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Musical things and people, and their ways to fail


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#1 elemimele

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 22:31

There are a lot of composers, instruments, and musical ideas out there that are not as well-known as they ought to be, often for the silliest of reasons. Some are ripe for rediscovery, some were doomed from the outset.

 

For rediscovery, I'd like to nominate Thomas Davis, Baroque composer of flute sonatas, published in London; his sheet music is available on IMSLP, and looks pretty reasonable to me. But I have no idea who he was, and haven't been able to find any sign of his music being performed or recorded (though I'll admit I haven't tried terribly hard).

 

I suspect he was doomed because his name is too common; a search for that name in London in ancestry.com finds 8758883 people during the period 1841-1911 (obviously the wrong period altogether, but giving some idea of the sort of difficulty associated with finding a common name in a large city). If he'd only been called Giovanni Pietro del Castanetti and born in a small village outside Udine, his sonatas would be all over YouTube.

 

In the same vein, Johann Ernst Galliard deserves an honourable mention for having a name indistinguishable from his product (sharing his name with a dance). 

 

For sheer unlikeliness in musical objects, I'd like to nominate Carlo Giorgi's keyless flute of 1888, with its 11 finger-holes. I'm counting...

 

Anyone else got a favourite person, instrument, or musical idea that should be remembered?


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#2 Aeolienne

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 21:22

My favourite recorder piece is Wilhelm Bender's sonata, of which I learnt the second movement (Mit ruhiger Empfindung) for Grade III. Other than the dates of his all-too-brief lifespan (1911 - 44) I haven't been able to find any information about him.


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#3 jim palmer

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 22:57

My favourite recorder piece is Wilhelm Bender's sonata, of which I learnt the second movement (Mit ruhiger Empfindung) for Grade III. Other than the dates of his all-too-brief lifespan (1911 - 44) I haven't been able to find any information about him.

There's an article in de.Wikipedia. if your German skills are up to it!

https://de.wikipedia...Kirchenmusiker)

smile.png


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#4 Aeolienne

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 21:19

 

My favourite recorder piece is Wilhelm Bender's sonata, of which I learnt the second movement (Mit ruhiger Empfindung) for Grade III. Other than the dates of his all-too-brief lifespan (1911 - 44) I haven't been able to find any information about him.

There's an article in de.Wikipedia. if your German skills are up to it!

https://de.wikipedia...Kirchenmusiker)

smile.png

 

Das scheint wie gute Übung aus. Danke schön!


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#5 elemimele

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 12:44

... and Carillon is a rare choice of instrument for a composer too. Thank you Aeolienne and Jim Palmer. I will go and find him and listen.


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#6 Vicky Violin

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 14:19

My nominations are for instruments - I love the early pianos with percussion built in!  I've seen a couple in museums and on documentaries with all sorts of bells and whistles (literally) and drums, tambourines etc. - generally with the percussion underneath.  I imagine it was pretty challenging to manage all that on top of playing piano with both hands (probably why the idea died) but got to be worth the effort, surely?

 

Second choice would be the serpent - not the finest sound admittedly but surely just on appearance it should make a come-back!  Maybe with today's technology the sound could even be improved upon?  I'd love to see a 'serpent ensemble'!

 

And my composer choice would be Pietro Nardini - the second movement of one of his violin concertos was on the grade 4 list at some stage and I fell in love with it and wanted to get to know more of his music.  He doesn't seem to have a large repertoire though - but maybe someone reading this thread knows of a secret stash of unpublished gems in an attic somewhere?!?


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#7 Vicky Violin

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 14:23

I forgot to mention the arpeggione!  A sort of hybrid between guitar and cello.  Apparently it was really difficult to play but I have a recording of one and love the sound.


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#8 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 19:17

This YouTube channel has opened my eyes to unfamiliar pieces and composers: https://www.youtube....terworks/videos


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#9 elemimele

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 07:53

Vicky, are those the things that were used for accompanying silent movies in some cinemas? I wish I could remember what they're called. I've never seen one in the flesh, and would love to know what it's like to play one. Probably very complex...

Yup, I suppose the arpeggione should logically exist, but having only one significant piece in the repertoire (according to Wikipedia) must limit the number of people now inclined to rediscover it.

Thanks for the link, ligneofistula; we're lucky to live in an era where there is so much to find.


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#10 Vicky Violin

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 12:15

Are you thinking of a photoplayer? (Just looked it up on Wikipedia). The ones I have seen are grand pianos with the percussion underneath and I thought they were a lot older and early versions of pianos rather than for accompanying films - could be wrong though! The photo player looks amazing too!
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