Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

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dulcinea
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Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by dulcinea » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:10 am

That is what the WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA said about Saint-Saens in its 1964 edition.
To which I say: So? What's so extraordinary about that? Can you mention even ONE composer whose ENTIRE OUTPUT is a regular part of the repertoire? Judging from the Brilliant Classics complete collection of LvB, even Beethoven wrote quite a number of works which are totally unknown to the average concertgoer and radio listener.
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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by Ken » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:04 pm

True, although saying this implies that many of his works were in fact at one point played. I imagine most composers are lucky if their entire output in fact makes its way to the concert hall.

That said, has Saint-Saëns enjoyed a comeback since the 1960s? I'm not too aware of how his popularity has developed over time.
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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by dulcinea » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:25 pm

Ken wrote:True, although saying this implies that many of his works were in fact at one point played. I imagine most composers are lucky if their entire output in fact makes its way to the concert hall.

That said, has Saint-Saëns enjoyed a comeback since the 1960s? I'm not too aware of how his popularity has developed over time.
The alphabet of MOST POPULAR COMPOSERS at the HBDIRECT website includes S-S, and the Saint-Saens section shows 1128 matching records. He certainly is known for more than just MON COEUR S'OUVRE A TA VOIX.
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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:07 pm

I can hardly imagine a more inapposite juxtaposition on this topic than Saint-Saens and Beethoven. If you come at it from the other direction, every single published composition of Beethoven in the following forms remains firmly in the standard repertory: concerto, string quartet, piano trio, violin sonata, cello sonata, piano sonata, symphony, opera, song cycle, and Mass. The only slightly "off" pieces on that list might be the B-flat Concerto and and Mass in C. Add to that several overtures and a number of miscellaneous works such as the Wind Quintet that remain current, and yes, we are still left with a list of opus numbers that are (usually justly) neglected, but this is not to be compared to the overwhelming durability of a large number of masterpieces, many of them of the very foundation of music as art.

In contrast, Saint-Saens survives on the pleasant character of a part of his output (which I am not saying is an insufficient reason for performing him) that resonates nicely with most people's listening proclivities. I agree, "so what" if many of his works are not performed, but the shrug comes not because works of greater masters are also not performed, but because what would motivate us to revive forgotten Saint-Saens?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by dulcinea » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:20 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I can hardly imagine a more inapposite juxtaposition on this topic than Saint-Saens and Beethoven. If you come at it from the other direction, every single published composition of Beethoven in the following forms remains firmly in the standard repertory: concerto, string quartet, piano trio, violin sonata, cello sonata, piano sonata, symphony, opera, song cycle, and Mass. The only slightly "off" pieces on that list might be the B-flat Concerto and and Mass in C. Add to that several overtures and a number of miscellaneous works such as the Wind Quintet that remain current, and yes, we are still left with a list of opus numbers that are (usually justly) neglected, but this is not to be compared to the overwhelming durability of a large number of masterpieces, many of them of the very foundation of music as art.

In contrast, Saint-Saens survives on the pleasant character of a part of his output (which I am not saying is an insufficient reason for performing him) that resonates nicely with most people's listening proclivities. I agree, "so what" if many of his works are not performed, but the shrug comes not because works of greater masters are also not performed, but because what would motivate us to revive forgotten Saint-Saens?
I get depressed at how often you people of CMG miss the point by 1.000.000.000 square kilometres. This thread is about how unexceptional it is that many of the works of Saint-Saens are no longer performed. Other than the GERMAN REQUIEM, how many people are aware that more than half of the works of Brahms are vocal pieces? Outside of Russia, how well known are the operas of Rimskii-Korsakov? Other than COSI, FIGARO, DON GIOVANNI and FLUTE, how many people really know the other operas of WAM? Many other examples can be added; please add your own.
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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:30 pm

dulcinea wrote:
Ken wrote:True, although saying this implies that many of his works were in fact at one point played. I imagine most composers are lucky if their entire output in fact makes its way to the concert hall.

That said, has Saint-Saëns enjoyed a comeback since the 1960s? I'm not too aware of how his popularity has developed over time.
The alphabet of MOST POPULAR COMPOSERS at the HBDIRECT website includes S-S, and the Saint-Saens section shows 1128 matching records. He certainly is known for more than just MON COEUR S'OUVRE A TA VOIX.
Probably Carnival and excerpts from it drives that. IMO French composers are woefully neglected in the rush to play as much German and Russian music as one can pack into a 24 hr period. Debussy's La Mer and Afternoon, and Ravel's Bolero are about it. For a long time all one could hear of Saint-Saens was the Organ Sym, Swan, and the bacchanale, not Mon Coeur because that is vocal and opera, a deadly combo for most classical music stations.
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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:34 pm

dulcinea wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:I can hardly imagine a more inapposite juxtaposition on this topic than Saint-Saens and Beethoven. If you come at it from the other direction, every single published composition of Beethoven in the following forms remains firmly in the standard repertory: concerto, string quartet, piano trio, violin sonata, cello sonata, piano sonata, symphony, opera, song cycle, and Mass. The only slightly "off" pieces on that list might be the B-flat Concerto and and Mass in C. Add to that several overtures and a number of miscellaneous works such as the Wind Quintet that remain current, and yes, we are still left with a list of opus numbers that are (usually justly) neglected, but this is not to be compared to the overwhelming durability of a large number of masterpieces, many of them of the very foundation of music as art.

In contrast, Saint-Saens survives on the pleasant character of a part of his output (which I am not saying is an insufficient reason for performing him) that resonates nicely with most people's listening proclivities. I agree, "so what" if many of his works are not performed, but the shrug comes not because works of greater masters are also not performed, but because what would motivate us to revive forgotten Saint-Saens?
I get depressed at how often you people of CMG miss the point by 1.000.000.000 square kilometres. This thread is about how unexceptional it is that many of the works of Saint-Saens are no longer performed. Other than the GERMAN REQUIEM, how many people are aware that more than half of the works of Brahms are vocal pieces? Outside of Russia, how well known are the operas of Rimskii-Korsakov? Other than COSI, FIGARO, DON GIOVANNI and FLUTE, how many people really know the other operas of WAM? Many other examples can be added; please add your own.
I am afraid you are rubbing in the spot, dear Dulcinea. I understood your point perfectly well and you are wrong. Saint-Saens that is hardly ever performed is in the permanent archive, so to speak. Someone might pull out something now and then as a curiosity, but that's about it. He's just not an important enough composer to bother with. Vocal and choral works of Brahms--and yes, I knew that they were a large part of his output, though I'm not sure about more than half--that don't get performed every day are just waiting for the next performance which can occur at any time. They are in fact performed by singers and choral groups around the world on a regular basis. They are only "neglected" in comparison to his ubiquitous orchestral and chamber works. In fact Brahms, like Beethoven, is a good example of a composer who doesn't have a very significant "dead list," in part because of his own self-selection from among his compositions.

With Mozart, the situation is different because we have a large number of compositions, including every opera before Entfuehrung and Idomeneo, that are just not good enough owing to immaturity to warrant regular performance. By the time we get to K 350 or so he gets put in the same category as Beethoven and Brahms. Of the composers you mentioned, only Rimsky-Korsakov's works might be "no longer performed" in the same sense that Saint-Saens is no longer performed.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by dulcinea » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:50 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
dulcinea wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:I can hardly imagine a more inapposite juxtaposition on this topic than Saint-Saens and Beethoven. If you come at it from the other direction, every single published composition of Beethoven in the following forms remains firmly in the standard repertory: concerto, string quartet, piano trio, violin sonata, cello sonata, piano sonata, symphony, opera, song cycle, and Mass. The only slightly "off" pieces on that list might be the B-flat Concerto and and Mass in C. Add to that several overtures and a number of miscellaneous works such as the Wind Quintet that remain current, and yes, we are still left with a list of opus numbers that are (usually justly) neglected, but this is not to be compared to the overwhelming durability of a large number of masterpieces, many of them of the very foundation of music as art.

In contrast, Saint-Saens survives on the pleasant character of a part of his output (which I am not saying is an insufficient reason for performing him) that resonates nicely with most people's listening proclivities. I agree, "so what" if many of his works are not performed, but the shrug comes not because works of greater masters are also not performed, but because what would motivate us to revive forgotten Saint-Saens?
I get depressed at how often you people of CMG miss the point by 1.000.000.000 square kilometres. This thread is about how unexceptional it is that many of the works of Saint-Saens are no longer performed. Other than the GERMAN REQUIEM, how many people are aware that more than half of the works of Brahms are vocal pieces? Outside of Russia, how well known are the operas of Rimskii-Korsakov? Other than COSI, FIGARO, DON GIOVANNI and FLUTE, how many people really know the other operas of WAM? Many other examples can be added; please add your own.
I am afraid you are rubbing in the spot, dear Dulcinea. I understood your point perfectly well and you are wrong. Saint-Saens that is hardly ever performed is in the permanent archive, so to speak. Someone might pull out something now and then as a curiosity, but that's about it. He's just not an important enough composer to bother with.
You know who, in 1964, was also regarded as not important enough to bother with?: Vivaldi. The strictly perfunctory and almost dismissive WBE AV article of that year only mentioned THE FOUR SEASONS and the fact that JSB took several of Vivaldi's compositions and adapted them for his own use.

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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:15 pm

dulcinea wrote: You know who, in 1964, was also regarded as not important enough to bother with?: Vivaldi. The strictly perfunctory and almost dismissive WBE AV article of that year only mentioned THE FOUR SEASONS and the fact that JSB took several of Vivaldi's compositions and adapted them for his own use.
You may actually be onto something. In that S-S archive there might be a whole new world of classy background music waiting to be discovered. :wink:

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by dulcinea » Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:40 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
dulcinea wrote: You know who, in 1964, was also regarded as not important enough to bother with?: Vivaldi. The strictly perfunctory and almost dismissive WBE AV article of that year only mentioned THE FOUR SEASONS and the fact that JSB took several of Vivaldi's compositions and adapted them for his own use.
You may actually be onto something. In that S-S archive there might be a whole new world of classy background music waiting to be discovered. :wink:
Telemann was not even mentioned in 1964. The WBE is not the most reliable in the world; I constantly find in its text statements that are incomplete or vague and therefore deceptive. For ex, in the article CARDINAL it says, and I paraphrase because I don't have the article in front of me: It was once proposed that the College of Cardinals was equal in authority to the Pope. That belief was never officially accepted as Church doctrine.
That statement is deceptive because it creates the impression that that proposition was once widely accepted, which was never the case. It would be more accurate, therefore, to phrase it thus: It was once proposed that the College of Cardinals was equal in authority to the Pope. That belief, however, was always very controversial, and therefore was never officially accepted as Church doctrine.
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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by Lance » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:13 pm

As a Romantic music lover, I am always digging into the rather large repertoire of Camille Saint-Saëns. While everyone crows about his 2nd and 4th piano concertos, his 5th (“Egyptian”) turns out to be my favourite (with great passion, of course left for Nos. 2 through 5). There's much to discover about Saint-Saëns for he was a brilliant and inventive composer. His Violin Sonata No. 1 is a masterpiece, but he also wrote a sonata for the bassoon, another for the clarinet, and even a septet for piano, trumpet and strings! Here's a guy that had lots of wonderful musical ideas and could even put them on paper. There were songs, much chamber music ... much solo piano music, symphonic suites, symphonies ... it's almost as though this guy was never turned off to writing music. I rarely listen to the "Organ" Symphony today and choose other, lesser heard compositions by this great French master.
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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:14 pm

dulcinea wrote: Telemann was not even mentioned in 1964. The WBE is not the most reliable in the world; I constantly find in its text statements that are incomplete or vague and therefore deceptive. For ex, in the article CARDINAL it says, and I paraphrase because I don't have the article in front of me: It was once proposed that the College of Cardinals was equal in authority to the Pope. That belief was never officially accepted as Church doctrine.
That statement is deceptive because it creates the impression that that proposition was once widely accepted, which was never the case. It would be more accurate, therefore, to phrase it thus: It was once proposed that the College of Cardinals was equal in authority to the Pope. That belief, however, was always very controversial, and therefore was never officially accepted as Church doctrine.
Why is an educated adult with sophisticated tastes referring to the World Book Encyclopedia? An unfair question, I suppose; you must have your reasons. I grew up with the 1966 version of it, and all the uniformly excellent Catholic articles were contributed by (whether he actually wrote them or not) no less than Fulton J. Sheen. As for musical articles in general encyclopedia, you may still be able to find "Musical Articles from the Encyclopedia Britannica" by Donald Francis Tovey, who contributed them to the famous 1911 edition. Of course, there is no article about Telemann or Vivaldi.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:15 pm

Lance wrote:As a Romantic music lover, I am always digging into the rather large repertoire of Camille Saint-Saëns. While everyone crows about his 2nd and 4th piano concertos, his 5th (“Egyptian”) turns out to be my favourite (with great passion, of course left for Nos. 2 through 5). There's much to discover about Saint-Saëns for he was a brilliant and inventive composer. His Violin Sonata No. 1 is a masterpiece, but he also wrote a sonata for the bassoon, another for the clarinet, and even a septet for piano, trumpet and strings! Here's a guy that had lots of wonderful musical ideas and could even put them on paper. There were songs, much chamber music ... much solo piano music, symphonic suites, symphonies ... it's almost as though this guy was never turned off to writing music. I rarely listen to the "Organ" Symphony today and choose other, lesser heard compositions by this great French master.
I was assuming that the "unperformed" stuff was more obscure than anything you mention, but I may have been wrong. Certainly the range of works you refer to is worthwhile listening.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by THEHORN » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:04 pm

I think was this comment actually meant is that many now forgotten works of this composer were widely performed during his lifetime, but have fallen out of favor, something which is true of many composers, including the most famous.
For example, the only one of Saint-Saens' operas performed today is Samson&Dalilah, but he wrote possibly 10 or so operas, all of which were performed during his lifetime.
About 20 ago, one of the regional French opera companies, I forget which one, revived his opera Henry VIII, which according to a biographer contains some spendid music, and this was recorded live on a record label I can't recall offhand.
The composer made a study of English renaissance music for the composition.
I doubt that recording is still available, but you might consult arkivmusic.com.
This is the best place on the internet to seek out hard-to-find recordings.
Of the five Saint-Saens symphonies, only the familiar "organ" symphony,no 3,
is played today, but there are several recordings of them,including the classic ones conducted by Martinon on EMI. All are worth hearing and if some enterprising conductor would program them today, audiences might be very pleased.
Neeme Jarvi,possibly?
So many composers are known for only a small percentage of their output.
Dvorak, Hindemith, Saint-Saens, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, for example.

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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:27 pm

THEHORN wrote: So many composers are known for only a small percentage of their output.
Dvorak, Hindemith, Saint-Saens, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, for example.
Dvorak? Stravinsky? I don't know....

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by Wallingford » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:10 pm

Wake up, John B. There're way more of us St-Saens buffs around than you or your fellow-Germanocentric Jack Kelso are willing to acknowledge.
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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:20 pm

I agree with Lance, Saint-Saens has some wonderful unexplored smaller works, for example some fine string quartets, a piano quintet, 2 piano trios, works for solo piano, and numerous other unearthed delights. Whether or not his music plumbed the depths is up for debate, but he was a gifted composer in total command of the technical aspects of composition. His 2nd symphony, while unorthodox in design, is quite an entertaining piece as well, yet it is rarely heard.

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Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:25 pm

Wallingford wrote:Wake up, John B. There're way more of us St-Saens buffs around than you or your fellow-Germanocentric Jack Kelso are willing to acknowledge.
Yes, well I wasn't trying to discourage interest in Saint-Saens. I was trying to point out how absurd it is to compare the small amount of uninteresting output of a very great composer with the large amount of forgotten output of a lesser one. By all means, buff on.

Here is Wikipedia's list of his complete published works. Others are more qualified than I to say how much of it is available and/or interesting:

Piano
Piano Solo (original works)

* Six Bagatelles, Op. 3
* Mazurka No. 1, Op. 21
* Gavotte, Op. 23
* Mazurka No. 2, Op. 24
* Six Études, Op. 52
* Menuet et valse, Op. 56
* Mazurka No. 3, Op. 66
* Allegro Appassionato, Op. 70 (arr. solo piano) (by the composer?)
* Album (6 pieces), Op. 72
* Rapsodie d'Auvergne, Op. 73 (arr. solo piano) (recorded by the composer for Welte-Mignon, 13 December 1905)
* Souvenir d'Italie, Op. 80
* Les Cloches du soir, Op. 85
* Valse canariote in A minor, Op. 88
* Suite, Op. 90
* Thème varié, Op. 97
* Souvenir d'Ismaïlia, Op. 100
* Valse mignonne, Op. 104
* Valse nonchalante, Op. 110
* Six Études, Op. 111
* Valse langoureuse, Op. 120
* Six Études for the left hand, Op. 135
* Valse gaie, Op. 139
* Six Fugues, Op. 161
* Feuillet d'album, Op. 169
* Romance sans paroles

Piano Solo (arrangements of other composers' works) (all without opus number)

* Bach 18 small pieces, Cantatas, etc.
* Beethoven Dervishes from The Ruins of Athens
* Beethoven cadenza to Piano Concerto No. 4
* Gluck Caprice sur les airs de ballet Alceste de Gluck
* Paladilhe (Emile) Mandolinata
* Massenet The death of Thais
* Mozart cadenza for Piano Concerto K.482

Two pianos

* Variations sur un thème de Beethoven, Op. 35
* Polonaise, Op. 77
* Scherzo, Op. 87
* Caprice arabe, Op. 96
* Caprice héroïque, Op. 106

Piano, Four hands

* Duettino, Op. 11
* König Harald Harfagar, Op. 59
* Feuillet d'album, Op. 81
* Pas redoublé, Op. 86
* Berceuse, Op. 105
* Marche interalliée, Op. 155

Organ

* Fantaisie No. 1
* Fantaisie No. 2, Op. 101
* Fantaisie No. 3, Op. 157
* Trois rhapsodies sur des cantiques Bretons, Op. 7
* Bénédiction nuptiale, Op. 9
* Élévation ou communion, Op. 13
* Three Preludes and Fugues, Op. 99
* Three Preludes and Fugues, Op. 109
* Marche religieuse, Op. 107
* Seven improvisations, Op. 150
* Cyprès et lauriers, Op. 156 (the second part with orchestra)
* Prière, Op. 158 (with violin)
* La prédication aux oiseaux (transcription of Liszt's First St. Francis Legend, S.175 No.1)
Chamber Music
Violin and piano

* Berceuse, Op. 38
* Danse macabre, Op. 40 (arrangement of the orchestral version)
* Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 75
* Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 102
* Élégie No. 1, Op. 143
* Élégie No. 2, Op. 160
* Arrangement of two nocturnes by Chopin (no opus number)

Cello and piano

* Suite, Op. 16
* Cello Sonata No. 1, Op. 32
* Allegro appassionato, Op. 43
* Romance in D major, Op. 51
* Chant saphique, Op. 91
* Cello Sonata No. 2, Op. 123

Oboe and piano

* Oboe Sonata in D major, Op. 166 (1921)

[edit] Clarinet and piano

* Clarinet Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 167 (1921)

[edit] Bassoon and piano

* Bassoon Sonata in G major, Op. 168 (1921)

[edit] Piano Trio

* Piano Trio No. 1 in F major, Op. 18
* Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 92

[edit] Piano Quartet

* Piano Quartet in E flat major
* Piano Quartet in B flat major, Op. 41

[edit] String Quartet

* String Quartet No. 1, Op. 112
* String Quartet No. 2, Op. 153

[edit] Piano Quintet

* Piano Quintet, Op. 14

[edit] Septet

* Septet for trumpet, string quartet, double bass and piano, Op. 65

[edit] Orchestral
[edit] Symphonies

* Symphony in A major
* Symphony No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 2
* Symphony in F major ("Urbs Roma")
* Symphony No. 2 in A minor, Op. 55
* Symphony No. 3 in C minor ("Organ Symphony"), Op. 78

[edit] Symphonic poems

* Le rouet d'Omphale, Op. 31
* Phaéton, Op. 39
* Danse macabre, Op. 40
* La jeunesse d'Hercule, Op. 50

[edit] Piano and orchestra

* Piano Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 17
* Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22
* Piano Concerto No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 29
* Piano Concerto No. 4 in C minor, Op. 44
* Piano Concerto No. 5 in F major, Op. 103
* Allegro appassionato, Op. 70
* Rhapsodie d'Auvergne, Op. 73 (also arr. solo piano) (recorded by the composer for Welte-Mignon, 13 December 1905)
* Wedding Cake, caprice-valse, Op. 76
* Africa, Op. 89

[edit] Violin and orchestra

* Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 20
* Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 58
* Violin Concerto No. 3, Op. 61
* Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Op. 28
* Romance, Op. 48
* Morceau de concerto, Op. 62
* Caprice andalous, Op. 122
* Havanaise, Op. 83

[edit] Cello and orchestra

* Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 33 (1872)
* Cello Concerto No. 2, Op. 119 (1902)
* Suite Op. 16bis, for Cello and Orchestra

[edit] Film score

* The Assassination of the Duke of Guise, Op. 128 (produced Paris, Salle Charras, 16 November 1908)

[edit] Other

* Suite algérienne, Op. 60 (recorded by the composer in piano reduction in 1919)
* Marche héroïque, Op. 34 (also exists in piano, 4-hand; 2-piano, 8-hand versions)

[edit] Choral
[edit] Sacred

* Mass, Op. 4
* Tantum ergo, Op. 5
* Psaume XVIII, Op. 42
* Requiem Mass, Op. 54
* Psaume CL, Op. 127
* Ave Maria, Op. 145
* Tu es Petrus, Op. 147
* Quam Dilecta, Op. 148
* Laudate Dominum, Op. 149
* Psaume CXXXVI

[edit] Secular

* Scène d'Horace, Op. 10
* Les noces de Prométhée, Op. 19
* Mélodies persanes, Op. 26
* Les soldats de Gédéon, Op. 46
* La lyre et la harpe, Op. 57
* La fiancée du timbalier, Op. 82
* Les guerriers, Op. 84
* Lola, Op. 116
* La cendre rouge, Op. 146
* Hymne à la paix, Op. 159
* Vieilles chansons

[edit] Oratorios

* Oratorio de Noël, Op. 12
* Le déluge, Op. 45
* La terre promise

[edit] Operas

* Le timbre d’argent (completed in 1865, premiered in 1877)
* La princesse jaune, Op. 30 (1872)
* Samson et Dalila, Op. 47 (1877)
* Étienne Marcel (1879)
* Henry VIII (1883)
* Proserpine (1887)
* Ascanio (1890)
* Phryné (1893)
* Frédégonde (1895)
* Les barbares (1901)
* Hélène (1904)
* L'ancêtre (1906)
* Déjanire (1911)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Wallingford
Posts: 4519
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:31 pm
Location: Brush, Colorado

Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by Wallingford » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:50 pm

No less a prominent maestro than PAAVO JARVI commented, during a Cincinnati Symphony broadcast climaxing in the "Organ" Symphony, that Saint-Saens was "a true original."

His two lesser-known tonepoems, Phaeton and La jeunesse d'Hercule, have at long last gotten wider exposure in concert & dissemination on CDs.

One vocal work that simply can't help leaving a positive imprint on one's memory is the male vocal quartet, Serenade d'hiver.

One of his other operas, La princesse jaune, received a debut recording on Chandos a few short years ago.

And Saint-Saens was kind to virtually all orchestral instruments in that he published concertos, sonatas and/or concert pieces for them (nothing for tuba, as I can recall :wink: ).
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

THEHORN
Posts: 2504
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:57 am

Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by THEHORN » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:16 am

Dvorak is best known for his last three symphonies, the cello concerto, Slavonic Dances, and several other works.
His only well-known opera is Rusalka, and until recently it was rarely performed outside the Czech republic. But I've heard recordings of some of his other operas, The Devil and Kate,Dimitrij(The sequel to Boris Godunov), Armida, and the Jacobin, and they are full of wonderful music.
You rarely hear the first six symphonies live, but they too are wonderful and not at all deserving of neglect, or the Stabat Mater, Requiem, the oratorio The Spectre's Bride. the symphonic poems , the symphonic variations, the Othello overture, In Nature's Realm, the Hussite overture, etc.
Of his many string quartets,only the so-called American is played often.
The piano concertos is not played very often, possibly because though it is very attractive musically, pianists tend to like more showy concertos technically.
There's so much wonderful music by this composer which is unknown to most concertgoers unless they have heard recordings. And fortunately, there are many fine recordings of these less familiar Dvorak works.
Of Stravinsky, only The Rite of Spring,Petrushka, the Firebird, and several other works are played very often. You almost never hear his austere late works such as Agon, Requiem Canticles etc.
And the only live performance of his cantata Persephone, a lovely work, anywhere I can recall in recent years was under Kurt Masur with the NY Phil some years ago.
There's so much Stravinsky which is rarely,if ever performed today.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26047
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:32 am

THEHORN wrote:Dvorak is best known for his last three symphonies, the cello concerto, Slavonic Dances, and several other works.
His only well-known opera is Rusalka, and until recently it was rarely performed outside the Czech republic. But I've heard recordings of some of his other operas, The Devil and Kate,Dimitrij(The sequel to Boris Godunov), Armida, and the Jacobin, and they are full of wonderful music.
You rarely hear the first six symphonies live, but they too are wonderful and not at all deserving of neglect, or the Stabat Mater, Requiem, the oratorio The Spectre's Bride. the symphonic poems , the symphonic variations, the Othello overture, In Nature's Realm, the Hussite overture, etc.
Of his many string quartets,only the so-called American is played often.
The piano concertos is not played very often, possibly because though it is very attractive musically, pianists tend to like more showy concertos technically.
There's so much wonderful music by this composer which is unknown to most concertgoers unless they have heard recordings. And fortunately, there are many fine recordings of these less familiar Dvorak works.
Of Stravinsky, only The Rite of Spring,Petrushka, the Firebird, and several other works are played very often. You almost never hear his austere late works such as Agon, Requiem Canticles etc.
And the only live performance of his cantata Persephone, a lovely work, anywhere I can recall in recent years was under Kurt Masur with the NY Phil some years ago.
There's so much Stravinsky which is rarely,if ever performed today.
I realize how silly these exchanges can be (speaking also for my own part in them), but I do fight a rather weary, quixotic if you will, battle against the tendency to throw all classical music in the same pot because the resulting stew is more delicious. I would prefer to think of it as a multi-course meal, or if you prefer a non-Eurocentric analogy, a thali. A meal may not be technically complete without the pappadam, but no one would claim it is the equal of the curry, or that half a pappadam is the equivalent of a curry with only half its ingredients.

I will drop the case for Dvorak because I would be running my finger under my collar at the prospect of going to bat for him. However, I think that if he resembles another composer in this respect (though not in terms of his status), it is Haydn in that his work partitions rather neatly by genre. Which genres are the goats and which the sheep I will leave to others to discuss, but I think that much of his chamber music deserves the frequent performances it gets.

As for Stravinsky, there is a difference between a hunger for more performances of some works and an acknowledgment that they have dropped, probably permanently, out of the repertory if they were ever in it in the first place. I see no signs of the great majority of Stravinsky's output being headed to oblivion in the foreseeable future.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Wallingford
Posts: 4519
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:31 pm
Location: Brush, Colorado

Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by Wallingford » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:13 pm

Being a former Tower Records employee, I can vouch that, every holiday season, we were regularly cleaned out of the St-Saens Christmas Oratorio (thank God for "auto-replenishment"!).
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Prometheus
Posts: 746
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:34 pm

Re: Many Of His Works Are No Longer Played

Post by Prometheus » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:24 pm

Wallingford wrote:Being a former Tower Records employee, I can vouch that, every holiday season, we were regularly cleaned out of the St-Saens Christmas Oratorio (thank God for "auto-replenishment"!).
Of that work I have always liked the introduction the most.

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