That concert is tonight at the Market Square Church at 6:00 - that's not a typo: it really is at six o'clock!
His situation merely points out the fact how much music is out there that is not being heard. When you consider it, there are a lot of composers we hear on a regular basis but in reality that only scratches the surface of all the composers, at what ever level, have tried to climb this mountain we call "lasting fame." Could there be something out there - other composers, other works - hidden from view (or rather, our awareness), who might speak to a later generation of listeners?
After all, if it had been up to Beethoven's contemporaries, we'd never have heard his Violin Concerto if it hadn't been for a teenager named Joseph Joachim who decided to play it 17 years after the composer's death and brought it into the repertoire.
Or if Mendelssohn hadn't been passionate about a neglected work that had never been performed since its composer's death. Of course, someone else might have dusted off Bach's St. Matthew Passion, but the point is, somebody had to.
Peter Sirotin and Ya-Ting Chang, always on the look-out for something new and interesting, heard Melartin's String Trio (Op. 133) at the Bard Festival and decided they wanted to include it on some future program. It was written in 1927, ironically about the time Sibelius 'retired' from composing (though he would live another 30 years and famously destroy many other works including an eighth symphony). Melartin himself died ten years after completing this trio, leaving a 7th and an 8th symphony unfinished.
Yet out of some 185 published works, I'd never heard of him before, myself, and considering my interest in the obscure, that's (frankly) saying something!
So, no doubt, you'll have a chance to discover something you've probably never heard before at tonight's concert.
Here are links to some YouTube videos I found of his music, to give you an idea what to expect: from his 5th Symphony and his 6th Symphony (the last one completed) and his earlier Violin Concerto.
There's much to say about the young Richard Strauss finding his voice - and you can read that over at my other blog, Thoughts on a Train. It also includes videos of the complete Piano Quartet and then links to many of the works Strauss composed before and after it.
Enjoy the discovery!
- Dick Strawser