Lesser known orchestral works, part 2

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UncleJenny
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Lesser known orchestral works, part 2

Post by UncleJenny » Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:04 am

As I am trying to expand my musical horizon during my self isolation, I stumbled upon this old thread in the TTF Archives and thought to bump it up:
https://trombonechat.com/viewtopic.php? ... 380&p=4738

So, any new suggestions? I'm especially interested in works by BIPOC and female composers, who got neglected for too long in the classical music scene. This includes also contemorary music.

So far I've discovered composers like

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Florence B. Price
George Walker
William Grant Still
Julia Perry
Amy Beach
Ethel Smyth
Judith Weir

I'd also like to add David Maslanka with his 1st and 6th symphony.
(I know, he is well known in the concert band world)

Please read the old thread before posting to avoid double postings.
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Dennis
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Re: Lesser known orchestral works, part 2

Post by Dennis » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:16 pm

I know you asked for orchestral works, specifically, but Ruth Crawford Seeger (stepmother of Pete and mother of Peggy) was a composer who (in my opinion) wrote far too little and not nearly enough for orchestra. Her *String Quartet (1931)* is a marvelous piece of music. The 1952 Wind Quintet is worth seeking out, too.

Her principal influences seem to be Eliot Carter, the second Vienna School, and Scriabin. It's definitely 20th Century music, but it is approachable 20th Century music.
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Burgerbob
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Re: Lesser known orchestral works, part 2

Post by Burgerbob » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:19 pm

I'm in a listening club and we listened to all of William Grant Still's symphonies. Interesting stuff.
ronnies
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Re: Lesser known orchestral works, part 2

Post by ronnies » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:22 am

I've played the first movement of an Amy Beach Symphony. I enjoyed it and it had one or two small 'bass trombone moments'. :-)

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Finetales
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Re: Lesser known orchestral works, part 2

Post by Finetales » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:00 pm

There's a YouTube channel called "Cmaj7" that posts a ton of lesser-known orchestral works. Really a great resource if you're looking for new composers (and lesser-known pieces by well-known composers) to listen to.

I spend quite a bit of time searching out lesser-known symphonies and other works and keep my thoughts on them in a Word document. Some highlights from the past few years:

- Amy Beach Symphony in E minor
- Mieczyslaw Karlowicz Symphony in E minor Op. 7 "Rebirth" (sounds like Tchaik 7)
- Giovanni Sgambati Symphony No. 1
- Glazunov Symphony No. 1 (some nice Russian bass trombone writing)
- Charles Villiers Stanford Symphony No. 3 Op. 28 "The Irish"
- Rued Langgaard "Music of the Spheres" (I found it pretty compelling in a way that most avant-garde orchestral music doesn't seem to be...and the horn parts have some insane low notes)
- Rued Langgaard Symphony No. 6 BVN 165 "Heaven-Rending"
- Rued Langgaard Symphony No. 10 BVN 298 "Yon Hall of Thunder"
- Khachaturian Symphonies No. 2 and 3 (incredible pieces...I'm also convinced John Williams borrowed quite a lot from the 3rd)
- Edmund Rubbra Symphony No. 11 Op. 153
- Paul Gilson "La Mer" (lovely piece, that deserves to be as well known as the Debussy...and has a lot more for the trombones to do!)
- Dvorak "The Water Goblin" Op. 107
- Every single Holst orchestral work that's not the Planets

There's a lot of great pieces mentioned in the original thread as well, for those who haven't seen it. Gliere 1, Dvorak Requiem, Dvorak 1-7, Elgar symphonies, etc.
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Re: Lesser known orchestral works, part 2

Post by AndrewMeronek » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:15 pm

The biggest problem with finding female composers is that until very recently, they simply didn't get the gigs. It's tragic; the simplicity of being under pressure to deliver for a career really can make a difference, no matter how talented someone is.

Two of my favorite "lesser known" composers from the last year or two (at least, new music for me) are Howard Hanson and Erich Korngold. Each has at least one very iconic piece: Hanson's Symphony No. 2 and Korngold's violin concerto - besides Korngold's obvious contributions to film music, of course.
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WilliamLang
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Re: Lesser known orchestral works, part 2

Post by WilliamLang » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:11 pm

It's a chamber piece but still just discovered this work last night that's really nice

TJ Anderson: Variations on a Theme by MB Tolson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FExHt03zH8

Anything by Galina Utsvolskaya is worth listening to, in my opinion, even her smaller chamber pieces sound like symphonic works

Also a new to me piece was Gliere Symphony 3 (dead white guy but the piece is still cool)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jBt0M4L4Qs
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robcat2075
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Re: Lesser known orchestral works, part 2

Post by robcat2075 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:13 am

I often think that orchestras could stop commissioning rotten new music if they were to just mine the mountains of neglected Classical and Romantic era music that are out there.


There's lots of forgotten music by famous composers, even.

Rimsky-Korsakov wrote a lot of great stuff that is rarely heard outside of Russia today.

Like wise for the other Russians whose names were not Tchaikovsky.

There were wonderful Soviet composers besides Shostakovich. They were writing great Romantic-style music into the 50s and 60s even but only the occasional ballet theme has made it into the Western conciousness.


One of my favorite forgotten composers is William Herschel. His primary claim to fame is being the first person to discover a new planet since the Stone Age. But before he was an astronomer he was an oboist and composer.

He's not very good but how many musicians do you know who could grind their own telescope mirror?

>>Robert Holmén<<

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robcat2075
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Re: Lesser known orchestral works, part 2

Post by robcat2075 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:31 pm

From the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica bio of composer and astronomer William Herschel...

Herschel.jpg
Herschel.jpg (62.87 KiB) Viewed 243 times

I'm picturing his sister sitting on a stool and tossing a peanut into his mouth every time he passed by.
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