construct of culture, and we can never disconnect ourselves from that cultural background. The only real universal in music I can think of is that loud and fast conveys a sense of high energy, although there might be others.
Originally Posted by Vikendios
Well I believe we have to distinguish between musical or political intentions. An all Chopin program is a genuine exploration of the art of one master. A concert of 17th century English religious music is also an investigation into a genre, not necessarily associated with English jingoism. But what would you say of a celebration of be-bop piano that would exclusively feature white composers? (with due respect to Bill Evans or Dave Brubeck)
Art is always political, and I don't think there's ever been a time that art is responsible for political change. It might be used symbolically, or reflect the social attitudes of the time for instance. Musical intentions are political intentions as far as I'm concerned. An all Chopin programme, but more so the national and international Chopin competitions are a celebration of the artist, but also a moment of Polish pride. As a pole I'm aware of how important Chopin is to Polish identity and patriotism. I think Chopin is so widely programmed by Polish pianists and organizations is because he is the only famous Polish composer (I know there are others, but Chopin is on a completely different level).

I think context is also important. I am not as well versed in the history of bebop as well as I'd like to be, but I am sure that white musicians had just as much of an opportunity to create it as black musicians. I think the reason works are "rediscovered" are because certain groups were unable to compose music in that time period with the same ease as others, but that doesn't mean that they didn't do it.

I think that all art is political, somewhat similar to the thesis of the essay written by Jean Louis Comolli and Jean Narboni titled “Cinema/Ideology/Criticism”, which may have spoken about film, but I think it applies to all art forms. Maybe the specifics in categorization is a bit over the top and I don't think the lines are so clear, but the baseline ideas definitely work for my understanding of art.


Working On:
Beethoven Op. 53
Beethoven Op. 90
Schubert Op. 90 No. 3
Chopin Op. 31
Ravel Sonatine
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,698
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,698
Record companies, to give them their due, often suggest neglected rep to the performers on their roster. The latter may have a look at the music, and often agree to learn and record it (because they get paid smirk ), even if they never get to perform it in concert. Think of all those neglected concertos in Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concertos series. Anyone ever heard (of) Tovey's or Mackenzie's piano concertos?

Naxos, BIS, Chandos and Grand Piano as well as Hyperion are among those which enlarge musicians' repertoire and encourage them to explore new stuff. Grand Piano, as the label name implies, is all about piano music. Where else would you find recordings of piano music by Fiorini, Montgeroult and Szczerbinski? - and those are just this month's releases listed in Gramophone magazine.....


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 319
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 319
Originally Posted by 13bwl
I think that all art is political, somewhat similar to the thesis of the essay written by Jean Louis Comolli and Jean Narboni titled “Cinema/Ideology/Criticism”, which may have spoken about film, but I think it applies to all art forms.

Well, well ! Comolli and Narboni indeed! I must congratulate you on bringing back memories of my youth as a student in sixties Paris. I met them at the Cinémathèque of course, particularly Comolli who was only four or five years older than I was. Is he still alive? I'll have to check. This was the heyday of les Cahiers du Cinéma, a fortress of communist and maoist thought. I don't blame them, of course, it was the spirit of the times, based on a complete misunderstanding of what life could be in the USSR or under the Glorious Cultural Revolution. All know better today. They were fanatics, believed in entrism and disguise, wrote well, and I tended to agree with Comolli's views on jazz. But to think a young man would still read these fossil prophets today? I am amazed.

As an idealist kid, I next spent two years (1968/1970) in Afghanistan as a volunteer in the United Nations Development Program. In a place that was a hotbed of political and ideological intrigue, battered by the conflicting winds of marxism and islam, and we all know what happened next. I quickly lost any illusions about ideologies, religions, and yes, politics. (I did learn persian)

I devoted the rest of my life to pursuits as far from politics as I could find, with art at the apex. Of course art can be utilised by politicians as a form of propaganda. And of course artists being humans, that is political animals (Plato), can attempt to leverage their notoriety into pushing their pet ideas. But art is what differentiates humans from animals, whereas the animal kingdom is rife with politics.


Life is a smorgasbord, and I want to taste everything.
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 319
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 319
Shame on me! Attributing to Plato what belongs to Aristotle : but of course the truth came upon me after the fateful eight minutes allowed for editing. I won't carry on because we would stray too far from what is relevant to our piano forums. I will add however that I am also a sort of fossil that you have no obligation to heed. You will eventually form your own final opinions. All we can offer is the record of our personal experiences. I enjoy your well-written posts.

Last edited by Vikendios; 01/13/22 07:38 PM.

Life is a smorgasbord, and I want to taste everything.
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 113
1
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
1
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 113
Originally Posted by Vikendios
Shame on me! Attributing to Plato what belongs to Aristotle : but of course the truth came upon me after the fateful eight minutes allowed for editing. I won't carry on because we would stray too far from what is relevant to our piano forums. I will add however that I am also a sort of fossil that you have no obligation to heed. You will eventually form your own final opinions. All we can offer is the record of our personal experiences. I enjoy your well-written posts.
I really appreciate your anecdotes. It sort of blew my mind the way that connection with Comolli was made. By all means this seems like a natural stopping point for a piano forum. Thank you for all your insights.


Working On:
Beethoven Op. 53
Beethoven Op. 90
Schubert Op. 90 No. 3
Chopin Op. 31
Ravel Sonatine
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 71
R
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
R
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 71
Can you explain how Bach's 1st prelude WTC Book One (for example) is political?
"I think that all art is political..."

Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 113
1
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
1
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 113
Originally Posted by rubinsteinway
Can you explain how Bach's 1st prelude WTC Book One (for example) is political?
"I think that all art is political..."
This is a non-starter. The idea is that the art is political since it's a reflection of the society it was made in. Much of music from the classical period was written for a specific audience and taste in mind (upper class aristocrats), while Bach's Well Tempered Clavier was written for its own reason which doesn't seem explicitly clear, it was rediscovered and used as a symbol of German excellence.

I'm pretty sure you're just trolling anyway due to how broad and vast that question is. If you're not familiar with the essay, it discusses how art can be viewed as a reaction of the ideology and the society it was created in. In this sense, I think art is political. It's impossible to create something entirely devoid of influence of these factors, whether they're relevant is really what's up for debate

Last edited by 13bwl; 03/23/22 07:52 PM.

Working On:
Beethoven Op. 53
Beethoven Op. 90
Schubert Op. 90 No. 3
Chopin Op. 31
Ravel Sonatine
Joined: Mar 2022
Posts: 2,075
S
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Mar 2022
Posts: 2,075
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I got the idea for this post because one PW professional pianist (who I shall not name) has given many recitals/made recordings of many neglected works. I would say he specializes in neglected/rare repertoire.

I think that if somebody - or some people - are playing those works, then those works aren't really neglected as such, or at all. I think that any pianist or musician can choose to play whatever they want to play. And some pianists playing some works that many haven't heard of ----- is kind of nice too ----- paying credit and respects to the composer that created that work.

It's certainly not mandatory to get on a 'bandwagon' or get peer-pressured etc.

And if that pianist is giving those particular recitals and recordings ----- associated with that music, then maybe it's possible to just ask/interview them.

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,382
D
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,382
I missed this thread when it was new, and I have not had time to read it all through. But the most obvious answer (to me) to the OP's question is not any of the six answers suggested, but is as follows:

7. The pianist has an inquisitive nature and wants to explore by-ways of the repertoire.

A neglected work may be so obscure that it does not have a reputation at all. And even if it's "reputation" is poor, it is surely commendable to come to one's own conclusions rather than to rely on the thoughts of others.

Joined: Mar 2022
Posts: 2,075
S
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Mar 2022
Posts: 2,075
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Some pianists play almost exclusively well known works from the piano literature, while others tend to play a lot more neglected/rare/out of favor pieces by less well known composers. I'm talking about playing just for oneself or playing in concerts or making recordings.

And then there are also pianists that play a bit of everything.

There are all sorts of people out there in the world - different abilities, varying talents/potential, varying situations and living/environment conditions and varying tastes and goals (that's if they even have a goal or aims) --------- having this variety is expected.

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,022
Originally Posted by SouthPark
I think that if somebody - or some people - are playing those works, then those works aren't really neglected as such, or at all.
"Neglected" does not imply never before played. It implies rarely played in its common usage. My thread is not about pianists who mostly perform world premiers. There are no pianists in that category.

Joined: Mar 2022
Posts: 2,075
S
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Mar 2022
Posts: 2,075
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
"Neglected" does not imply never before played. It implies rarely played in its common usage. My thread is not about pianists who mostly perform world premiers. There are no pianists in that category.

True. It doesn't imply that at all. If pianists are indeed playing those particular works, then obviously those works are not really neglected. And we don't actually know for sure whether some works are neglected - due to not enough data. We don't know for sure which people are playing what (or not) ----- from all around the world.

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,022
Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
"Neglected" does not imply never before played. It implies rarely played in its common usage. My thread is not about pianists who mostly perform world premiers. There are no pianists in that category.

True. It doesn't imply that at all. If pianists are indeed playing those particular works, then obviously those works are not really neglected.
If you think what I said is "true", then I think your second sentence contradicts your first sentence.

And while some pieces might not clearly fall into either the neglected or nor neglected category, many or even most pieces can be categorized that way if one is familiar with professional pianists' repertoire and concert performances.

Page 2 of 4 1 2 3 4

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Is a CPT necessary?
by Petoskeyguy - 08/13/22 11:07 AM
Yamaha clp 785 horrible chorus effect
by Chrisgilx - 08/13/22 10:51 AM
How are you learning?
by bennevis - 08/13/22 09:41 AM
Here am and a little help
by Mayopapayo - 08/13/22 07:14 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics214,377
Posts3,215,993
Members106,078
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5