sonatas, and there are lots of the latter (ditto Mozart). There’s still a lot to do, but as I’ve mentioned before specific to individual composers: in some ways, the discovery process, or the order in which I personally stumble upon what I enjoy, can be more important than an arguably more “logical” approach based on the publishing date of the pieces or their historical significance.
I was thinking the other day who could possibly be the most-featured composer on our little site so far. I started taking a mental tally of what pieces we’d done by each composer (Mozart Monday aside), and I THINK I have come up with the right answer. My thought, though, was that if I’d completely forgotten a piece I’d done by a composer I remember having worked on, then maybe I should go over it again.
I’m not going to include links to my referenced posts here; there would be literally dozens of them. They’re terribly interesting though; you should read every one!
So I sat down with pen and paper and made a list of all the composers I can think of who have multiple entries. Some entries on that list are quite pitiful, and are on my list of pieces for rewrites, but I’m still counting them.
I knew from the get go that there’d be some composers and some pieces that are fundamental to the repertoire that I just…. Won’t get around to for a long time. The list of pieces I’ve written about here is at once evidence of my taste in music, and where my curiosity lies. Some pieces here (Arensky’s concerto, Ravel’s concerto, for example), are pieces worth listening to and learning about, but are by no means favorites. I’ve done both of Barber’s symphonies, and recall enjoying the first more than the second, but I’d maybe be hard pressed to give you the name of the tune even if you played me a longish-clip of it, if only because it’s been so long since I listened.
As another example, I have not yet spoken a word of any of the Beethoven piano concerti or
In that regard, I have been curious where the majority of my posts have centered, and on whom. After some minor thinking and deliberation, and without cheating, I have come to the following tally.
Composer and number of pieces:
The top spot is a surprising one. I wouldn’t have thought, nor did I plan, to feature Prokofiev’s works as much as I have, but it’s been pretty logical so far: his first three piano concertos, and his first and last symphony, as well as a middle one that I will need to rewrite. It is readily apparently that I still haven’t touched a single of his sonatas yet.
Mahler is an obvious contender, but the scope of his pieces tend to limit the frequency with which I can post him. We’ve done four of his symphonies (1, 2, 5, 6) and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.
Tchaikovsky has been prompted mostly by live performances (chances to hear his fourth and fifth live, which were all over concert programs last season), and I will be enjoying a performance of his first piano concerto next weekend.
Writing about Chopin is intimidating, as is Beethoven, although he will be making an appearance soon. They’re just such well-known pieces, pieces that far more lucid and professional people have said far more intelligent things about, so… I feel like I’m coming a little late to the game there, especially when you consider I’ve listened to (more times) and written about like, Ornstein’s fourth piano sonata and other far more obscure things, but still haven’t gotten into Beethoven yet…. But we will fix that.
Ravel and Prokofiev seem to be just so…. Interesting, unique, and thought provoking in their own yet still very similar ways. They each have a very distinct voice, and I find that aspect fascinating.
Sibelius has had his first three symphonies and his amazing violin concerto, and I have yet to address his later symphonies or other symphonic works. We have 4-7 left to do, and tons of other stuff of his.
Again, notable as entirely missing from the roster are Haydn, Bach, opera as a whole, Saint-Saens, any of the Strausses, Debussy, Handel, Elgar, Stravinsky, and tons of others who should have far more attention than the one or two mentions I’ve given them so far. I almost included Brahms and Mendelssohn as “completely absent,” but I HAVE touched on them. We did Brahms’ first symphony, a piece I still feel I did an injustice to, and the latter’s violin concerto, a piece that I got rather bored of, but is nice enough.
All that being said, I was relieved that my mental count is pretty close to if not exactly what the actual tally is. If the Mozart Monday series were counted, Mozart would obviously win. He would have more than double Prokofiev’s posts, but I am willing to admit that my insights on his early symphonies are less than inspired (and so are, some would argue, the symphonies themselves).
So that’s that… as we’re on an interlude of sorts this week, I figured this was as good a time as any to do some fact checking. I never would have thought that Prokofiev would be the most featured, and I’m still not sure why that’s the case. I do love his first and seventh symphonies, and while none of the three piano concertos so far are favorites of mine, I do appreciate them greatly, especially after understanding them better.
I’m very excited about what’s happening next week, so enjoy Thursday’s little ditty, and I will see you soon.