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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If you think what I said is "true", then I think your second sentence contradicts your first sentence. And while some pieces might not clearly fall into either the neglected or nor neglected category, many or even most pieces can be categorized that way if one is familiar with professional pianists' repertoire and concert performances.

What I meant by 'true' is in response to what you wrote yourself --- as in 'neglected' doesn't imply never played before. That is true. You're the one that wrote about that particular association. I didn't write anywhere that 'neglected' implies 'never played before'.

I was just indicating that ------ because you know that there is at least that person playing that particular work ----- then that work is obviously not 'neglected'.

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Maybe your questions could be conveyed with a thread topic along the lines of - do you generally play well-known popular piano music? Or generally not-so-well-known piano music? Or generally a bit of anything you like? And - if possible - add some comments - such as ----- you just like a particular style, or you are forced to for work or career-related matters? etc. And then - if enough people participate in the discussion ------ then we start to see the various interesting answers from various people.

So ---- not 'why?' in the thread .... but eg. 'do you?'

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The reason for that approach is to just get various opinions without a particular person or group being targeted. It is an interesting subject though - getting an understanding of what various people focus on ----- and their comments about it all.

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As an amateur that tries to play some unpopular music and a lot of very popular music, I think my reasoning is basically point 6 but with the added nuance that I tend to think of myself as playing for other musicians (since I'm not a pro, not many people hear me play anyways, and the general audience is not particularly discerning), so I am either trying to impress them with something "standard" played very well, or something off the beaten path that they don't get to hear all the time.

I'm not going to play Beethoven sonati better than everyone else out there. It's very transparent and takes a lot of work to perfect. Medtner sonati on the other hand, there is a good chance even a professional pianist has never heard some of them.

Recently I've been picking up a bunch of chamber to play with friends, and I play the most popular stuff because that's what other people want to play.

OTOH I spent years practicing a handful of etudes attempting to get to a professional standard, partly to prove to myself I can do it and gain confidence on stage, and partly to signal my "legitimacy" to other pianists.

There are a few popular pieces I work pretty hard on because I just really love them, but they're few and far between. Chopin Sonata 3 is one.

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Originally Posted by David-G
I missed this thread when it was new, and I have not had time to read it all through. But the most obvious answer (to me) to the OP's question is not any of the six answers suggested, but is as follows:

7. The pianist has an inquisitive nature and wants to explore by-ways of the repertoire.

A neglected work may be so obscure that it does not have a reputation at all. And even if it's "reputation" is poor, it is surely commendable to come to one's own conclusions rather than to rely on the thoughts of others.
This.


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For a long time it seems to have been fashionable to resurrect once "neglected" pieces by well-known composers, things like Tchaikovsky 2, Rachmaninoff 4, Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, Liszt's transcriptions and paraphrases, etc. Most of those stones have been turned, so now the net seems to be widening, especially with all the stuff available on IMSLP and cultural trends justifiably favoring reappraisal of women and black composers.


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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
For a long time it seems to have been fashionable to resurrect once "neglected" pieces by well-known composers, things like Tchaikovsky 2, Rachmaninoff 4, Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, Liszt's transcriptions and paraphrases, etc. Most of those stones have been turned, so now the net seems to be widening, especially with all the stuff available on IMSLP and cultural trends justifiably favoring reappraisal of women and black composers.
I don't think Liszt transcriptions and paraphrases were ever in the neglected category. Probably the same for Beethoven's Choral Fantasy.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
For a long time it seems to have been fashionable to resurrect once "neglected" pieces by well-known composers, things like Tchaikovsky 2, Rachmaninoff 4, Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, Liszt's transcriptions and paraphrases, etc. Most of those stones have been turned, so now the net seems to be widening, especially with all the stuff available on IMSLP and cultural trends justifiably favoring reappraisal of women and black composers.
I don't think Liszt transcriptions and paraphrases were ever in the neglected category. Probably the same for Beethoven's Choral Fantasy.

Were orchestras programming the Choral Fantasy in the 50s and 60s? I remember that it did occasionally crop up beginning in the 80s. Gould seems to have kickstarted interest in the Liszt transcriptions in the 60s.

Everybody has limited practice/rehearsal time, and it's easy to be generous with somebody else's. The big battle seems to be studying and playing new composers vs. reevaluating old, forgotten literature for the hidden gems.


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This ------ if somebody is playing 'neglected' works exclusively --- and somebody else would like to understand that pianist's opinions, then simply ask them about it. And then they might enlighten.

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It’s arrogance under the guise of educating the masses. There’s a reason why pieces and composers are neglected.

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And not everybody treats it all as a 'popularity contest'. We just get in there and appreciate the works of others that also enjoy music - whether it is/was popular or not.

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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
For a long time it seems to have been fashionable to resurrect once "neglected" pieces by well-known composers, things like Tchaikovsky 2, Rachmaninoff 4, Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, Liszt's transcriptions and paraphrases, etc. Most of those stones have been turned, so now the net seems to be widening, especially with all the stuff available on IMSLP and cultural trends justifiably favoring reappraisal of women and black composers.
I don't think Liszt transcriptions and paraphrases were ever in the neglected category. Probably the same for Beethoven's Choral Fantasy.
Were orchestras programming the Choral Fantasy in the 50s and 60s? I remember that it did occasionally crop up beginning in the 80s. Gould seems to have kickstarted interest in the Liszt transcriptions in the 60s.
I only know of one Liszt transcription Gould played. The Beethoven Symphony No.5. I don't think he had anything to with any interest in Liszt transcriptions.

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In classical music, there are two kinds of neglected music which is enjoying a 'discovery' (not re-discovery or revival) in the past few years. Though it has to be said that very few established/well-known musicians have taken up their cause - so far.

Is it political correctness, or have those composers been unjustly neglected in the past? Time will tell.....


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Part of it is the critical reanalysis that happens after someone comes along who is able to do the works justice and after the musical minds are able to truly comprehend what the composer was doing. Liszt is a great example of a composer who enjoyed a great scholarly reanalysis. For many years, Liszt was dismissed as merely a showman and virtuoso, while his more serious compositions were dismissed. The musical academics of his era didn’t have the technique to play his work or the mind to comprehend the so called “new-music” he was composing that ultimately influenced the new great minds like Wagner, and foreshadowed the works of composers from Ravel & Debussy to Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and Rachmaninoff. It took those new composers to come along and establish the sounds he was reaching toward as standard before people could look back at some of his work and truly see the brilliance of it; the Sonata in B minor comes to mind. It also took pianists who had the technique to champion his more serious works such as Arrau & Horowitz, simply because few people during his time or immediately after him had the technique to perform his work.

Part of it is people wanting something other than the same Beethoven sonatas, the same Chopin preludes/etudes/polonaises/ballades/fantasies, & the same Bach. Much of the standard repertoire is the same few pieces by the same few composers, played over and over, ad nauseam. There’s very little new to say with these works, few try to say anything new, and the practice of the day doesn’t really encourage anything new. So people turn to some of the neglected composers to find if there are any jewels in the catalog that aren’t part of the general or standard repertoire.

Part of it is that some people also prefer the sound of composers who were “different”, pushed the boundaries, and was unconventional, like the people who swear by Sorabji, or who enjoy very late Scriabin, or the most out-there works of Stravinsky & Prokofiev. They get something from it that those of us who prefer a more standard musical language don’t.

And I’m sure there are many, many other reasons.

I think it’s great though. If we can discover some new masterpieces from those “neglected composers” and their works, it’s all for the better.

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Clementi sonatas become very interesting pretty quickly (not sonatinas). Dussek sonatas pretty ground breaking. Both these composers neglected (unjustly) because --- fashion.

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Originally Posted by boo1234
It’s arrogance under the guise of educating the masses. There’s a reason why pieces and composers are neglected.

Undoubtedly it is true that there are reasons why pieces and composers are neglected. It is not true however that all neglected pieces and composers are of poor quality. If that were true, we should never hear the Schubert piano sonatas - or indeed most of the music of Berlioz - to give a couple of examples. Both have now been rediscovered after a century of neglect. For the best part of 100 years "Les Troyens" was regarded as unperformable, weak, uneven, the product of a weakened composer near the end of his life. Now it is recognised as one of the greatest operas in existence.

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It's nice to not ride on a 'popularity contest' bandwagon.

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I personally love neglected repertoire - it's become a passion of mine. Perhaps it's because I gave up on composing myself - ha!

But seriously, while I do understand that neglected repertoire is neglected for reasons, there should at least be tolerance to the neglected repertoire. Classical music (as an "umbrella" term) is supposed to be the "interesting" genre, but if we're going to be intolerant of neglected repertoire, even when it's a great pianist attempting to make a case for it...

Then I think the people who keep classical music deserve to keep complaining about Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift (the latter of which doesn't command the fame that she used to).

Controversial opinion, I know, but it's my opinion.

I personally think that Busoni has quite a few good compositions (the Piano Concerto tends to obstruct the view of his more approachable masterpieces), alot of Medtner's pieces are on par with Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev; MacDowell, of all people, is very approachable, and brought new wine bottles to the sonata; and not to mention older masters like Clementi, and his wonderful sonatas.

Liszt also wrote some actual masterpieces that get neglected, just like his well-known masterpieces did a century ago; even PW's beloved Chopin was not immune to this phenomenon!

If I were to recommend neglected repertoire, here's my picks:

___

- Busoni: his transcription of the slow movement from Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9, supplied with a cadenza by Busoni

- Busoni: Serenade after Mozart's Don Giovanni

- Busoni: Fantasia nach Bach

- Busoni: Fantasy and Fugue on Ad nos (after Liszt's mammoth organ work)

- Medtner: Sonata No. 5 in G minor Op. 22

- Medtner: Sonata No. 11 in C minor Op. 39 No. 5 "Tragica"

- Medtner: Sonata No. 14 in G major Op. 56 "Idyll"

- Medtner: Skazka (Fairy Tale) in B-flat minor Op. 20 No. 1

- MacDowell: Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 23 (my favorite concerto of all, and one that Van Cliburn thought highly of)

- MacDowell: Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 50 "Eroica"

- Liszt: Pensee des morts from "Harmonies poetiques" S. 173 No. 4

- Liszt: Fantasia on Beethoven's Ruins of Athens S. 122 (or for the solo piano work, S. 389)

- Liszt: Apparition No. 1 in F-sharp major, S. 155 No. 1

- Clementi: Sonata in C major Op. 33 No. 3 "Quasi concerto"

- Clementi: Sonata in A major Op. 25 No. 4

- Clementi: Sonata in B-flat major Op. 24 No. 2

- Clementi: Sonata in F-sharp minor Op. 25 No. 5 (a favorite of Vladimir Horowitz)

- Chopin: Krakowiak, Op. 14

___

Out of these pieces, I've played the Busoni transcription of the Mozart concerto no. 9, the first two movements of the MacDowell concerto no. 2, and the Clementi Sonata "Quasi concerto".

I also plan on tackling a piece, not on this list, the first of Medtner's Three Hymns Op. 49, someday. Why? Because it's in my opinion, great!


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I believe certain composers and their pieces in the less-played repertoire ought to be re-examined.
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I think some composers are just TOO GOOD for the masses to appreciate. *cough*TANEYEV*cough*

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Pianists who play "neglected" works are not listened to much. If they do it for their own amusement then that is perfect, but audiences by and large neglect works for a reason.

Yesterday, in the UK, I heard someone spouting on the radio that we should now, as a result of the war in Ukraine, be boycotting Russian music. So we should apparently cease listening to composers who were active decades or centuries before the current troubles. Political "correctness" is really quite silly in some contexts.


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