Discussion:
The greatest Orchestrators
Add Reply
steve
2017-12-26 23:58:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
The other day I was listening to a podcast about Respighi’s Tone poems. One of the commentators said that Respighi was one of the top “3 or 4” Orchestrators. That got me to thinking “who would I rate as the top 5 Orchestrators”

First a bit of weaseling: Modern composers have a lot more orchestral recourses than say composers of the classic era. So it is a bit unfair. Who can know what composers of the Baroque, Classic or Romantic era would have done with modern instrumentation. Also there are my preferences & prejudices.

So here are my thoughts:
The usual suspects:
1. Berlioz
2. Ravel
3. Richard Strauss

Others who had to work with fewer resources
4. Bach- who really know but I think he does with the Brandenburg Concertos is interesting
5. Mozart

I know a lot of people would rate Mahler highly but I have never been much of a fan of Mahler

I think you could make a case for some film composers but I’m not sure who

There ought to be some from the 20th & 21st century but I’m not sure who – surly not Philip Glass. Maybe Sibelius, Corligliano, ?

I’m sure somebody else can come up with a better list.

Steve Gerdemann
Randy Lane
2017-12-27 01:49:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I might add Rimsky K.
Raymond Hall
2017-12-27 04:11:18 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Absolutely, without doubt, followed by Berlioz, R. Strauss, Ravel, Bax, Wagner and Stravinsky. All in their own music, as I disregard composer's efforts in orchestrating other composer's works. Debussy's La Mer is a marvel too.

Ray Hall, Taree
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-29 04:19:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Absolutely, without doubt, followed by Berlioz...
According to the following:

- Blessed with a completely original approach to music and a unique sense of sound, he opened up a new world of sonority through his genius as an orchestrator.

https://books.google.com/books?id=h7544gBZ07EC&q=%22genius+as+an+orchestrator%22&dq=%22genius+as+an+orchestrator%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiijbOKra7YAhUS2WMKHXl1BrIQ6AEIVjAJ
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-29 04:43:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Absolutely, without doubt, followed by Berlioz, R. Strauss, Ravel...
According to the following:

- Ravel's orchestrations of two Debussy piano pieces, the Sarabande from the suite Pour le piano, and Danse, an arrangement of the early TaranteUe styrienne, make delightful and comparatively rare items in Chailly's disc demonstrating Ravel's genius as an orchestrator.
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-27 06:11:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Randy Lane
I might add Rimsky K.
According to the following:

- Like his contemporary Russian composer, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky was an exceptionally gifted orchestrator.

https://books.google.com/books?id=yIJ7wC617rgC&pg=PA12&dq=%22Like+his+contemporary+Russian+composer,+Nikolay+Rimsky-Korsakov,+Tchaikovsky+was+an+exceptionally+gifted+orchestrator.%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjl6ZncwanYAhVC8GMKHUmuC6YQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=%22Like%20his%20contemporary%20Russian%20composer%2C%20Nikolay%20Rimsky-Korsakov%2C%20Tchaikovsky%20was%20an%20exceptionally%20gifted%20orchestrator.%22&f=false
g***@gmail.com
2018-09-17 02:47:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Randy Lane
I might add Rimsky K.
Didn't he write a book on orchestration?:

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/33900/33900-h/33900-h.htm
g***@gmail.com
2018-11-03 09:28:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Randy Lane
I might add Rimsky K.
Concerning Dorati's Scheherazade:

- Above all else, though, this recording was the first to compel appreciation for the splendor of Rimsky's extraordinary skill and inventiveness as an orchestrator.

http://www.classicalnotes.net/classics2/rimsky.html

m***@gmail.com
2017-12-27 05:52:58 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by steve
The other day I was listening to a podcast about Respighi’s Tone poems. One of the commentators said that Respighi was one of the top “3 or 4” Orchestrators. That got me to thinking “who would I rate as the top 5 Orchestrators”
First a bit of weaseling: Modern composers have a lot more orchestral recourses than say composers of the classic era. So it is a bit unfair. Who can know what composers of the Baroque, Classic or Romantic era would have done with modern instrumentation. Also there are my preferences & prejudices.
1. Berlioz
2. Ravel
3. Richard Strauss
Others who had to work with fewer resources
4. Bach- who really know but I think he does with the Brandenburg Concertos is interesting
5. Mozart
I know a lot of people would rate Mahler highly but I have never been much of a fan of Mahler
I think you could make a case for some film composers but I’m not sure who
There ought to be some from the 20th & 21st century but I’m not sure who – surly not Philip Glass. Maybe Sibelius, Corligliano, ?
I’m sure somebody else can come up with a better list.
Steve Gerdemann
I would add Rameau -- the first great orchestral colorist. Also, I don't know if he's one of the "top five" but I would add Mendelssohn. He's rarely showy, but his orchestra music has great clarity and color.

Martin
Daniel Pyle
2017-12-27 18:19:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
And Elgar, and maybe Vaughan williams also.
Ricardo Jimenez
2017-12-27 22:28:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Orchestration is something you can be trained to do well. Almost all
contemporary musicians, who do it, are good at it. The fact that some
great composers of the past were bad at it shows how much progress has
been made due to the availability of recordings.

I just completed watching the 3 extant Monteverdi operas on blu-ray.
The orchestration was done by Elena Kats-Chernin and was very
imaginative in using exotic instruments of Hungarian and
Middle-Eastern origin like bandoneon and djoza. She didn't utilize
20th century harmony as Henze did in his version of Il Ritorno
d'Ulisse. I really enjoyed the experience and it had more to due
with the excellent music making than the visual shocks throughout,
like the sex and full frontal nudity in Poppea.
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-29 04:40:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
And Elgar...
According to this recent article:

- It's a big symphony with a lot of big sound, but the music was never muddy–always articulated clearly with ear-catching balances that highlighted Elgar's genius as an orchestrator.

https://www.milwaukeemag.com/majestic-symphony-start-edo-de-waarts-milwaukee-farewell/
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-27 06:00:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by steve
The other day I was listening to a podcast about Respighi’s Tone poems. One of the commentators said that Respighi was one of the top “3 or 4” Orchestrators. That got me to thinking “who would I rate as the top 5 Orchestrators”
First a bit of weaseling: Modern composers have a lot more orchestral recourses than say composers of the classic era. So it is a bit unfair. Who can know what composers of the Baroque, Classic or Romantic era would have done with modern instrumentation. Also there are my preferences & prejudices.
1. Berlioz
2. Ravel
3. Richard Strauss
Others who had to work with fewer resources
4. Bach- who really know but I think he does with the Brandenburg Concertos is interesting
5. Mozart
I know a lot of people would rate Mahler highly but I have never been much of a fan of Mahler
I think you could make a case for some film composers but I’m not sure who
There ought to be some from the 20th & 21st century but I’m not sure who – surly not Philip Glass. Maybe Sibelius, Corligliano, ?
I’m sure somebody else can come up with a better list.
Steve Gerdemann
According to the following:

- Like his contemporary Russian composer, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky was an exceptionally gifted orchestrator.

https://books.google.com/books?id=yIJ7wC617rgC&pg=PA12&dq=%22Like+his+contemporary+Russian+composer,+Nikolay+Rimsky-Korsakov,+Tchaikovsky+was+an+exceptionally+gifted+orchestrator.%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjl6ZncwanYAhVC8GMKHUmuC6YQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=%22Like%20his%20contemporary%20Russian%20composer%2C%20Nikolay%20Rimsky-Korsakov%2C%20Tchaikovsky%20was%20an%20exceptionally%20gifted%20orchestrator.%22&f=false
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-27 19:16:20 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by steve
The other day I was listening to a podcast about Respighi’s Tone poems. One of the commentators said that Respighi was one of the top “3 or 4” Orchestrators. That got me to thinking “who would I rate as the top 5 Orchestrators”
First a bit of weaseling: Modern composers have a lot more orchestral recourses than say composers of the classic era. So it is a bit unfair. Who can know what composers of the Baroque, Classic or Romantic era would have done with modern instrumentation. Also there are my preferences & prejudices.
1. Berlioz
2. Ravel
3. Richard Strauss
Others who had to work with fewer resources
4. Bach- who really know but I think he does with the Brandenburg Concertos is interesting
5. Mozart
I know a lot of people would rate Mahler highly but I have never been much of a fan of Mahler
I think you could make a case for some film composers but I’m not sure who
There ought to be some from the 20th & 21st century but I’m not sure who – surly not Philip Glass. Maybe Sibelius, Corligliano, ?
I’m sure somebody else can come up with a better list.
Steve Gerdemann
According to the following:

- ...He had no superior as an orchestrator...

https://books.google.com/books?id=p_VxlULxuq8C&pg=PA198&dq=%22he+had+no+superior+as+an+orchestrator%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZk4yv86rYAhUM82MKHQCTB50Q6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=%22he%20had%20no%20superior%20as%20an%20orchestrator%22&f=false
O
2017-12-27 19:56:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by g***@gmail.com
The other day I was listening to a podcast about Respighi¹s Tone poems. One
of the commentators said that Respighi was one of the top ³3 or 4²
Orchestrators. That got me to thinking ³who would I rate as the top 5
Orchestrators²
First a bit of weaseling: Modern composers have a lot more orchestral
recourses than say composers of the classic era. So it is a bit unfair. Who
can know what composers of the Baroque, Classic or Romantic era would have
done with modern instrumentation. Also there are my preferences &
prejudices.
1. Berlioz
2. Ravel
3. Richard Strauss
Others who had to work with fewer resources
4. Bach- who really know but I think he does with the Brandenburg
Concertos is interesting
5. Mozart
I know a lot of people would rate Mahler highly but I have never been much
of a fan of Mahler
I think you could make a case for some film composers but I¹m not sure who
There ought to be some from the 20th & 21st century but I¹m not sure who ­
surly not Philip Glass. Maybe Sibelius, Corligliano, ?
I¹m sure somebody else can come up with a better list.
Steve Gerdemann
- ...He had no superior as an orchestrator...
https://books.google.com/books?id=p_VxlULxuq8C&pg=PA198&dq=%22he+had+no+superi
or+as+an+orchestrator%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZk4yv86rYAhUM82MKHQCTB50Q6AEIK
TAA#v=onepage&q=%22he%20had%20no%20superior%20as%20an%20orchestrator%22&f=false
Ferde Grofé anyone?

-Owen
Bob Harper
2017-12-27 20:30:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by O
Post by g***@gmail.com
The other day I was listening to a podcast about Respighi¹s Tone poems. One
of the commentators said that Respighi was one of the top ³3 or 4²
Orchestrators. That got me to thinking ³who would I rate as the top 5
Orchestrators²
First a bit of weaseling: Modern composers have a lot more orchestral
recourses than say composers of the classic era. So it is a bit unfair. Who
can know what composers of the Baroque, Classic or Romantic era would have
done with modern instrumentation. Also there are my preferences &
prejudices.
1. Berlioz
2. Ravel
3. Richard Strauss
Others who had to work with fewer resources
4. Bach- who really know but I think he does with the Brandenburg
Concertos is interesting
5. Mozart
I know a lot of people would rate Mahler highly but I have never been much
of a fan of Mahler
I think you could make a case for some film composers but I¹m not sure who
There ought to be some from the 20th & 21st century but I¹m not sure who ­
surly not Philip Glass. Maybe Sibelius, Corligliano, ?
I¹m sure somebody else can come up with a better list.
Steve Gerdemann
- ...He had no superior as an orchestrator...
https://books.google.com/books?id=p_VxlULxuq8C&pg=PA198&dq=%22he+had+no+superi
or+as+an+orchestrator%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZk4yv86rYAhUM82MKHQCTB50Q6AEIK
TAA#v=onepage&q=%22he%20had%20no%20superior%20as%20an%20orchestrator%22&f=false
Ferde Grofé anyone?
-Owen
I would add Haydn.

Bob Harper
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-30 17:29:07 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by O
Post by g***@gmail.com
The other day I was listening to a podcast about Respighi¹s Tone poems. One
of the commentators said that Respighi was one of the top ³3 or 4²
Orchestrators. That got me to thinking ³who would I rate as the top 5
Orchestrators²
First a bit of weaseling: Modern composers have a lot more orchestral
recourses than say composers of the classic era. So it is a bit unfair. Who
can know what composers of the Baroque, Classic or Romantic era would have
done with modern instrumentation. Also there are my preferences &
prejudices.
1. Berlioz
2. Ravel
3. Richard Strauss
Others who had to work with fewer resources
4. Bach- who really know but I think he does with the Brandenburg
Concertos is interesting
5. Mozart
I know a lot of people would rate Mahler highly but I have never been much
of a fan of Mahler
I think you could make a case for some film composers but I¹m not sure who
There ought to be some from the 20th & 21st century but I¹m not sure who ­
surly not Philip Glass. Maybe Sibelius, Corligliano, ?
I¹m sure somebody else can come up with a better list.
Steve Gerdemann
- ...He had no superior as an orchestrator...
https://books.google.com/books?id=p_VxlULxuq8C&pg=PA198&dq=%22he+had+no+superi
or+as+an+orchestrator%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZk4yv86rYAhUM82MKHQCTB50Q6AEIK
TAA#v=onepage&q=%22he%20had%20no%20superior%20as%20an%20orchestrator%22&f=false
Ferde Grofé anyone?
-Owen
I would add Haydn.
Bob Harper
According to the following:

- Haydn's Eisenstadt orchestra of the early 1760s lacked the richer resources of the larger public orchestras, but that did not prevent him from becoming a superb orchestrator.

https://www.google.com/search?ei=GsxHWufSKYGcjAP3kZ_wDg&q=%22Haydn%27s+Eisenstadt+orchestra+of+the+early+1760s+lacked+the+richer+resources+of+the+larger+public+orchestras%2C+but+that+did+not+prevent+him+from+becoming+a+superb+orchestrator%22&oq=%22Haydn%27s+Eisenstadt+orchestra+of+the+early+1760s+lacked+the+richer+resources+of+the+larger+public+orchestras%2C+but+that+did+not+prevent+him+from+becoming+a+superb+orchestrator%22&gs_l=psy-ab.3...28655.29124.0.30571.2.2.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..2.0.0....0.yw3PKVd2Mws
Peter
2017-12-28 19:30:07 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Heinz Holliger thought Koechlin was a great orchestrator. I think I agree, but there are so many ways to orchestrate effectively that it's hard to elevate one particular approach.
Post by steve
The other day I was listening to a podcast about Respighi’s Tone poems. One of the commentators said that Respighi was one of the top “3 or 4” Orchestrators. That got me to thinking “who would I rate as the top 5 Orchestrators”
First a bit of weaseling: Modern composers have a lot more orchestral recourses than say composers of the classic era. So it is a bit unfair. Who can know what composers of the Baroque, Classic or Romantic era would have done with modern instrumentation. Also there are my preferences & prejudices.
1. Berlioz
2. Ravel
3. Richard Strauss
Others who had to work with fewer resources
4. Bach- who really know but I think he does with the Brandenburg Concertos is interesting
5. Mozart
I know a lot of people would rate Mahler highly but I have never been much of a fan of Mahler
I think you could make a case for some film composers but I’m not sure who
There ought to be some from the 20th & 21st century but I’m not sure who – surly not Philip Glass. Maybe Sibelius, Corligliano, ?
I’m sure somebody else can come up with a better list.
Steve Gerdemann
n***@gmail.com
2017-12-28 20:43:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter
Heinz Holliger thought Koechlin was a great orchestrator. I think I agree, but there are so many ways to orchestrate effectively that it's hard to elevate one particular approach.
Post by steve
The other day I was listening to a podcast about Respighi’s Tone poems. One of the commentators said that Respighi was one of the top “3 or 4” Orchestrators. That got me to thinking “who would I rate as the top 5 Orchestrators”
First a bit of weaseling: Modern composers have a lot more orchestral recourses than say composers of the classic era. So it is a bit unfair. Who can know what composers of the Baroque, Classic or Romantic era would have done with modern instrumentation. Also there are my preferences & prejudices.
1. Berlioz
2. Ravel
3. Richard Strauss
Others who had to work with fewer resources
4. Bach- who really know but I think he does with the Brandenburg Concertos is interesting
5. Mozart
I know a lot of people would rate Mahler highly but I have never been much of a fan of Mahler
I think you could make a case for some film composers but I’m not sure who
There ought to be some from the 20th & 21st century but I’m not sure who – surly not Philip Glass. Maybe Sibelius, Corligliano, ?
I’m sure somebody else can come up with a better list.
Steve Gerdemann
Maybe it would be easier to compile a list of the poorer orchestrators and then work under the assumption that the others are good (or at least, decent).
Raymond Hall
2017-12-28 21:04:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Much more relevant really. Brahms is one example where his orchestral 'sound' seems muddied to me. Schumann is often cited also, although I am not so sure in his case. Of course, Ives is interesting in that part of his charm lies in a less than seemingly perfect orchestration technique. But it works perfectly in his case.

Ray Hall, Taree
Ricardo Jimenez
2017-12-29 01:48:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Thu, 28 Dec 2017 13:04:44 -0800 (PST), Raymond Hall
Post by Raymond Hall
Much more relevant really. Brahms is one example where his orchestral 'sound' seems muddied to me. Schumann is often cited also, although I am not so sure in his case. Of course, Ives is interesting in that part of his charm lies in a less than seemingly perfect orchestration technique. But it works perfectly in his case.
Ray Hall, Taree
Schumann definitely. His violin concerto and Scenes from Faust would
be standard repertoire items if they weren't so atrociously scored. On
the other hand, there have been thousands of terrific orchestrators
who nobody has ever heard of. The question is poorly posed.
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-29 04:38:19 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ricardo Jimenez
On Thu, 28 Dec 2017 13:04:44 -0800 (PST), Raymond Hall
Post by Raymond Hall
Much more relevant really. Brahms is one example where his orchestral 'sound' seems muddied to me. Schumann is often cited also, although I am not so sure in his case. Of course, Ives is interesting in that part of his charm lies in a less than seemingly perfect orchestration technique. But it works perfectly in his case.
Ray Hall, Taree
Schumann definitely. His violin concerto and Scenes from Faust would
be standard repertoire items if they weren't so atrociously scored...
According to the following:

- Any listener still confused by lesser composers’ self-serving criticisms of Schumann’s genius as an orchestrator should look first to this astounding movement, in which almost every bar has some touch of colouristic genius.

http://kennethwoods.net/blog1/2010/12/02/orchestra-of-the-swan-concert-preview-robert-schumann-symphony-no-3-in-e-flat-major/
Ricardo Jimenez
2017-12-29 15:45:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ricardo Jimenez
On Thu, 28 Dec 2017 13:04:44 -0800 (PST), Raymond Hall
Post by Raymond Hall
Much more relevant really. Brahms is one example where his orchestral 'sound' seems muddied to me. Schumann is often cited also, although I am not so sure in his case. Of course, Ives is interesting in that part of his charm lies in a less than seemingly perfect orchestration technique. But it works perfectly in his case.
Ray Hall, Taree
Schumann definitely. His violin concerto and Scenes from Faust would
be standard repertoire items if they weren't so atrociously scored...
- Any listener still confused by lesser composers’ self-serving criticisms of Schumann’s genius as an orchestrator should look first to this astounding movement, in which almost every bar has some touch of colouristic genius.
http://kennethwoods.net/blog1/2010/12/02/orchestra-of-the-swan-concert-preview-robert-schumann-symphony-no-3-in-e-flat-major/
Adam Carse's History of Orchestration is available free online. He
will set you straight about the inadequacies of Schumann's and Brahms'
abilities as orchestrators. The quote above is about the "Cathedral
Scene" of the Rhenish Symphony, which has Schumann's best use of
trombones. The first movement is notorious for using the same
orchestral color throughout. I am still waiting for somebody to
record Frederick Stock's rerorchestration.

I think Brahms' orchestral works would be even more effective had the
composer had more interest in instrumental color. Here is what
Rimsky-Korsakov had to say:

"More than one classical and modern composer has lacked the capacity
to orchestrate with imagination and power; the secret of colour has
remained outside the range of his creative faculty. Does it follow
that these composers do not know how to orchestrate? Many among them
have had greater knowledge of the subject than the mere colourist. Was
Brahms ignorant of orchestration? And yet, nowhere in his works do we
find evidence of brilliant tone or picturesque fancy. The truth is
that his thoughts did not turn towards colour; his mind did not exact
it".
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-29 17:44:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ricardo Jimenez
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by Ricardo Jimenez
On Thu, 28 Dec 2017 13:04:44 -0800 (PST), Raymond Hall
Post by Raymond Hall
Much more relevant really. Brahms is one example where his orchestral 'sound' seems muddied to me. Schumann is often cited also, although I am not so sure in his case. Of course, Ives is interesting in that part of his charm lies in a less than seemingly perfect orchestration technique. But it works perfectly in his case.
Ray Hall, Taree
Schumann definitely. His violin concerto and Scenes from Faust would
be standard repertoire items if they weren't so atrociously scored...
- Any listener still confused by lesser composers’ self-serving criticisms of Schumann’s genius as an orchestrator should look first to this astounding movement, in which almost every bar has some touch of colouristic genius.
http://kennethwoods.net/blog1/2010/12/02/orchestra-of-the-swan-concert-preview-robert-schumann-symphony-no-3-in-e-flat-major/
Adam Carse's History of Orchestration is available free online. He
will set you straight about the inadequacies of Schumann's and Brahms'
abilities as orchestrators. The quote above is about the "Cathedral
Scene" of the Rhenish Symphony, which has Schumann's best use of
trombones. The first movement is notorious for using the same
orchestral color throughout. I am still waiting for somebody to
record Frederick Stock's rerorchestration.
I think Brahms' orchestral works would be even more effective had the
composer had more interest in instrumental color. Here is what
"More than one classical and modern composer has lacked the capacity
to orchestrate with imagination and power; the secret of colour has
remained outside the range of his creative faculty. Does it follow
that these composers do not know how to orchestrate? Many among them
have had greater knowledge of the subject than the mere colourist. Was
Brahms ignorant of orchestration? And yet, nowhere in his works do we
find evidence of brilliant tone or picturesque fancy...
Concerning "picturesque f.", try his lied FELDEIMSAMKEIT.
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-29 04:55:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Much more relevant really. Brahms is one example where his orchestral 'sound' seems muddied to me...
According to the following:

- Our results,I believe, disprove the traditional view of Brahms as a 'muddy' orchestrator –rich and intricate certainly, but beautifully calculated and balanced.

https://books.google.com/books?id=W47W2JTE1RQC&pg=PA241&dq=%22Our+results,I+believe,+disprove+the+traditional+view+of+Brahms+as+a+%27muddy%27+orchestrator+%E2%80%93rich+and+intricate+certainly,+but+beautifully+calculated+and+balanced.%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiVqs30tq7YAhUT02MKHUGSDq0Q6AEIKzAA#v=onepage&q=%22Our%20results%2CI%20believe%2C%20disprove%20the%20traditional%20view%20of%20Brahms%20as%20a%20'muddy'%20orchestrator%20%E2%80%93rich%20and%20intricate%20certainly%2C%20but%20beautifully%20calculated%20and%20balanced.%22&f=false
Herman
2017-12-29 08:25:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Raymond Hall
Much more relevant really. Brahms is one example where his orchestral 'sound' seems muddied to me.
Not to me. It depends a lot on the preconceptions of the conductor (and in the case of recordings, the engineer and producer). If you keep in mind Brahms wrote most of his symphonies on sunny mountainsides near Italy and emphasize the melodic and euphonious aspects of his music a whole different picture emerges than the dour, watch the theme development! Brahms of yore.

Schumann is often cited also, although I am not so sure in his case. Of course, Ives is interesting in that part of his charm lies in a less than seemingly perfect orchestration technique. But it works perfectly in his case.
Raymond Hall
2017-12-29 09:05:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Agree about balance with Brahms, and a lot does depend on the conductor and also the orchestra used. This is where I feel that Walter/Columbia SO are so successful to these ears, where a smaller orchestra seems to be used (a crack pick-up orchestra, Possibly members of the LAPO/NYPO). The melodic lines appear more distinct.

Also agree about Brahms' melodic gifts. They are so strong that he is immediately identifiable, even when heard three rooms away.

Ray Hall, Taree
oldeastsider
2017-12-29 03:50:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
My two cents worth: Robert Russel-Bennet. Made Richard Rodgers a Star
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-29 04:16:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by oldeastsider
My two cents worth: Robert Russel-Bennet. Made Richard Rodgers a Star
According to the following:

- Bennett's genius as an orchestrator can be heard in some sixty movies, some that he worked on directly and others based on Broadway musicals that used his arrangements for the screen.

https://books.google.com/books?id=Xz99CAAAQBAJ&pg=PA73&dq=%22genius+as+an+orchestrator%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiijbOKra7YAhUS2WMKHXl1BrIQ6AEIPzAE#v=onepage&q=%22genius%20as%20an%20orchestrator%22&f=false
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-29 04:31:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by oldeastsider
My two cents worth: Robert Russel-Bennet. Made Richard Rodgers a Star
According to the following:

- Bennett went on to enjoy success and acclaim in both New York and Hollywood, winning prominent commissions, awards, and honors — including an Oscar in 1955 (for his scoring of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!)... His genius as an orchestrator and arranger set the standard for following generations.

https://books.google.com/books?id=0IwJAQAAMAAJ&pg=PT460&lpg=PT460&dq=%22Bennett+went+on+to+enjoy+success%27+%22genius+as+an+orchestrator%22&source=bl&ots=KI2H0NgGS5&sig=WBEJ4OoqyzNTBBNktf4D6-62r0Y&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjxvpOosa7YAhVF32MKHY8tAVIQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=%22Bennett%20went%20on%20to%20enjoy%20success'%20%22genius%20as%20an%20orchestrator%22&f=false
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-29 04:33:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by oldeastsider
My two cents worth: Robert Russel-Bennet. Made Richard Rodgers a Star
According to the following:

- Bennett went on to enjoy success and acclaim in both New York and Hollywood, winning prominent commissions, awards, and honors — including an Oscar in 1955 (for his scoring of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!)... His genius as an orchestrator and arranger set the standard for following generations.

https://books.google.com/books?id=0IwJAQAAMAAJ&pg=PT460&lpg=PT460&dq=%22Bennett+went+on+to+enjoy+success%27+%22genius+as+an+orchestrator%22&source=bl&ots=KI2H0NgGS5&sig=WBEJ4OoqyzNTBBNktf4D6-62r0Y&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjxvpOosa7YAhVF32MKHY8tAVIQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=%22Bennett%20went%20on%20to%20enjoy%20success'%20%22genius%20as%20an%20orchestrator%22&f=false
Matthew Silverstein
2017-12-29 04:05:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by steve
I know a lot of people would rate Mahler highly but I have never been much of
a fan of Mahler
One doesn't need to be a fan of Mahler in order to recognize his genius as an orchestrator.

Matty
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-30 06:45:48 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by steve
I know a lot of people would rate Mahler highly but I have never been much of
a fan of Mahler
One doesn't need to be a fan of Mahler in order to recognize his genius as an orchestrator.
Matty
According to the following:

- For Mahler, as for Berlioz, another superb orchestrator, sonority was an intrinsic part of the musical idea, an essential aspect of its character.

https://books.google.com/books?id=whSIM4Snh7YC&pg=PA215&dq=%22For+Mahler,+as+for+Berlioz,+another+superb+orchestrator%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjeyd_3kLHYAhUX5mMKHcZqDpkQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=%22For%20Mahler%2C%20as%20for%20Berlioz%2C%20another%20superb%20orchestrator%22&f=false
g***@gmail.com
2017-12-29 04:14:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by steve
The other day I was listening to a podcast about Respighi’s Tone poems. One of the commentators said that Respighi was one of the top “3 or 4” Orchestrators. That got me to thinking “who would I rate as the top 5 Orchestrators”
First a bit of weaseling: Modern composers have a lot more orchestral recourses than say composers of the classic era. So it is a bit unfair. Who can know what composers of the Baroque, Classic or Romantic era would have done with modern instrumentation. Also there are my preferences & prejudices.
1. Berlioz
2. Ravel
3. Richard Strauss
Others who had to work with fewer resources
4. Bach- who really know but I think he does with the Brandenburg Concertos is interesting
5. Mozart
I know a lot of people would rate Mahler highly but I have never been much of a fan of Mahler
I think you could make a case for some film composers but I’m not sure who
There ought to be some from the 20th & 21st century but I’m not sure who – surly not Philip Glass. Maybe Sibelius, Corligliano, ?
I’m sure somebody else can come up with a better list.
Steve Gerdemann
According to the following:

- No discussion of his genius as an orchestrator can omit reference to the weight he gave to endings, not only of movements, but of entire works.

https://books.google.com/books?id=fc-jGzwXMpsC&pg=PA183&dq=%22No+discussion+of+his+genius+as+an+orchestrator+can+omit+reference+to+the+weight+he+gave+to+endings,+not+only+of+movements,+but+of+entire+works.%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi2jsjDra7YAhUG6WMKHZboBKMQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=%22No%20discussion%20of%20his%20genius%20as%20an%20orchestrator%20can%20omit%20reference%20to%20the%20weight%20he%20gave%20to%20endings%2C%20not%20only%20of%20movements%2C%20but%20of%20entire%20works.%22&f=false
Lawrence Kart
2018-01-03 00:58:30 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Max Reger

I'm kidding more than a little, but some (but certainly not all) of his orchestral works are handsomely orchestrated.

Larry Kart
d***@gmail.com
2018-01-04 06:34:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Everyone will kick themselves when they realize they have overlooked the great Albert Roussel, (Bacchus et Ariane , Symphony 3, and lots more).
Why, I'm kicking myself at this very moment.
Loading...