Panama (spwebdesign) wrote,

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Underappreciated Composers (and Representative Works)

On my way to work this morning I listened to the local NPR station and heard a work by one of the composers on this list.  This got me to thinking about composers who have composed some of the most delightful or moving music but don't get much recognition.  We've all heard Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven; sadly, too many people have not heard much more.

I've decided to put together a short list of underappreciated composers and one or two representative works.  I'm not going to discuss them -- it's just a laundry list.  None of these composers are obscure; you've probably heard of them, even if you're not a die-hard classical music nut like myself, but maybe you've never heard them.  My hope is that maybe you'll get curious and check out their music at the local library or music store.

    15 Underappreciated composers (in alphabetical order)
  • Isaac Albeniz (Ibéria)
  • Béla Bartók (Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste)
  • Benjamin Britten (Hymn to St. Cecilia; Peter Grimes)
  • Manuel de Falla (Nights in the Gardens of Spain; Seven Popular Spanish Songs)
  • Alan Hovhaness (Symphony No. 2, "Mysterious Mountain"; And God Created Great Whales)
  • Charles Ives (Piano Sonata #2 "Concord, Mass., 1840-1860"; 114 Songs; Three Places in New England)
  • Gustav Mahler (Das Lied von der Erde; Symphony No. 1; Rückert Lieder)
  • Bohuslav Martinů (Memorial to Lidice)
  • Olivier Messiaen (Quartet for the End of Time; Turangalîla Symphony)
  • Sergei Prokofiev (Violin Concerto #1; Classical Symphony; Lieutenant Kijè)
  • Maurice Ravel (Don Quichotte à Dulcinée; Piano Concerto for the Left Hand)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich (Cello Concerto No. 1; Symphony No. 5)
  • Jean Sibelius (The Swan of Tuonela; En Saga)
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams (Songs of Travel; Fantasy on a Theme by Thomas Tallis)
  • Hugo Wolf (Mörike Lieder; Goethe Lieder)

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