Another questions series: "minor composers and their compositions": good idea/bad idea?

Quite sometime ago I began a series of questions, the topic of which was "note-worthy but under appreciated composers; 29 were covered before termination:;_ylt=Ak_Fa...

Initially, I had asked for nominations of those to be considered, and received around 40, before curtailing submissions. The series gradually gained momentum for a while, the most responses to a single question were somewhere around 20+, if I remember correctly; but then participation begin to wane, so as stated, decided to end it with the 29th question.

Considering that there seems to me at least, an increasing number of interested and knowledgeable participants on this forum currently - some, unusually young - I thought that now might be a good time for the introduction of a similar series. I would plan to post a question once weekly, probably on Wednesday. What's your opinion? If a positive one, would you care to submit a nomination to be considered?

So as to make this a completely legitimate question according to Yahoo's guidelines - proceeding on the assumption that such a series is well received - the first composer/composition I choose to be considered is Jaromir Weinberger:

And his "Polka and Fugue" from "Svwanda the Bagpiper":

Youtube thumbnail


And at the end of each question, I would ask you to rate the composer/composition on a scale of 1-10(10 being most definitely)whether or not to recommend that each major symphony orchestra in this(or other)country perform it - the composition - or another representative one by the composer, at a minimum of at least every 5 yrs. or so.

Your opinions?




Thanks to all for your responses and expressions of interest in and support for such another series.

Will do my best to try and keep to a regular Wednesdays posting of each question in the series; at the outset here, have no idea how long it might run nor which composers and their compositions to feature: any nominations will be welcome.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    An interesting first choice - a composer who would also sit snugly in the category of 'one-hit wonder' composers. A shame most of Weinberger's music is ignored today. I can't say I've heard much of it, but I'd certainly be keen to explore.

    One of the comments on the YouTube video suggested the influence of Max Reger, with which I would probably concur. Also discernable, however, is Weinberger's heritage derived from Smetana, Dvořák, Suk, Novák and, to a certain extent, Janáček.

    A nice 'easy' one to start your new series, Alberich, with which I wish you the best of luck (hooked again, I see!).

    Composer: 7/10 (probably, with little else to judge him by)

    Composition: in the context of my rating above - 9/10

    I think that ANYTHING which draws attention to unjustly neglected composers and music is a worthwhile exercise - especially with the number of 'lazy listeners' whose drivelling about the same handful of second-rate compositions time and time again we have to wade through. More strength to your elbow!

  • 1 decade ago

    Just one criticism: The initial statement of the polka was too much cluttered with counterpoint. When a listener is hearing a theme for the first time, the listener already has enough of a task in learning the theme.

    When the theme is restated, on the other hand, the listener might get bored hearing the exact same thing a second time. That is the time to add some counterpoint. For some good examples, listen to the slow movement from the Tschaikovsky piano concerto, the slow movement from Tschaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, and the slow movement from Franck's Symphony in d minor.

    The second theme in the fugue didn't last long--about 1:34 to 2:01. He could have done more with it. The main theme is nice, but he is giving us an overdose. I think it would be very nice if it recurred every few minutes in a rondo.

    The fugue, however, is a fine piece--no if's, and';s, or but's. I know how difficult it is to write a good fugue becase I have tried. On top of that, Weinberger had to adapt for full orchestra a form which was originally designed for string orchestra.

    Weinberger is obviously an able contrapuntalist; it is just unfortunate that he let the counterpoint-is-always-good myth spoil his polka.

  • Joshua
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    What a fantastic idea, Alberich. I, for one, would be more than happy to oblige.

    As I'm writing this, I'm listening to the wonderful polka. It's full of energy and life, I love it. Weinberger polished off the fugue perfectly! The first theme, though, I think he could have done a bit better. But hey, who am I to criticize?

    A wonderful composition: 8/10

    I have just finished reading the article on the composer. He is quite a genius (started conducting at the age of 10?! Wow).

    Composer: 9/10.

    What fun!

  • 1 decade ago

    I think it would be a damned fine idea.

    Yes "note-worthy but under appreciated composers",

    I remember seeing a couple of these questions when I first began frequenting this site.

    You must have been approaching the end of the series as I only recall a few before they stopped.

    At the time I didn't have net access at home and so was never able to listen to the music links you posted.

    Best of luck,

    sounds like fun and could prove very stimulating and informative.

    (Edit After Listening)

    Never heard of this fellow before.

    It progressively grew on me from around 06:30+.

    I even sensed a small smidgen of Grieg I think,

    somewhere around the middle.

    I could just be insane,

    I definitely agree on the Dvorak influence as Del_icious_Manager has mentioned.

    After subsequent reading of the small Wiki article,

    I'll award it 9 in both categories.

    I had a quick search for more of his orchestral/instrumental works yet only found this small extract from presumably his "Bible Poems" for Organ?

    Youtube thumbnail


Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.