Neglected gems

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Steinway
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Neglected gems

Post by Steinway » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:40 pm

Two of my favorite American symphonies..Wm. Schuman's 3rd & Hindemith's E Flat are never performed and almost totally neglected in recordings.

Thanks to Bernstein, who did them both, there's precious little attention to either.

Anyone have an opinion about these works and have similar feelings about other neglected gems?

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Post by Wallingford » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:42 pm

Roy Harris' Third could stand a few more performances nowadays.
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:49 pm

Welcome to the board. Our moderator Lance, piano technician par excellence, is going to love your screen name.

Well, one could start all over the place with American composers (which is going to sound weird to our regulars coming from me, but there's a lot of stuff there and it isn't all or sometimes even very much you-know-who and so-and-so who have recordings to fill the VAB at the Kennedy Space Center). I always mention Roger Sessions in this context. I only know the violin concerto, of which there is currently no recording in print, and the second symphony (from a live performance) which AFAIK has never been recorded.

Having said that, I would paraphrase a statement made by Erich Leinsdorf in his book on conducting: Once a composition has died, it is almost impossible to revive it.

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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Post by Lance » Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:30 pm

Welcome "steinway." Glad to see you made it here. Yes, I caught the name immediately and pushed through the account activation without delay! Perhaps I should now adopt for myself the name "Baldwin," "Mason & Hamlin," "Bechstein," "Bösendorfer," or "Blüthner." Or even, perhaps "German Steinway" ... whaddaya think? [Oh, and there are many others, too: Pleyel, Gaveau, Erard, etc., et al.]
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Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:23 pm

Lance, in a recent issue of a music magazine, the two most prominent advertisements for pianos were for Boston (now owned by Steinway) and Mason & Hamlin which has been revived. I thought that was interesting. Maybe it's old news to you.
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piston
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Post by piston » Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:18 pm

Two researchers have come up with a list of some 140 American students who received instruction from Nadia Boulanger. There are numerous composers among them who have contributed "neglected gems. In alphabetical order:
Arthur Berger
Elliott Carter
Aaron Copland
David Diamond
Philip Glass
Roy Harris
Andrew Imbrie
Gail Thompson Kubik
Douglas Moore
Walter Piston
Serge Tcherepnin
Virgin Thomson

By the way. If one is to believe the statistical rule of thumb that some 97% of those who have received a sufficient classical music education to become composers are completely forgotten today, Madame Boulanger's "outcome assessment" is pretty good! :D
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Jack Kelso
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Re: Neglected gems

Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:30 am

steinway wrote:Two of my favorite American symphonies..Wm. Schuman's 3rd & Hindemith's E Flat are never performed and almost totally neglected in recordings.

Thanks to Bernstein, who did them both, there's precious little attention to either.

Anyone have an opinion about these works and have similar feelings about other neglected gems?
Welcome, Steinway! Good to have you aboard.

Yes! The Hindemith E-Flat Symphony is one of my 20th-century favorites (with Vaughan Williams' Fourth, and many others!) and is truly a great masterpiece that is overlooked and underperformed (to say the least!).

It was called by one critic a "Dies Irae" for orchestra and was used as background music in a documentary on the Berlin Wall back in the 1970's.

Sir Adrian Boult did it with the London folks way back in late 1950's on EVEREST label, but the recording was panned because the strings sounded like "steel wires" (although it was stereo). I haven't been able to find Bernstein's yet, but I have a German radio recording that is quite good.

I saw a "complete" set of Hindemith's orchestral music in a store in Mannheim which included his other five symphonies---but, inexplicably, the E-Flat was not listed.

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

Steinway
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Post by Steinway » Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:16 am

Jack..

The Hindemith E Flat by Bernstein is on Sony..NY Philharmonic &

Tortelier on Chandos..BBC Philharmonic

I admire your taste!

Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:51 am

steinway wrote:Jack..

The Hindemith E Flat by Bernstein is on Sony..NY Philharmonic &

Tortelier on Chandos..BBC Philharmonic

I admire your taste!
Thanks! Which performance would you recommend?
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Re: Neglected gems

Post by diegobueno » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:47 am

steinway wrote:Two of my favorite American symphonies..Wm. Schuman's 3rd & Hindemith's E Flat are never performed and almost totally neglected in recordings.

Thanks to Bernstein, who did them both, there's precious little attention to either.
What did Bernstein do to drive people away from these symphonies? :)

(BTW, howdy.)

piston
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Post by piston » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:29 am

Hello,
I am probably missing the point about Bernstein's impact but Schuman's third is no longer a neglected gem. Schwarz/Seattle Symphony Orchestra recently contributed the third, the fifth, and "Judith" on Naxos. Thanks to Naxos' Americana series, the works of U.S. composers are much less "neglected" than before this excellent project came to fruition. Naxos used to offer a series called "patrimoine" with a similar agenda in France but the project did not survive for some reason. :cry:
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Post by Lance » Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:37 am

Haydnseek wrote:Lance, in a recent issue of a music magazine, the two most prominent advertisements for pianos were for Boston (now owned by Steinway) and Mason & Hamlin which has been revived. I thought that was interesting. Maybe it's old news to you.
Yes, the "Boston" piano is a fine instrument built to Steinway's scale specifications by Kawai of Japan. Steinway owns the "Boston" name but Kawai builds the piano. Steinway also makes a much less expensive called "Astoria," which is not made by Kawai.

Mason & Hamlin was an highly respected piano and became Steinway's biggest competitor until Baldwin came along. The Mason & Hamlin was a favourite instrument with pianists and they made a full line from small apartment-sized grands to the full nine-footer. The Boston-made piano also was equipped with a "tension-resonator," which is said to have improved piano tone substantially, keeping the piano's frame and soundboard crown more stable. There has been some conjecture about this over the years as to its effectiveness. When Aeolian-American Piano Co. took them over in the 1930s, the pianos were made in East Rochester, NY, along with several other well known brands. Those pianos were considered inferior to the original Boston-built pianos. Still later, the Falcone Company owned the M&H name. Still later, the piano name was purchased by Bernard Greer who took it over in 1989. Still later, April of 1996, Kirk and Gary Burgett bought the assets of the company and resumed production of the M&H, Knabe and Sohmer names from information that I have read.

I have worked on Boston pianos and have liked them very much. That said, if I wanted a Kawai-made piano, I would buy their own brand, which is one of the best values in quality piano-making on the Earth today. I refer to their artist series pianos, not their cheapest line.

It was good to see something about PIANOS here ... so thank you for posting about it.
Lance G. Hill
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Wanderer
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Post by Wanderer » Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:01 pm

Welcome, steinway!

To add to the piano talk, here's something I read in today's paper. "...a rare late 14th-century Erard piano":!:

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Post by Lance » Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:19 pm

Wanderer wrote:Welcome, steinway!

To add to the piano talk, here's something I read in today's paper. "...a rare late 14th-century Erard piano":!:
Couln't possibly be an Erard in the FOURTEENTH century! Eighteenth century, not a problem. It must've been a typo!
Lance G. Hill
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anasazi
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Post by anasazi » Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:17 am

Lance wrote: Yes, the "Boston" piano is a fine instrument built to Steinway's scale specifications by Kawai of Japan. Steinway owns the "Boston" name but Kawai builds the piano. Steinway also makes a much less expensive called "Astoria," which is not made by Kawai.
That brought back memories of my recent search for a new piano. And I did play both Boston pianos as well as Kawai's own name piano during my search. They did have differences, both in sound and touch even to me and I don't have that much experience with different makes, or at least only once in a blue moon. I do remember the piano store telling me that Boston was designed by Steinway and manufactured by Kawai however.

Alas, that I could not afford the Kawai performance series. ;-)
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints" - John Muir.

Wanderer
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Post by Wanderer » Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:17 am

Lance wrote:
Wanderer wrote:Welcome, steinway!

To add to the piano talk, here's something I read in today's paper. "...a rare late 14th-century Erard piano":!:
Couln't possibly be an Erard in the FOURTEENTH century! Eighteenth century, not a problem. It must've been a typo!
I know, I almost choked with laughter. The article was an interview of the French ambassador in Greece and the journalist was commenting on the halls of the embassy. I doubt she gave a second thought when she wrote this, so instead of a typo it may actually be yet another piece of brilliant journalism. :D

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Post by pizza » Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:36 am

Two neglected gems that deserve to be part of the standard repertory are Bernstein's film music for On the Waterfront; just listen to the late Eduardo Mata's recording with the Dallas SO on Dorian for one of Lenny's best -- a real treat but rarely recorded;

and

Korngold's Symphonic Serenade, Op.39, a knockout of a romantic work but not easily found on records.

Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:37 am

pizza wrote:Two neglected gems that deserve to be part of the standard repertory are Bernstein's film music for On the Waterfront; just listen to the late Eduardo Mata's recording with the Dallas SO on Dorian for one of Lenny's best -- a real treat but rarely recorded;

and

Korngold's Symphonic Serenade, Op.39, a knockout of a romantic work but not easily found on records.
Agreed. Which reminds me, how about Korngold's "Much Ado About Nothing" (after Shakespeare) Suite, a youthful work which clearly shows his rhythmic and melodic genius, exhibiting a natural feel for form and orchestration.

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Post by johnQpublic » Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:53 pm

I seem to remember a "steinway" guy many years ago in a music forum long since turned to ashes...might have been from Philly as well.
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Re: Neglected gems

Post by maskedman » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:06 pm

steinway wrote:Two of my favorite American symphonies..Wm. Schuman's 3rd & Hindemith's E Flat are never performed and almost totally neglected in recordings.

Thanks to Bernstein, who did them both, there's precious little attention to either.

Anyone have an opinion about these works and have similar feelings about other neglected gems?
Sure I have an opinion.

Symphony in E_flat
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everest 9009

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Re: Neglected gems

Post by maskedman » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:10 pm

diegobueno wrote:
steinway wrote:Two of my favorite American symphonies..Wm. Schuman's 3rd & Hindemith's E Flat are never performed and almost totally neglected in recordings.

Thanks to Bernstein, who did them both, there's precious little attention to either.
What did Bernstein do to drive people away from these symphonies? :)

(BTW, howdy.)
Mark

Maybe they couldn't take the heat..... :D

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Post by maskedman » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:13 pm

pizza wrote:Two neglected gems that deserve to be part of the standard repertory are Bernstein's film music for On the Waterfront; just listen to the late Eduardo Mata's recording with the Dallas SO on Dorian for one of Lenny's best -- a real treat but rarely recorded;

and

Korngold's Symphonic Serenade, Op.39, a knockout of a romantic work but not easily found on records.
Korngolds symphonic serenade is readily available in atleast three versions I know of. I have two....Shouldn't be a problem to pick up...

Robert

Febnyc
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Post by Febnyc » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:54 pm

Neglected gems....

where to begin?

Much of my CD collection consists of music which could fit that description.

I'll mention one (or, really, four) -

Victor Bendix (1851-1926) - Symphonies 1-4 (Danacord)

These are glorious, romantic works which languish in their obscurity. The final movement of the Third Symphony could stand with any symphonic movement in its power to affect the listener.

A bonus - besides the lyrical music - one gets to read about the composer's life, which is replete with enough drama, seductions and closet skeletons to fill the plot of a grade B thriller movie.

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Post by miranda » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:43 am

Jean Barriere--Sonates Pour le Violoncelle Avec la Basse Continue

Lukas Foss--Complete Solo Piano Works

20th century Catalan Organ Music
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Post by RebLem » Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:08 am

I think the most under recorded work which nearly everyone acknowledges to be an important work is Schubert's Rosamunde Incidental Music. Oh, everybody and his mother in law has recorded excerpts, mostly as fillers for symphony recordings. But, to the best of my knowledge, the only available recording of the complete incidental music is one from the early or mid-70's by Karl Munchinger and the VPO. Even that seems unavailable from US sources, but it is being sold by Buywell in Australia, which is where I got mine, for a mere $6.93 USD + shipping.

Another very important body of work (though I seem to be the only person in the world who knows this :P ) are the 6 string quartets of Wilhelm Stenhammar. I have all of them on 3 separate CDs from the Caprice label, involving 3 different ensembles, the Fresk Quartet, the Copenhagen String Quartet, and the Gotland Quartet, but they seem to be no longer available. I do not know of any other recordings of these works.
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Post by rasputin » Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:34 am

Yes, I've Stenhammar SQ too. Splendid (and unknown) works. Plus about
200 more unknown string chamber pieces :D :D :D

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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:37 am

RebLem wrote:I think the most under recorded work which nearly everyone acknowledges to be an important work is Schubert's Rosamunde Incidental Music.
I'll take your word for that, but I go catatonic at the mention of that work. Some of the excerpts were commonly used in piano methods for the plain reason that they are so simplistic, and the overture--oh God, the overture--is a famous staple of orchestra directors who have taken a stupid pill just at the moment they are programming the beginning of their next concert.

On the other hand, I always assumed that the bulk of the incidental music to Egmont (as opposed to the overture) was approximately in the same category, but heard it all the other day over broadcast and was pleasantly surprised that it is not so.

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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Post by RebLem » Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:24 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
RebLem wrote:I think the most under recorded work which nearly everyone acknowledges to be an important work is Schubert's Rosamunde Incidental Music.
I'll take your word for that, but I go catatonic at the mention of that work. Some of the excerpts were commonly used in piano methods for the plain reason that they are so simplistic, and the overture--oh God, the overture--is a famous staple of orchestra directors who have taken a stupid pill just at the moment they are programming the beginning of their next concert.

On the other hand, I always assumed that the bulk of the incidental music to Egmont (as opposed to the overture) was approximately in the same category, but heard it all the other day over broadcast and was pleasantly surprised that it is not so.
Considering the price Buywell is charging for the Munchinger disc, finding out does not represent a huge financial risk. Of course, you probably don't want to order just one CD from a source so far from the US. So, I would recommend you take the opportunity to look through the offerings on the Tall Poppies label. It is not unknown in the US, but ArkivMusic has only a very few of their offerings. In particular, I recommend a conductor of baroque repertoire named Jacqueline Ogeil, and her Arcadia ensemble.

Oh, yes, and Buywell is the only source I know of where you can get the Karl Bohm BPO CD of the Brahms Sym 1 from 1960 or 61. which is, IMO, the very best MOR performance of that work. His remake with the VPO, part of a set, is also very good, but not as good as this earlier one. Also, very inexpensive, in the neighborhood of $7 USD.

And many thanks to rasputin on the suggestion I explore Stenhammar's other chamber music as well.
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Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:32 am

RebLem wrote:I think the most under recorded work which nearly everyone acknowledges to be an important work is Schubert's Rosamunde Incidental Music. Oh, everybody and his mother in law has recorded excerpts, mostly as fillers for symphony recordings. But, to the best of my knowledge, the only available recording of the complete incidental music is one from the early or mid-70's by Karl Munchinger and the VPO. Even that seems unavailable from US sources, but it is being sold by Buywell in Australia, which is where I got mine, for a mere $6.93 USD + shipping.
You're right, RebLem. I'm baffled at the scant availability of complete recordings of this endlessly charming music. I have it on a cassette with Haitink, I believe---the only complete recording I've ever found.

How good is the Münchinger performance?

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

Febnyc
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Post by Febnyc » Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:22 am

CD Universe lists what appear to be a couple of complete Rosamunde recordings - one by Abbado and one by Froschauer. I have no idea of their merit, but there are recordings available, apparently.

The Munchinger is available on eBay for under $6.00, plus shipping cost.

I've owned the Boskovsky version, on the old Berlin label - it fills the bill for me.

Charming music, indeed.

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