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General Category => Composition Topic of the Month => Topic started by: Ron on May 02, 2019, 08:04:50 AM

Title: May 2019: What is your favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: Ron on May 02, 2019, 08:04:50 AM
Recently I stumbled across Shostakovitch's Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Opus 43. Composed in 1935-36 he hid it from Stalin, fearing he would be murdered or sent to Siberia if Stalin heard it. It was not performed until 1961, long after Stalin's death. It's a rather odd work, disjointed, yet it resounds with defiance. I love it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzwxyzQm7hE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzwxyzQm7hE)
Title: Re: Mat 2019: What is you favourite infrequently preformed work?
Post by: tbmartin on May 02, 2019, 09:14:43 AM
I've mentioned this piece a few times on the forum: Honegger's "Une Cantate de Noel."

It gets totally shoved out by Messiah, Nutcracker, Christmas Oratorio, etc. It's got a dark beginning (which has grown on me over the several times I've sung it) but the middle and final sections are absolutely glorious.
Title: Re: Mat 2019: What is you favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: Michel.R.E on May 02, 2019, 11:09:42 AM
I particularly love the "Laudate Dominum" part of the Cantate de Noël. Excellent choice. I suspect it doesn't get all that much play time because it's not easy and requires relatively large forces as well.

One work I particularly love, and it really does get ignored and often judged as an inferior work, is Barber's 2nd Symphony.
He himself withdrew it after its premiere, and it wasn't performed again during his lifetime.

It's an odd work, strangely straight-forward, and yet abstruse at the same time.
Its middle movement, however, is absolutely mind-blowingly gorgeous and profound. It's inspired by Saint-Exupéry's "Night Flight".

I have the score of this work, and it's a marvel of orchestration as well.

Corporal Samuel Barber's 2nd Symphony (https://youtu.be/q8haCn5IvFg)
Title: Re: Mat 2019: What is you favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on May 02, 2019, 02:00:40 PM
Oh man!  Where to begin?  I can't limit it to one piece because it depends on my mood.   My full list would have pieces from the past 250 years.  A problem, of course, is that I really don't know if these pieces are really infrequently performed; maybe I just missed the performances.  The sampling I've listed below are not necessarily great works - just works I enjoy.

Mozart Fantasia K 608 for mechanical organ (especially in the 2 piano transcription by Busoni)
Cherubini Symphony in D
Berwand Symphony #3
Fibich Symphony #2
Foerster Symphony #4
Magnard Symphony #3
Poulenc Concert champêtre
Barber Capricorn Concerto
Martin Petite symphonie concertante
Title: Re: Mat 2019: What is you favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: Michel.R.E on May 02, 2019, 03:10:10 PM
well, the last three on your list are very well-known and popular works :-)
Title: Re: Mat 2019: What is you favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: sandalwood on May 02, 2019, 05:16:58 PM
Thanks for all the beautiful works mentioned.

I reckon 95% of even the standard repertoire is infrequently performed.
Title: Re: Mat 2019: What is you favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on May 02, 2019, 09:08:07 PM
well, the last three on your list are very well-known and popular works :-)
Oh.  Well, I'm relieved, then.  Last year I remembered the Capricorn Concerto and thought, "I haven't heard that in 35 or 40 years - even on the radio!".   I'm glad it's well know and popular.
Title: Re: Mat 2019: What is you favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: Michel.R.E on May 02, 2019, 09:55:12 PM
Maybe not as well-known as it SHOULD be, and not as well-known as the Poulenc (one of his most popular pieces) or the Martin (one of his most performed pieces), but it ain't no slouch ;-)
Title: Re: Mat 2019: What is your favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: whitebark on May 03, 2019, 10:46:36 AM
How could I even begin to select my favorite little-performed work, when there are so many to choose from?  While I think about it, I'll have to listen to the many fine choices  already presented here. One such piece, the Poulenc Harpsichord concerto, is one I know and love. Poulenc's wild and crazy Concerto for Organ, Strings, and Tympani is another one that I like. I actually got to perform the work with the Stanford Symphony a long time ago.

Jay
Title: Re: Mat 2019: What is your favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on May 03, 2019, 02:45:34 PM
Recently I stumbled across Shostakovitch's Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Opus 43. Composed in 1935-36 he hid it from Stalin, fearing he would be murdered or sent to Siberia if Stalin heard it. It was not performed until 1961, long after Stalin's death. It's a rather odd work, disjointed, yet it resounds with defiance. I love it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzwxyzQm7hE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzwxyzQm7hE)
I do, too, Ron.

Your post reminded me that I have an audiophile LP of it, recorded in 1979 on London Records, also with Haitink but with the LSO.

So I just listened to it again for the first time in a couple of decades.

I think that the incredible sound somewhat masks the deficiencies in the piece. The presence on this disk is alarming. It blows me out of the room.

Thanks for reviving it.

My choice for infrequently performed work is Villa-Lobos's Bachianas Brasileiras no. 4. I may only be assuming that it's infrequently performed, but there you are.

This performance is pretty tame. I think it merits more fire. That may just be a problem of compression on YouTube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mf3SQ3dVz8&t=334s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mf3SQ3dVz8&t=334s)

Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Mat 2019: What is your favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: Michel.R.E on May 09, 2019, 08:23:43 AM
another work that does not get performed as often as it should, it is eclipsed by two more popular works by the composer: Paul Hindemith's violin concerto.

His Mathis de Maler symphony, and the Symphonic Metamorphoses get considerably more concert time.
have to say, the violin concerto is a brick and a half, and the cadenzas are pure torture for the soloist.

here's the build-up to the cadenza of the final movement (the youtube video has the score, which is nice.) but do listen to the whole work at some point, it's worth it. Hindemith was a very fine string player (violist) so his writing for the instrument is some of the most consummate of the 20th century.

Hindemith Violin Concerto (https://youtu.be/roN8AZQ73BU?t=1248)
Title: Re: Mat 2019: What is your favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: whitebark on May 11, 2019, 05:20:32 PM
I finally listened to the Barber Capricorn Concerto. What an interesting piece - it sounds like Barber was trying to write in the style of Stravinsky. One YouTube performance of the the piece shows the score, which provides a nice lesson on how to write for strings. 

Well, on to the other works in Patrick's list.

Jay

Title: Re: Mat 2019: What is your favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: Michel.R.E on May 15, 2019, 01:28:47 PM
After posting the finale of my violin concerto it got me thinking about this piece by Italian (and eventually American) composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He was one of John Williams' teachers!

He wrote an incredibly difficult violin concerto. This video has the score of the solo part to follow along.
It's a fun piece, and VERY rambunctious!

Castelnuovo-Tedesco 2nd Violin Concerto "The Prophets" finale. (https://youtu.be/aF4lnLXCTMI)
Title: Re: May 2019: What is your favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: whitebark on May 17, 2019, 01:27:57 PM
That's some crazy violin playing in the Tedesco!
Title: Re: May 2019: What is your favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: Michel.R.E on May 17, 2019, 02:49:15 PM
isn't it, though?

it's a fantastic piece.
Title: Re: May 2019: What is your favourite infrequently performed work?
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on May 18, 2019, 04:45:09 PM
I don't remember when I ran into the Castelnuovo-Tedesco 2nd violin concerto.  It feels like I've know it all my life but it's probably been only 50 years.   :)  I blame it, and to a lesser degree Bloch's Concerti Grossi, for drawing me to "exotic" modes.

Hmm.  Are the Bloch Concerti Grossi too common for this catagory?