10 works or composers we need to hear more

10 works or composers we need to hear more


norman lebrecht

October 08, 2014

At the instigation of Mahan Esfahani, we’re presenting an upbeat alternative to yesterday’s list of downers.

Mahan’s choices of works that deserve more attention:

1. Handel, “Almira” (his first opera, and in German!)
2. Telemann played by top top top players. It can really sparkle if it’s done well. 
3. Mascagni, “Iris” (deal with it)

iris mascagni

4. Pretty much anything by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, but especially the cantatas on sacred subjects, like “Judith” which is a total masterpiece.

5. Franz and Georg Benda. Not a weak note in either brother’s output. Try Franz’s violin concertos – unbelievable.
6. JS Bach Bwv 1044, Triple Concerto. Seriously, this is a rare item in the concert hall.
7. The e minor string quartet by Verdi (again, deal with it)
8. Schoenberg, Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte
9. Webern, transcription of the 6-part ricercar from Bach’s Musical Offering. It is damned good.
10. Haydn in general, actually. I’m tired of hearing that programmers are afraid that he isn’t box office draw. There’s no such thing as too much Haydn when played and sung well.


Slipped Disc’s set:

1 Zemlinsky’s 2nd string quartet (sadly overshadowed by Schoenberg’s)

2 Martinu’s rhapsody-concerto for viola and orchestra

3 Karl-Amadeus Hartmann’s Concerto funèbre

4 Berthold Goldschmidt’s 2nd string quartet (probably the best work written anywhere in 1935)

5 Louise (the ultimate Paris opera)



6 La Juive

7 Birtwistle’s Endless Parade

8 Dvorak’s Requiem (why always Verdi’s?)

9 Spohr’s nonet (anyone’s nonet, actually; we love nonets)

10 Miaskovsky





  • Pirkko says:

    Was sort of expecting a list of living composers, but alas!

    • Will Duffay says:

      Ha! What would your top 10 list of under-played living composers look like?

      • John Borstlap says:

        List of all underplayed contemporary composers:

        1. 1 – 10.000 of them
        2. 10.001 – 20.000 of them
        3. 20.001 – 30.000 of them
        4. 30.001 – 40.000 of them
        5. 40.001 – 50.000 of them
        6. 50.001 – 60.000 of them
        7. 60.001 – 70.000 of them
        8. 70.001 – 80.000 of them
        9. 80.001 – 90.000 of them
        10. 90.001 – 100.000 of them

        List of all undeservedly underplayed composers:

        1. anonymous
        2. anonymous nr 2
        3. anonymous nr 3
        4 – 10. unknown

  • basia jaworski says:

    Agree with Iris, Zemlinski, Goldschmidt and La Juive!

    1. Martinu – Greek Passion
    2. More Martinu
    3. _All_ works by Zemlilnsky, Korngold and Schreker
    4. Diepenbrock
    5. Respighi – La Fiamma
    6. More VERISMO, please!
    7. Meyerbeer
    8. OPERETTA! Kalman, Abraham, Oscar Strauss….
    9. Szymanowski string quarters
    10. Ades. Especially his piano concerto

  • Alex says:

    What happened to Mieczyslaw Weinberg?

  • Sergei says:

    My list:
    Alf Hurum
    Arkady Fillipenko
    Sergey& Alexander Taneyev
    Conrado del Campo
    Sophie Eckhardt-Gramatté
    Henrik&Joseph Wieniawsky
    Sergey Lyapunov

  • Geoff Parkin says:

    You can hear Spohr’s Nonet at the Royal College of Music on Friday evening….for free! All welcome.


  • DLowe says:

    Interesting. From an opera enthusiast:

    1. Pacini. His opera L’Ultimo Giorno di Pompei is particularly good.
    2. Mercadante’s operas.
    3. Donizetti’s Maria Padilla
    4. Taneyev’s Oresteia. In fact, anything by Taneyev.
    5. Nicolai’s Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor.
    6. Spohr generally.
    7. Smetana (other than the Bartered Bride)
    8. R. Strauss’ arrangement of Idomeneo.
    9. Max von Schilling’s “Mona Lisa”
    10. Erkal’s Hungarian opera “Bank Ban”

  • DLowe says:

    Erkel with an ‘e’, not an ‘a’.

  • Peter Metrinko says:

    1. Moreno-Torroba guitar music.
    2. Boris, yes Boris Tchaikovsky’s Sinfonietta and his Prelude to The Bells
    3. Chesnokov, Cherubic Hymn
    4. Robert Cundick, Canyon Impressions (esp. mov. #1)
    5. Pavel Karmanov, a living composer with lots of good works (Cambridge Quartet, 7 Minutes Before Christmas, Twice A Double Concerto, Different Brooks etc.)
    6. Ellington, Three Black Kings (MLK movement)
    7. Part, Symphony #3
    8. Ron Nelson, Sarabande for Kathryn in April
    9. Helbig, Pocket Symphonies
    10. Preisner, Requiem

  • 1. The string quartets of Ben Johnston
    2. Anything by Luigi Nono
    3. Reger’s cello suits (the only worthwhile ones after Bach)
    3. William Schuman’s Symphonies
    4. Morton Feldman’s second string quartet
    5. Telemann’s 12 Fantasias for Violin without Bass
    6. Boulez’s third piano sonata
    7. Most of Handel’s keyboard works
    8. Stockhausen’s Licht Cycle
    9. Milton Babbitt’s violin concerto
    10.Mendelssohn’s string symphonies.

  • Alex Benjamin says:

    Would have to take the time for a full list, but for now: Der Vampyr by Marschner. Boy that thing is fun!

  • Dean says:

    Agree with the love for Nonets.

    The Villa-Lobos Nonetto “Rapid Impression of Brazil” is outstanding.

  • Wow, here’s a chance to say something positive and no one is jumping on board at the same pace as yesterday. Is it really that hard to list the things that you like?

  • Nigel Harris says:

    Agree this is much more fun than devising a list for ‘Room 101’. I welcome several of the earlier suggestions, notably those of the Hartmann ‘Concerto funebre’ and ‘Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor’. In no order other than alphabetical, here are mine:

    Balakirev, Symphony no. 1
    Benjamin (George) Little Hill (the contemporary opera which has moved me more than any other; ‘Written on Skin’ isn’t half bad either)
    Blacher, Der Grossinquisitor
    Dvorak, the late Erben-inspired symphonic poems (especially ‘The Noonday witch’ and ‘The Wood Dove’
    Elgar, The Music Makers
    Lortzing, most of the operas, but especially ‘Zar und Zimmermann’
    Moeran, Violin Concerto (and Symphony no. 1)
    Nielsen, Springtime on Fuenen (and Maskerade)
    Piston, Violin Concerto no. 1 and ‘The Incredible Flutist’
    Roussel, Symphony no. 3

  • Lendall says:

    Composers, not individual works:
    1. Claude Ballif
    2. René Leibowitz
    3. Elisabeth Lutyens
    4. Barbara Pentland
    5. Ernst Hermann Meyer
    6. Fartein Valen
    7. Ursula Mamlok
    8. Henri Pousseur
    9. Nikos Skalkottas
    10. Peter Schat
    Agree with Slipped Disc on his 1, 3 and 7. On 9, add Eisler’s.

  • Clarke Bustard says:

    What fun these lists are.

    Again, limiting my list to non-esoterica, and thinking mainly of scarcity of live performances (at least in the U.S.):

    1. Vaughan Williams’ “Job” – rated his finest orchestral work by many critics; rarely heard outside Britain
    2. Bruch’s Serenade in A minor, Op. 75 – his latest, biggest and best work for violin and orchestra
    3. Haydn’s Symphony No. 86 – arguably the best of the un-nicknamed symphonies (let’s argue about others, once we’ve heard more of them)
    4. Mendelssohn’s “Die erste Walpurgisnacht” – prime Mendelssohn, proto-Wagner; terrific choral showpiece
    5. Chausson’s “Poème de l’amour et de la mer” – the greatest love songs are in French; this is the symphonic apotheosis of the French love song
    6. Poulenc’s Piano Concerto – Parisian musical urbanity and insouciance in a nutshell
    7. Martinů’s Symphony No. 3 – the most concise of his symphonies, and maybe the truest musical evocation of the energy and spirit motivating “greatest generation” America in World War II
    8. Villa-Lobos’ “Rudepoema” – the most underplayed virtuoso piano piece in the literature?
    9. Nielsen’s “Hymnus amoris” – hot blood in Nordic veins; of course it exists (otherwise, Scandinavia would be unpopulated), but how often do you hear it expressed in music?
    10. Johann Friedrich Peter’s string quintets – starter set for appreciating the remarkable music of the American Moravians

    * Honorable mentions: Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6, Brahms’ Serenade No. 1 (try the nonet version), Schubert’s Symphony No. 2, Haydn’s six late Masses, Rameau’s operas (and suites from them), Richard Strauss’ “Le bourgeois gentilhomme,” William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 2 (“Song of a New Race”), Bernstein’s “On the Waterfront” Suite, Copland’s “Music for the Theater” – lots of recordings of most of these; but, per intro note, how often do you hear them performed live?

    • Tom Moore says:

      Ten flutist/composers that deserve to be heard:

      C.G. Belcke
      Tranquille Berbiguier
      Raphael Dressler
      Louis Drouet
      Carl Keller
      A.B. Fürstenau
      Johann Wilhelm Gabrielsky
      Jean Remusat.
      Jean Louis Tulou
      Eugene Walckiers

    • Frederik Helstone says:

      what would you think of composers such as;

      1)Boris Blacher, a 20th century German composer whose incredibly beautiful piano sonata I played a couple of decades ago in Amsterdam

      2) Alan Rawsthorne : concerto’s for piano and orchestra, especially the concerto for 2 pianos

      3) Hans Werner Henze, first violin concerto

      4) Harald Genzmer, 3 piano concerto’s, concerto for 2 piano’s, viola concerto, flute concerto, 5 piano sonatas, 3 violin and piano sonatas, sonata for piano 4 hands (very charming work I played last year with my friend Jo)

  • Paul Pellay says:

    Ok, this is more up my street! My 10 (in no particular order):

    1. William Schuman: Symphony 6. (I got to hear it live this past April in Chicago)

    2. Samuel Barber: The Lovers.

    3. Roy Harris: Symphony 6 ‘Gettysburg’. Harris’ name is kept alive almost wholly by the 3rd Symphony, but this work may be finer still.

    4. Vaughan Williams: Five Tudor Portraits. Would make a nice change from Carmina Burana, which was written the year after the VW.

    5. Michael Tippett: Symphony 1. I’m still surprised how infrequently any of Tippett’s symphonies crop up in the concert hall, and no.1 is especially prone to being overlooked.

    6. Colin Matthews: Broken Symmetry. A real orchestral white-knuckle ride, this one!

    7. Balakirev: Symphony 1. Once recorded by the likes of Beecham and Karajan, but never done today. Why?

    8. Rimsky-Korsakov: Symphonic Suite ‘Antar’ op.9.

    9. Prokofiev: Symphonic Suite from the opera “Semyon Kotko”. Soviet-era Prokofiev at his best, combining the drama and breadth of Alexander Nevsky with the lyrical appeal of Cinderella.

    10. Andrzej Panufnik: Sinfonia Votiva (Symphony 8). I could make a case for any one of his 10 symphonies, but ‘Votiva’ can stand for all of them.

  • Frans Wentholt says:

    1. Frank Martin – Requiem
    2. Antonio Lotti – Missa Sapientiae
    3. František Tůma – Stabat Mater
    4. Ravel – Sonata for violin and cello
    5. Lipatti – Sonatina for the left hand
    6. Fauré – C minor Piano Quintet, op. 115
    7. Franck- String Quartet
    8. Bartok- Third Piano Concerto
    9. Jan Dismas Zelenka
    10. Antonio Caldara

  • James says:

    Michael Haydn – Just as musical, inventive, and diverse as his brother. Doesn’t seem to have been affected too badly by the Sturm und Drang bug as many of his generation.

    Robert Fuchs – His list of students is a who’s who of the late romantic period. His serenades delightful, toss in the symphonies, and other chamber works. Why is he missed?

    Siegfried Wagner – Good musical lineage and he improved on them. However, his cantankerous scrabbling family taints his accomplishments.

    Ahmed Saygun – This is the music that Bartok would have composed had he lived.

    Ernest Bloch, Howard Hanson, Vittorio Giannini, Paul Creston, Samuel Barber, Nicolas Flagello – Read Voices in the Wilderness: Six American Neo-Romantic Composers by Walter Simmons.

  • Token Woman says:

    This requires one to have a knowledge and opinion of lesser-known pieces, rather than the top 100 radio fare we were complaining about yesterday, and you see that each person’s answers tend to be from a specific area of the rep. The harpsichordist wants more obscure baroque music, I’m shocked, albeit in agreement with him.

    Here’s my list in no particular order… I propose Norman make an entirely separate blog for lists about currently living composers.

    1) Secular medieval music. I don’t need to hear Perotin or Hildegard again, but I’d love to hear some jaunty French or Italian songs.
    2) Pancrace Royer (Mahan?)
    3) Pierre Henry
    4) second vote here for Ben Johnston quartets
    5) Bloch Violin Concerto (1938) – where is Shaham on this?
    6) Boccherini
    7) the amazing Santa Claus Symphony (1853) by William Henry Fry – and how about some George Frederick Bristow? It’s as if American composers did not exist before 1880.
    8) Boulez (no jinxing, am aware he’s still alive)
    9) Brahms “unknown” Piano Trio in A Major
    10) Poulenc Le Bal masqué

  • Big Ed says:

    Are you guys kidding? The venues are being emptied now of paying customers. If your programs are implemented you won’t be able to give away tickets. The problem with classical music is the eggheads are writing music for each other not the public. PAYING CUSTOMERS DON’T WANT TO HEAR THIS JUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Victor Hugo Toro says:

    In my humble opinion, a Latin-American version of the list (there is much more Latin-American music than Ginastera´s malambo!)

    1. Pedro Humberto Allende: Cello concerto (Debussy wrote a letter to him in 1916 praising him for this beautiful concerto)
    2. Francisco Mignone: Maracatu de chico rei (Ballet for choir and orchestra. Afro-brazilian music with a superb orchestration)
    3. Carlos Gomes: Any of his operas (sounds Italian, but he was Brazilian)
    4. Celso Garrido Lecca: Retablo Sinfonico (the most accomplished of all composers from Perú)
    5. Carlos Isammit: Friso Araucano (Chilean cycle of songs from the mapuche tradition, with a delicate orchestration)
    6. Alejandro Garcia Caturla: Tres danzas cubanas (all you can expect from Cuban symphonic music)
    7. Eduardo Fabini: Mburucuyá (one of the most respected and traditional composers from Uruguay)

    In addition, three (probably) more familiar composers, with less familiar pieces:

    8. Alberto Ginastera: Concerto per archi, Op.33
    9. Silvestre revueltas: La noche de los mayas
    10. Heitor Villa-lobos: floresta del amazonas (great oratorio for male choir, soloist and orchestra. All the sounds of the amazon forest in a single piece)

  • raykohn says:

    1. Bartok’s 2nd string quartet (I would love to hear the old Fine Arts quartet’s recording again)
    2. Enescu’s 3rd violin sonata (Enescu & Lipatti’s recording)
    3. Rachmaninov Preludes played by Richter
    4. Chopin Etudes played by Pollini
    5. Ravel played by Lipatti
    6. Beethoven op 132 played by the Amadeus 4tet
    7. Tchaikovsky 6th symphony played by Leningrad SO under Mravinsky
    8. Mahler 9 played by Vienna SO under Walter in 1937
    9. Shostakovitch 1st violin concerto with David Oistrakh
    10 Piazzolla played by Gidon Kremer

  • Harold Lewis says:

    Rawsthorne: Symphonic Studies
    Prokofiev: On the Dnieper
    Schnabel: Rhapsody for Orchestra
    Villa-Lobos: Mandú-çarará
    Hindemith: Symphony – Die Harmonie der Welt
    Milhaud: Opus Americanum no. 2 (Moses)
    Martinu: Piano Concerto no. 4
    Egk: Abraxas
    Egk: French Suite after Rameau
    Blomdahl: Symphony no. 3 (Facetter)

  • Joel Cohen says:

    At the risk of appearing as an outlier in this distinguished company:

    Guillaume de Machaut, just about anything
    Josquin des Pres, Missa Fortuna Desperata
    Pierre Certon, Missa sur le Pont d’Avignon
    Jean Gilles, Messe des Morts
    Salamone Rossi, Kaddish
    Luca Marenzio, the first book of madrigals à 5
    Charles Ives, Symphony #2
    Randall Thompson, Symphony #2
    Dizzy Gillespie-Charlie Parker ca. 1945: Dizzy Atmosphere
    Duke Ellington, Perdido from the ca. 1952 Ellington Uptown album

  • George says:

    1) Meredith Monk’s theatre/interdisciplinary works
    2) Licht cycle
    3) Purcell’s theatre music
    4) Robert Fayrfax
    5) Poulenc’s piano music
    6) Gesualdo
    7) Lutoslawski’s ‘Symphonic Variations’
    8) Berio’s ‘Coro’
    9) Mozart’s ‘Dissonance’ Quartet
    10) Piano works of Cornelius Cardew (and most of his other music, for that matter!)

  • Christian says:

    Taneyev: Piano Quintet in G-minor – listen to Rosa Tamarkina and Bolshoi Quartet from 1947 and every other recording is not worth a penny after hearing this

    Janacek: Sinfonietta (though given a rebirth after Murakami wrote about it in his “1Q84”)

    Händel Concerti Grossi op. 6 – if it was not for the impossible competition of the Brandenburg Concertos these would be played to pieces. Tips for starters: Musette from the sixth concerto in G-minor, one of the highlights of Baroque music (performer: Andrew Manze and Academy of Ancient Music) and the polonaise from the third concerto in e-minor.

    Brahms second piano quartet – festival directors and concert organizers all around the globe: give us a break from the embarrassing performances of the Gipsy finale in the G-minor quartet – unbelievable beauty in this solemn but majestic work.

    Arensky variations over a theme by Tchaikovsky – Russian love and passion and the LSO version with Barbirolli from 1965 is not to be missed.

    Practically speaking every Bach cantata – make a random choice and something sensational will happen to you. For a tip: BWV 170 with Kozena/Goebel, BWV 8 with Herreweghe, BWV 161 with Gardiner. Of course Bach cantatas per se are extremely well known music, but stilll we never hear them!

    “God in Disguise” by Swedish composer Lars Erik Larsson – never get tired of this, and with some of the most beautiful poetry to go with the music

    Dvorak piano concerto – this is simply great

    Kurt Atterberg suite for violin and viola op. 19 – listen to the Pantomine and you’ll understand

    Hindemith – Kammermusik op. 24 – bad boy music, but highly enertaining and well written

    • Jorge Grundman says:

      God in Disguise is gorgeous. I love the final movement. I believed nobody here know Larsson. And I was the first one to premiere in Spain the work of Atterberg. I’m agree with you with these not very well known composers.

      • Jules says:

        And I would add Jorge Grundman’s “Surviving a Son’s Suicide.” Extraordinary from first note to last. The last time I played it, a listener wrote to describe it as “sacred.” I couldn’t agree more.

  • Michael Endres says:

    10 composers we need to hear more of:

    Gabriel Faure ( more of his songs and his piano music)

    Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy ( still highly underrated !!! )

    Samuil Feinberg ( his 10 piano sonatas , Scriabin on steroids ! )

    Mieczysław Weinberg ( what a discovery ! )

    Georg Philip Telemann ( an ocean of wonderfully fresh music ! )

    Antonio Vivaldi ( Yes, his operas !! )

    Unsuk Chin ( one of the most original composers at work )

    Arnold Bax ( glorious symphonies !!! )

    Charles Ives ( highly original and neglected )

    Ernst Krenek ( not everybody’s favorite,but a major composer in his own right, particularly his string Quartets , Symphonies and Songs need rediscovering .)

  • Paul Pelkonen says:

    Berwald, Stenhammar, Pacini, Mercandente, Salieri, Knussen, Weinfartner, Furtwängler, Pederson, Siegfried Wagner

  • Herrera says:

    1. Beethoven’s 1st
    2. Beethoven’s 2nd
    3. Beethoven’s 3rd
    4. Beethoven’s 4th
    5. Beethoven’s 5th
    6. Beethoven’s 6th
    7. Beethoven’s 7th
    8. Beethoven’s 8th
    9. Beethoven’s 9th
    10. Repeat

  • Tom says:

    OK, I’ll play along with the reverse exercise, though this one is much more of a challenge. These are not in any order of priority.

    1. Rautavaara
    2. Szymnowski
    3. Zelenka (too much of his music remains unperformed and unrecorded)
    4. Stradella (same as with Zelenka)
    5. Langgaard (Carl Nielsen: BLEAH!)
    6. Porpora
    7. Ghedini
    8. Cozzolani
    9. Bantock
    10 CPE Bach (let’s not make 2014 a one-off for performances of this composer)

    Honorable mention to: Shchedrin, Eisler (give us a break from Weill), Schulhoff, Martinu (yes, they’ve been recorded extensively, but when did you hear one of their symphonies, concerti or string quartets in a concert hall?) Piccini, Myslivecek, Jomelli (give us a break from Mozart operas), Mehul, Berlioz (French opera did not die with Rameau and get resurrected by Bizet’s “Carmen”), Zemlinsky, Schreker, Korngold (give us a break from Strauss), Koechlin, the two Rejchas, Rosetti, Evzen Zamecnik (probably the best Czech composer of the second half of the 20th century), Guarneri, Balada (give us a break from Villa-Lobos and Golijov)…OK, I’ll stop here because I could list another 50 composers.

    PS Dvorak’s Requiem is the best Verdi not composed by Verdi.

  • Rob van der Hilst says:

    Buzz-off! Here are The (real!) Great Ten Of All Times

    R. Schumann – Pianoquintett
    J. B. Bach – 4 Suites for orchestra
    O. Messiaen – Quatuor pour le Fin du Temps
    J. Ph. Rameau – Entrée de Polymnie (from Les Boréades)
    M. Ravel – Ma Mère l’Oye (suite de ballet)
    L. Vierne – Final from his 5th symphony
    Th. Tallis – Spem in alium
    B. Britten – War Requiem
    R. Zuidam: Suster Bertken (opera)
    J. des Prez: Nymphes des Boys

    And J. S. Bach?
    ALL of course (is hors concours. 🙂

  • Jorge Grundman says:

    Well. I’m not agree with many of you. It’s impossible to choose only 10. For example, how many of you know this gem?

    Felix Blumenfeld (1863-1931)
    Symphony « To the Dear Beloved » (1907)

    After listening only the first movement you will know how many music is hidden behind some “great” names


  • Joel V. says:

    >>M. Ravel – Ma Mère l’Oye (suite de ballet)>>

    Shouldn’t we hear more often the full ballet, not the suite? (with Danse du rouet)

  • Joel V. says:

    I think the question in general is a bit too wide….. It would be easier to ask and answer which piano concertos we should hear more, which symphonies we should here more, which operas, which 18th century composers… etc.

    Making Top 10 feels almost…. immoral.

    Here is one quick list, based on my thoughts this morning 10/10/2014 Anno Domini, my tomorrow’s list might be a bit different…. – not in any order of importance:

    1. Moszkowski: Piano Concerto (all the elements for a classic?)
    2. Langgaard: Music of the Spheres (written in 1916 !, But also 1st Symphony – nice!)
    3. Aarre Merikanto: Opera Juha (written 1922, amazing orchestration, sadly neglected)
    4. Tansman: various works (head above Les Six)
    5. Tubin: Symphonies (e.g. Symphony No. 2 “Legendary”)
    6. Holmboe: Symphonies (Symphony No. 2 has one of the most effective starts)
    7. So many Russian composers, today let’s take just one: Alexander Mosolov
    9. For 18th century composers I would choose today: Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf
    10. Enescu: Symphony No. 3 (not bad)

    Tomorrow might be a different list….

  • Jorge Grundman says:

    I know that after the prior message you are shocked. One more of these composers you must know but never heard anything about him. Now is the turn of

    Vitezslav Novak (1870-1949)
    Suite from Slovakia. Op. 32


  • Laurids says:

    1. Hindemith
    2. Roussel
    3. Sibelius
    4. Reger
    5. Nielsen
    6. Martinu
    7. Pfitzner
    8. Novak
    9. Szymanowski
    10. Goetz
    11. Lutoslawski
    etc etc

    all first rate composers who always fall afoul of the standard rep.

    • Tom says:

      Hindemith: Really?
      Reger: You gotta be kidding.
      Pfitzner: You REALLY gotta be kidding!
      Goetz: Now I know you ARE kidding.

      • Sergei says:

        Hindemith,the Joker, yes sir.”Overture of the Flying Dutchman As Played At Sight by a Second-Rate Concert Orchestra at the Village Well at 7’o’clock the Morning”, and
        “Minimax,repertory for military music”, both for string quartet.

      • Laurids says:

        Tolerance, mate. This is 2014…
        Give it a try.

      • Novagerio says:

        – R.Strauss Interludes from his opera Intermezzo – especially Träumerei am Kamin
        – Glazunow 5th Symphony – astonishingly beautiful and well scored!
        – Liadov The Enchanted Lake
        – Prokofiev Autumnal op.8
        – Roussel 3rd Symphony and Sinfonietta
        – Frank Martin Violin Concerto, the Petite Symphonie Concertante and The Tempest
        – Franz Schmidt 1st and 4th Symphonies – the one a true late-romantic outburst and the last the saddest and most deeply tragic C Major you’ll ever hear!
        – Dvořák Requiem – thanks for mentioning one of the most beautiful Masses ever written! From that composer I would also add his 5th and 6th Symphonies!
        – Kidding about Pfitzner and Reger? No, why? I’m certainly not kidding about them either! Try Pfitzner’s Preludes from Palestrina; profoundly touching music, especially the preludes from acts 1 and 3 – and concerning Reger, give his amazing Böcklin Suite a hearing!
        – Hindemith (Still not kidding!!) – Try to really enjoy the Matthis der Maler Symphony, his Sinfonia Serena and his mindblowing Pittsburgh Symphony! I only wish todays composers would have his gift for clarity in the orchestral music and yet make it sound sumptuous – and with many notes (you can hear them all!) – In that context let me also add his Music for Brass and Strings and his more intimate Trauermusik for Viola and Strings written in a few hours after King George V’s death in January 1936.
        – Still more germanic stuff worth hearing: Schreker’s Prelude to a Drama or as it’s called in german, Vorspiel zu einem Drama, if you get hooked by this eerily dreamy music (no, it’s not Hitchcock-music!), give his Kammersymphonie and the short Intermezzo op.8 a hearing.
        – Hans Werner Henze Undine and his earliest symphonies
        – In order to get away from the teutonic stuff: Frederick Delius Irmelin Prelude, A Song of Summer and A ong before Sunrise
        – Sibelius Scènes historiques, The Oceanides, King Christian Suite, Luonnotar (fantastic stuff!)
        – Ferruccio Busoni Nocturne Symphonique and Rondo Arlecchinesco.
        – Vaughan Williams’ 6th Symphony – always a knocker!
        – Benjamin Britten, basically almost anything, in my taste at least up to op.50
        – Samuel Barber First Essay op.12

        • Tom says:

          I have the complete symphonic works of Pfitzner, Hindemith, Reger and the symphonies and piano concerti by Goetz.

          Sure, there are some exceptions to rolling my eyes at the first three (Goetz is hopelessly trite, though his piano works are slightly better than his symphonies). I do like Hindemith’s Music for Brass and Strings. The rest I can take or leave, including the Trauermusik, which I know very well. It is ho-hum.

          Even though I’ve listened to all of Pfitzner and Reger, I can’t say anything stuck in my mind as being particularly outstanding, though Pfitzner’s double concerto is somewhat interesting. Reger is terminally academic.

  • David says:

    What an excellent selection.
    I would add the fine American symphonists Piston, Sessions, Thomson, Copland, Creston, Hanson, Cowells and Harris. Nondiscriminating European audiences tend to think that the US has produced little other than the bright gimrack of those two stage/door jonnies Gershwin and Bernstein. How’s that for pathetic.

    Europeans I would name include Rimsky K., Glazunov, Zemlinsky, Honegger, Henze, Bliss and Bax. Two splendid composers of Lieder are Adolf Jensen and Robert Franz. O but there are so many riches beyond of the tahhhd standard fare!

  • Tom says:

    Hanson ain’t exactly export-worthy as far as American composers go. I’d go with Gould instead. Perhaps Schuman, too.

    • Tom says:

      I’m ashamed to keep omitting William Grant Still and George Antheil from my lists. Two of the best American composers ever.

  • Sergei says:

    I strongly recommend you investigate complete chamber works of Sergei Taneyev. IMHO he had the most important and significant corpus of chamber produced in Russia before Shostakovich, and one of the bests of XIX century.

  • John says:

    Yes, indeed…Hindemith, Sibelius, Roussel, Reger, Martinu…
    For such composers I am truly thankful. Tis their music that plows up and cultivates the spirit.
    Frank Martin, Othmar Schoeck and Walther Braunfels are also wonderful.

  • Jules says:

    What an interesting thread. I see many composers (and pieces) on these lists I regularly try to program instead of the usual culprits. Many are gentle twists on a well-worn path.

  • Greg Hlatky says:

    1. Spontini
    2. Korngold
    3. Hummel
    4. Grétry
    5. Gluck
    6. William Schuman
    7. Stanford
    8. Carl Maria von Weber
    9. Massenet
    10. Parry

  • Novagerio says:

    I’m actually ashamed of having left out Taneyev too, especially on the symphonic side! And Vassily Kalinnikov who’s symphonies are incredible! Oh, and Honegger, who’s Symphonie Liturgique is devastatingly touching, and his 2nd for Strings and a few bars for trumpet. Has anybody mentioned Mieczyslaw Karlowicz? Others I would add are Szimanowski’s symphonies, Panufnik and Dutilleux, who’s Timbres, espace, mouvement and his Violin Concerto L’arbre des sorges are in my mind his most impressive works. And talking about americans: has anybody mentioned Morton Feldman already?