Need help! Composers who wrote works while traveling...

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IcedNote
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Need help! Composers who wrote works while traveling...

Post by IcedNote » Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:15 pm

Can you name a few famous composers who are known for writing works while traveling? I know that sounds confusing, but here's an example:

Liszt, "Années de Pèlerinage"

While Liszt was traveling around, he was inspired by the different cultures, sights, sounds, etc. and this can be clearly heard in his music.

So, anyone else?

Thanks!

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

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Re: Need help! Composers who wrote works while traveling...

Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:22 pm

IcedNote wrote:Can you name a few famous composers who are known for writing works while traveling? I know that sounds confusing, but here's an example:

Liszt, "Années de Pèlerinage"

While Liszt was traveling around, he was inspired by the different cultures, sights, sounds, etc. and this can be clearly heard in his music.

So, anyone else?

Thanks!

-G
Mozart wrote on the fly.
Corlyss
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jul 29, 2006 7:27 pm

Oddly I spent today at the National Gallery in Washington where I saw among other things the Henri Rousseau exhibit--a man who depicted an odd juxtaposition of the exotic and fanciful without ever having set foot outside France, almost outside Paris.

I don't want to de-enthuse Iced Note, but truthfully, Western art owes almost nothing to travel, except of the imagination. Think of Shakespeare and the seacoast of Bohemia.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by DavidRoss » Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:22 pm

Haydn, Mozart, Dvořák, Sibelius, Mendelssohn, Bax, Barber all come quickly to mind. There must be many more.

As for "Western art owing nothing to travel"...say WHAT? Of all the preposterously stupid and ill-informed statements I've heard, this very nearly takes the cake. From time immemorial, the arts of literature, poetry, painting, music, and architecture have all owed a tremendous debt to travel, so much so that it's hard to think of a writer, painter, poet, or composer who was not profoundly influenced by his travels.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:11 pm

You are simply complletely wrong, not to mention opportunistic in your attemtpts to come at me. When was the last time you made a constructive post?
DavidRoss wrote:Haydn, Mozart, DvoYák, Sibelius, Mendelssohn, Bax, Barber all come quickly to mind. There must be many more.

As for "Western art owing nothing to travel"...say WHAT? Of all the preposterously stupid and ill-informed statements I've heard, this very nearly takes the cake. From time immemorial, the arts of literature, poetry, painting, music, and architecture have all owed a tremendous debt to travel, so much so that it's hard to think of a writer, painter, poet, or composer who was not profoundly influenced by his travels.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by DavidRoss » Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:58 pm

jbuck919 wrote:You are simply complletely wrong, not to mention opportunistic in your attemtpts to come at me. When was the last time you made a constructive post?
Today, John. And, if you think about it, you will probably agree that correcting false statements is itself constructive. As I recall, you often respond to threads for the sake of disabusing someone of a belief or opinion you regard as mistaken--as in this thread, for instance.

I usually manage to ignore you, having long since discovered that you are often wrong but incapable of admitting error and learning from it. But sometimes I get fed up with pompous pronouncements based on nothing but sheer ignorance and woeful prejudice--especially when preposterous idiocy is presented with your trademark arrogance, as if offering pearls of wisdom from a demi-god condescending to speak with mere mortals.

Your statement that "Western art owes almost nothing to travel" is ignorant punditry of the worst sort, with no basis in reality, but simply generated out of your impoverished imagination. Tell you what--why don't you put that exclusive education you're always bragging about to good use and do some research on the relationship between travel and Western art? If you have the capacity to be honest with yourself, it shouldn't take long to discover just how badly mistaken you have been.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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IcedNote
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Post by IcedNote » Sun Jul 30, 2006 6:16 am

DavidRoss wrote:Haydn, Mozart, Dvořák, Sibelius, Mendelssohn, Bax, Barber all come quickly to mind. There must be many more.
Would you be able to give me specific pieces too? For instance, were Haydn's London Symphonies truly a product of his trips there?

Thanks!

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

DavidRoss
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Post by DavidRoss » Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:15 am

IcedNote wrote:
DavidRoss wrote:Haydn, Mozart, Dvořák, Sibelius, Mendelssohn, Bax, Barber all come quickly to mind. There must be many more.
Would you be able to give me specific pieces too? For instance, were Haydn's London Symphonies truly a product of his trips there?
Some specific examples:
Haydn—The so-called “London” symphonies, written on his travels to England in the 1790s.
Mozart—First symphonies written as a child traveling around Europe with his father in the 1760s. Wrote Mitridate and Lucio Silla during trips to Italy. Later wrote symphony #31 (“Paris”) in…of all places…Paris. In 1780 wrote Idomeneo in Munich.
Dvořák—The 9th Symphony (“From the New World”) written in New York during the 1890s, along with the cello concerto, and the string quintet while visiting Iowa.
Sibelius—2nd Symphony on a trip to Italy in 1901. The Oceanides on a trip to the U.S. in 1914 (largely during the ocean voyage!).
Mendelssohn—The Hebrides and the “Scottish” Symphony, both begun while visiting Scotland in 1829. The “Italian” Symphony, begun in Italy in 1831 and finished in England in 1834.
Bax—Tintagel, begun while visiting Cornwall in 1917.
Barber—the Violin Concerto, written while visiting Switzerland in 1939.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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IcedNote
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Post by IcedNote » Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:30 am

Grazie mille...I have what I need now! :D

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

jserraglio
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Post by jserraglio » Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:30 pm

Provocative topic. Thanks. Here are a few i came up with. Not all were actually written while travelling, except for the Gershwin and Persichetti and the 4th mvt of the Carpenter.

2 notable works by Americans based on their travels.
  • Gershwin, An American in Paris
  • Grofé, Grand Canyon Suite
______________________________

Do Schuman and Persichetti count as famous composers. Yes? you got . . .
  • Schuman Symphony No. 9 "The Ardeatine Caves" (1968) - his response to visiting the memorial to massacred members of the Italian resistance.
  • Persichetti, Sinfonia: Janiculum "Symphony No. 9" (1971) - written during a visit to Rome.
_________________________

then there's also
  • R Strauss, Aus Italien (sketched it in Italy)
  • Berlioz Harold in Italy - inspired by a stay in Italy
______________________________

Works that recreate places the composers were not from but later were closely identified with . . . ?
  • Respighi, Pines and Fountains of Rome
  • George Frederick McKay, Seattle Symphony
  • Louis Gesensway, Four Squares of Philadelphia
__________________________

Works not necessarily inspired by travel but which recreate the sensation of travel . . . ?
  • John Alden Carpenter, Adventures in a Perambulator (the "Lake" movement was written during a trip to Lake George, Wisconsin)
  • John Adams, Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Last edited by jserraglio on Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Lark Ascending » Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:37 pm

The sleeve notes of a CD I have of Schubert's Trout Quintet state that it was composed in 1819 when the composer was on a walking holiday in Upper Austria.
"Look here, I have given up my time, my work, my friends and my career to come here and learn from you, and I am not going to write a petit menuet dans le style de Mozart." - Ralph Vaughan Williams to Maurice Ravel

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Post by PJME » Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:30 pm

Hector Berlioz : read the "hilarious" accounts of his travels to Italy, Hungary, Austria, Prague,Germany,Belgium, Great Britain..many compositions inspired by travel & foreign countries
Albert Roussel : Evocations (symphonic poem with soli ,chorus & orchestra)- depicting 3 Indian cities .Roussel was in the French Marine, so was Jean Cras : Journal de bord (symphonic poem depicting a trip on a large sailing ship 1927)
Darius Milhaud wrote extensively on board of oceanliners , en route to Brazil or the US
I dare to add almost all the compôsers who won the Prix de Rome
propably several composers who made the Grand Tour to italy(18th C) and -why not- all the Franco/Flemish Renaissance/Baroque composers who traveled to Italy...(and Germany)
Many european composers traveled to Paris (19-20th century) ...Delius!
Many european composers went to Berlin ,Leipzig,Dresden to conduct, perform,study,compose

Benjamin Britten wrote music while traveling to the US
Jacques Ibert : Ports of call
Colin Mc Phee: Tabuh Tabuhan (he was living in Bali)
Bartok and Kodaly traveled extensively - as far as Turkey
Camille saint saens : pianoconcerto nr 5 (inspired by a trip to egypt)
...and ther's much more!
Last edited by PJME on Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cannot help it.....

Post by PJME » Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:47 pm

http://www.baroquemusic.org/barcomp.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BAROQUE MUSIC: historical and geographical context.

Given the difficulties of travel and communication two centuries ago, it might easily be assumed that composers would know relatively little of other composers and other countries. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Travel by stage-coach may have been lengthy, and probably only for the well-to-do. But the many post-coach monuments still to be found in Germany, with their journey timings between towns precise down to one-eighth of an hour attest to the high degree of organization and reliability in this mode of travel. Music-making was highly prized by many of the princely and kingly courts, and leading musicians would often be financed for their journeys to bring back the latest styles and compositions. During the first half of the 1700s, German music adopted the Italian forms of the concerto and sonata, and with them, much of the Italian baroque "vocabulary" together with the latest Italian compositions.

ITALY

The papacy returned to Rome in 1377, and after the middle of the 15th century the city became a center of Renaissance culture. Massive papal patronage of the arts began to enrich Rome. During the papacy (1447-1455) of Nicholas V the defense walls were repaired, palaces built, and churches restored. Major artists and architects now worked in Rome, and by the end of the century it had supplanted Florence as the primary focal point of the Renaissance. The sack of the city in 1527 by Habsburg mercenaries was a temporary setback. During the 16th century Michelangelo, Donato Bramante, Raphael, and other artists worked for the popes, and construction of the new Saint Peter’s Basilica progressed. It was not until the reign (1585-1590) of Pope Sixtus V, however, that the dense, confused medieval urban pattern began to be modernized. Three major streets were laid out to radiate from the Piazza del Popolo to the center of the city. Sixtus also built squares and fountains, and he restored the Acqua Felice aqueduct. In addition, old churches were refurbished, and Saint Peter’s dome was completed.

It was hardly surprising that music too should flourish against this rich visual background. Typical of baroque musicians active in Rome was the composer and violinist Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713), whose style of playing became the basis for the violin technique of the 18th and 19th centuries, and whose chamber music compositions were far-reaching in their influence. Born in Fusignano, he studied in nearby Bologna and after 1675 lived in Rome. There his patrons included Queen Christina of Sweden and, after 1690, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, (1667-1740), librettist and important music patron who as vice-chancellor of the church resided in the Palazzo della Cancelleria where Poetico-Musicali Accademie were held and operas and oratorios performed. The most widely published and reprinted composer before the Austrian Joseph Haydn, Corelli was the first composer to gain an international reputation solely on the basis of his instrumental music. Many elements of his style became commonplace in the 18th century, and his works are early examples of the newly evolved system of major and minor tonality. As the preeminent violin virtuoso of the day, he taught many leading violinist-composers of the 18th century, among them the Italian Francesco Geminiani.

Many eminent composers of the baroque period, notably Handel for example, sojourned in Rome, and Corelli's influence was to spread itself throughout Europe. Rome was of course also featured on the Grand Tour, which the wealthy of Europe and especially England were enjoying in increasing numbers during the 1700s.

Rivalling Rome in its musical influence if not in its architectural and artistic splendor, Naples owed its outstanding position in music to the inordinate number of talented musicians to which the city gave birth - as well as to its music conservatories which educated and served them so well. Indeed Naples has aptly been called the conservatory of 18th century music and did in fact boast four conservatories of the highest musical caliber.

Scarcely any great composer of the first half of the settecento was not influenced by Neapolitan music. Indeed, most great musical figures of the time visited Naples or stayed and worked there for some time. The brilliant Nicola Porpora (b. Aug. 19, 1686, in Naples; d. there February 1767), for instance, not only taught Joseph Haydn but knew intimately such world-renowned figures as Bononcini, Farinelli, Handel, and Hasse. In 1733, he went to London, joining first Hasse, then Bononcini, to compete with the giant Handel. Some say that Porpora's influence modernized Handel's late operatic style of composition — or at least had had that tendency up until Porpora's departure from England for Italy in 1737.

The universally acknowledged master of Neapolitan Baroque music was Alessandro Scarlatti (b. May 2, 1660, in Palermo; d. October 24, 1725, in Naples). Almost overnight he revolutionized the provincial musical atmosphere prevailing at Naples before he arrived in February of 1684 as new maestro di cappella at the Viceregal Chapel. Direct inheritor of the grand Italian traditions of opera, oratorio, cantata, and instrumental composition received from Pietro Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676), Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674), Alessandro Stradella (1642-1682), and Giovanni Legrenzi (1626-1690), Scarlatti was well equipped to revolutionize Neapolitan musical life. The abrupt resignation of the old Neapolitan Guard - Francesco Provenzale (ca. 1627-1704) and six of his colleagues, all disappointed that Provenzale was passed over in favor of Scarlatti upon the death of Pietro Andrea Ziani (ca. 1630-1684), cleared the way for Scarlatti's breath of fresh air. Scarlatti's operas and cantatas, his serenatas and oratorios, and especially his instrumental works soon brought new life to Neapolitan music. He was to write over one hundred operas, six hundred cantatas and a number of oratorios. He was also frequently commissioned by members of the European nobility to compose sonatas for wind and string instruments as well as cembalo pieces and concerti grossi. His set of Sinfonie di Concerto Grosso are currently available in the Philips label performed by I Musici.

Domenico Scarlatti (b. Oct. 26, 1685, in Naples; d. July 23, 1757, in Madrid) was the sixth son of Alessandro Scarlatti. The father no doubt exposed Domenico to the best possible training in Naples, taking him in about 1708 to Venice to study with Francesco Gasparini (1668-1727), himself a pupil of Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713). From Venice the younger Scarlatti journeyed to Rome — with Handel, according to report — where both performed before Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni. About 1720 he moved to Lisbon, and some ten years later to Madrid. He is perhaps best-known today for his keyboard sonatas, in which he borrowed liberally from Hispanic folk tunes and rhythms creating a unique blend which might be called "Iberian Baroque".

Francesco Durante (b. March 31, 1684, in Fratta Maggiore; d. August 13, 1755, in Naples) was the busiest of Neapolitan teachers, holding posts at both the Sant' Onofrio and Santa Maria di Loreto conservatories, and teaching, playing, and composing elsewhere as well. His career developed at the best possible time for taking maximum advantage of the new depths and richness, the new musical fluency which Alessandro Scarlatti had created for Naples. Durante so profited from these fortunate circumstances that Rousseau was encouraged to name him "the greatest harmonist in Italy, that is to say, of the world." For further information on this composer see the link at the bottom of this page.

But for consistently high inspiration few composers of the time, Neapolitan or otherwise, can compare with Giovanni Batista Pergolesi (b. January 4, 1710, in Jesi; d. March 16, 1736, in Pozzuoli). His career also coincided with the most fruitful period of Neapolitan musical history. It was Pergolesi's destiny to take advantage (within two and a half decades of a tragically foreshortened life) of the grand opportunity for completely new musical formulation which Scarlatti's works provided. Almost single-handedly Pergolesi forged a new dramatic style, utilizing for his purposes the lowly opera buffa, and bringing to the stage and concert hall all the subtleties of psychological, idiomatic, and motivic development and all the dramatic flexibility so vital to the art of musical characterization which Mozart was to bring to perfection.

Venice, the great independent trading city-on-the-water in the north, was also a place of great wealth, architectural masterpieces, and musical influence, the most famous among its musical sons being Antonio Vivaldi. Venice also featured on the European nobility's "Grand Tour". In retrospect however we may perhaps sadly note that the economic power and wealth of Venice was already in decline, and by the end of Vivaldi's lifetime economic recession had set in from which Venice was never to recover.

An underlying, all-pervading and inspirational influence on Italian baroque music was provided by its violin-makers, mainly centered in Cremona - the Amati family in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Guarneri and Stradivari families in the 17th and 18th. It might be suggested that in a similar way the great organ-builders of Germany, Arp Schnitger in the north and Gottfried Silbermann in the south, inspired and challenged composers such as Buxtehude and JS Bach to compose organ works which would exploit to the full the varied and majestic tonalities of these notable instruments.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jul 30, 2006 5:44 pm

jbuck919 wrote: Western art owes almost nothing to travel
Not so, particularly after travel became safe and predictable in the 19th Cent. The entire en plein aire movement was intimately related to travel. Why? Because city space was inherently unpleasant and studios were only good for portraits and finishing up works sketched off-site, i.e., while traveling. Italy and Southern France were particularly popular destinations for artists. I'm a little rusty on how travel inspired particular music, but this I know and know to an absolute certainty: the character of French music was altered forever by Felicien David's excursions to the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Egypt.
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Post by karlhenning » Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:32 pm

I composed my Alleluia in D while commuting on the MBTA.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by karlhenning » Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:36 pm

Somewhat less facetiously; my ballet White Nights is in some respects a musical memoir of the time I spent in St Petersburg.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
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Post by Gary » Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:51 pm

Is there a recording of White Nights?
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:05 pm

karlhenning wrote:I composed my Alleluia in D while commuting on the MBTA.

Cheers,
~Karl
Similarly, it hardly counts as travel inspiration that Schubert, who almost never left Vienna, wrote the Trout Quintet while on vacation elsewhere in Austria. A lot of this controversy, if there is one, resolves itself if we define our terms. in the first place, many great composers literally did not do any travel worth mentioning (we can start with Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms, the last of whom refused even to go to England to accept an honorary degree). Beyond that, we can decide for ourselves how significant intra-European travel was for other composers. Obviously, what we have from Handel and Haydn is different because of their connections with England, but if the patronage had happened to be located in the closest German-speaking city, then so would the inspiration have been. Mozart was famously cosmopolitan, but Bach, whose idea of travel was the difference between Thuringia and Saxony, managed without ever going to those places to absorb everything music in Europe had to offer at his time.

(If I wanted to err in the other direction, come to think of it, I can trump everybody who has posted so far. Bach's most famous trip, to Berlin, inspired the Musical Offering. Harold your Italies to that one.)

If one wants to get closer to the present, well, Bartok as extensively influenced by his emigration to America, to wit , we did a pretty good job of destroying him..

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by jserraglio » Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:06 am

  • Ives: Orchestral Sets 1 and 2 (did he really compose on trains on his way to work?)
  • Don Gillis: Tulsa, a Symphonic Sketch in Oil; Amarillo Ste; Symphony X 'the Big D' (sadly, havent heard the last two yet, but what Ive heard of Gillis I like.)

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Post by pizza » Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:21 am

jserraglio wrote:
  • Ives: Orchestral Sets 1 and 2 (did he really compose on trains on his way to work?)
Probably not, although his scribblings look as though he might have! The last movement of the Second Orchestral Set -- At the End of a Tragic Day, the Voice of the People Again Arose -- resulted from being on the NY elevated and listening to an organ grinder play Nearer my God to Thee shortly after the sinking of the Lusitania.

I don't think Copland's El Salon Mexico was mentioned. Then there's Villa Lobos' Little Train of the Caipira and Honneger's Pacific 231, and don't forget Michael Daugherty's UFOs and Philadelphia Story!

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Post by jserraglio » Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:12 am

pizza wrote:
jserraglio wrote:
  • Ives: Orchestral Sets 1 and 2 (did he really compose on trains on his way to work?)
Probably not, although his scribblings look as though he might have! The last movement of the Second Orchestral Set -- At the End of a Tragic Day, the Voice of the People Again Arose -- resulted from being on the NY elevated and listening to an organ grinder play Nearer my God to Thee shortly after the sinking of the Lusitania.

I don't think Copland's El Salon Mexico was mentioned. Then there's Villa Lobos' Little Train of the Caipira and Honneger's Pacific 231, and don't forget Michael Daugherty's UFOs and Philadelphia Story!
Thanks for the info on Ives, I'm s l o w l y coming to appreciate him, via Morton Gould's recordings. I never heard of the Villa Lobos, gratias! Pacific 231, high time to listen to that one again. Those two by Daugherty you mention are on a prime 'want to hear' list. I reckon citing Metropolis would be stretching things a bit too far but there you go, pretty soon it'll be time to climb ev'ry Hovhaness mountain and cross ev'ry Alpensinfonie.

Niagara Falls as a mythic place that inspired music? Grofe wrote a Niagara Falls Suite (another one of those fascinating Naxos recordings I have yet to hear) and Daugherty has something called Niagara for band. There's gotta be other Niagara works worth a listen.
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Post by Cyril Ignatius » Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:34 pm

Lark Ascending wrote:The sleeve notes of a CD I have of Schubert's Trout Quintet state that it was composed in 1819 when the composer was on a walking holiday in Upper Austria.
On a related note, and depending how narrowly we define "while traveling", Schubert wrote nothing less than his Ave Maria while vacationing with a few friends in a small Austrian village.
Cyril Ignatius

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Post by Cyril Ignatius » Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:53 pm

An interesting prospect on this topic would be the Russian emmigrant Sergei Rachmaninov. Maybe someone can provide details here. But after the completion of his Second Piano Concerto, he travelled more and more, and it is well known that he was among the most prominent composer-concert soloists of his time, constantly playing his own and others concertos in the concert halls. All of which makes it quite possible that some of his middle and latter works - Symphony No. 2 (at least part written in Dresden), Piano Concerto No. 3 and 4, the Pagannini Rhapsody, and some of his smaller pieces could have been written at least partly while traveling.

Then again, he did have homes at Lake Lucerne, on Long Island New York, and eventually, believe it or not, Bevely Hills, where he was known to surround himself with Russian things to help him compose. But he was on the road - or on the train more likely.
Cyril Ignatius

Alban Berg

Post by Alban Berg » Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:56 pm

DavidRoss wrote:Haydn, Mozart, Dvořák, Sibelius, Mendelssohn, Bax, Barber all come quickly to mind. There must be many more.

As for "Western art owing nothing to travel"...say WHAT? Of all the preposterously stupid and ill-informed statements I've heard, this very nearly takes the cake. From time immemorial, the arts of literature, poetry, painting, music, and architecture have all owed a tremendous debt to travel, so much so that it's hard to think of a writer, painter, poet, or composer who was not profoundly influenced by his travels.
Matisse, Monet, Gauguin . . .

Melville, Conrad, Byron, Henry James, Keats, Hemingway . . .

Balanchine . . .

- just a few who come quickly to my mind . . . .
Last edited by Alban Berg on Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by karlhenning » Mon Jul 31, 2006 4:05 pm

Gary wrote:Is there a recording of White Nights?
Not a proper recording, no. MIDI of the Overture, Act I, Intermezzo I, and the beginning of Act II fit on a single disc, though.
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Post by karlhenning » Mon Jul 31, 2006 4:14 pm

jserraglio wrote:
  • Ives: Orchestral Sets 1 and 2 (did he really compose on trains on his way to work?)
I have composed on the train to work (more often, it is editing or proofing, but I have done actual creative work on the commute, too), so I certainly find it at the very least possible that Ives did.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by michael renardy » Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:03 pm

but Bach, whose idea of travel was the difference between Thuringia and Saxony, managed without ever going to those places to absorb everything music in Europe had to offer at his time.
Bach once walked to Luebeck (a distance of 250 miles!) to listen to Buxtehude.

Alban Berg

Post by Alban Berg » Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:37 pm

michael renardy wrote:
but Bach, whose idea of travel was the difference between Thuringia and Saxony, managed without ever going to those places to absorb everything music in Europe had to offer at his time.
Bach once walked to Luebeck (a distance of 250 miles!) to listen to Buxtehude.
Sure. But he was not nearly as cosmopolitan as Handel, who was born in Saxony but spent time in Italy before eventually settling in England.

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Post by DavidRoss » Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:12 pm

michael renardy wrote:
but Bach, whose idea of travel was the difference between Thuringia and Saxony, managed without ever going to those places to absorb everything music in Europe had to offer at his time.
Bach once walked to Luebeck (a distance of 250 miles!) to listen to Buxtehude.
And stayed for four months, soaking up all he could from Buxtehude, which influenced his subsequent work.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

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Post by Ken » Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:38 pm

I know I'm pointing out the opposite theme here, but on the other hand, look at the quality of works churned out by composers who were relatively insulated from the 'mainstream' musical scenes of the period. Modest Mussorgsky immediately comes to mind.
Du sollst schlechte Compositionen weder spielen, noch, wenn du nicht dazu gezwungen bist, sie anhören.

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Post by Gary » Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:30 am

karlhenning wrote:
Gary wrote:Is there a recording of White Nights?
Not a proper recording, no. MIDI of the Overture, Act I, Intermezzo I, and the beginning of Act II fit on a single disc, though.
Okay, thanks. Let us know when a complete recording of it comes out.
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Post by RebLem » Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:07 am

DavidRoss wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:You are simply complletely wrong, not to mention opportunistic in your attemtpts to come at me. When was the last time you made a constructive post?
Today, John. And, if you think about it, you will probably agree that correcting false statements is itself constructive. As I recall, you often respond to threads for the sake of disabusing someone of a belief or opinion you regard as mistaken--as in this thread, for instance.

I usually manage to ignore you, having long since discovered that you are often wrong but incapable of admitting error and learning from it. But sometimes I get fed up with pompous pronouncements based on nothing but sheer ignorance and woeful prejudice--especially when preposterous idiocy is presented with your trademark arrogance, as if offering pearls of wisdom from a demi-god condescending to speak with mere mortals.

Your statement that "Western art owes almost nothing to travel" is ignorant punditry of the worst sort, with no basis in reality, but simply generated out of your impoverished imagination. Tell you what--why don't you put that exclusive education you're always bragging about to good use and do some research on the relationship between travel and Western art? If you have the capacity to be honest with yourself, it shouldn't take long to discover just how badly mistaken you have been.
I suppose next, the two of you will be having your kids write cute little messages on rockets before you fire them off at one another's houses. What a topic to start a fight about! I have a better idea.

How about a thread on
Composers who wrote music on their wedding nights
Composers who wrote music on their deathbeds
Composers who wrote music while taking a dump
Composers who were forced to stand in the corner for writing music during math class
Composers who wrote music while selling insurance
Composers who wrote music while proctoring college entrance exams
Composers who wrote music while riding a train
Composers who wrote music while riding an airplane
Composers who wrote music while tobogganing
Composers who wrote music while on a seagoing ship
Composers who wrote music on a paddle wheel steamer
Composers who wrote music on coffee breaks


Or, how about a paragraph at the end of each post on Why this post was necessary

What the hell difference does it make? :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Post by diegobueno » Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:33 am

jbuck919 wrote: If one wants to get closer to the present, well, Bartok as extensively influenced by his emigration to America, to wit , we did a pretty good job of destroying him..
Huh???????

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Post by karlhenning » Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:39 am

keninottawa wrote:I know I'm pointing out the opposite theme here, but on the other hand, look at the quality of works churned out by composers who were relatively insulated from the 'mainstream' musical scenes of the period. Modest Mussorgsky immediately comes to mind.
Actually, Haydn comes to mind even more immediately.

Whatever you say about the quality of Musorgsky's music, he wasn't a churner :-)

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by DavidRoss » Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:42 am

RebLem wrote:how about a paragraph at the end of each post on Why this post was necessary
Gee, Robert—are you still smarting because I caught you out in some (intentional?) misrepresentations in one of your posts unnecessarily attacking me on the other forum? If your purpose were to understand and contribute, rather than to promote your ideology and slander those who don’t walk in lockstep with you, then you might recognize that:

(a) Nothing on this or any other internet forum is necessary,
(b) The original poster, a pleasant young fellow studying music at university, might very well have had excellent practical as well as pedagogical reasons for his interest in the subject, and
(c) Your petty, unprovoked assault on him, me, and others not only fails to pass your “necessity” test, but also gives the lie to your self image as so enlightened and morally superior to those who don’t share your views.

BTW, how many of the threads you’ve started would pass the “necessity” test?

BBTW, if you think a thread is not worth your time, you are not required to respond to it, or even to read it! Cool, huh? :D
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Alban Berg

Post by Alban Berg » Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:20 pm

RebLem wrote:How about a thread on
Composers who wrote music on their wedding nights
Composers who wrote music on their deathbeds
Composers who wrote music while taking a dump
Composers who were forced to stand in the corner for writing music during math class
Composers who wrote music while selling insurance
Composers who wrote music while proctoring college entrance exams
Composers who wrote music while riding a train
Composers who wrote music while riding an airplane
Composers who wrote music while tobogganing
Composers who wrote music while on a seagoing ship
Composers who wrote music on a paddle wheel steamer
Composers who wrote music on coffee breaks
Because, other than the fifth item (which might have some relevance to Ives, and to Wallace Stevens if we're including literature) and possibly the eighth (which has some relevance to the genesis of Stockhausen's "Carré"), none of these topics is germane to anything. Whereas the theme of travel is at least valuable towards understanding the careers and interests of many important creators.

And of course no thread on any message board is "necessary." It's just a matter of degree which threads are more unnecessary than all the others.

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