Edgar Beach <[log in to unmask]> sent:
>I am not a writer of music and I can only imagine how difficult it must
>be to create a great melody. I feel that there are some American composers
>that have: Bernstein, Barber, Rogers Menotti, & Copland come to mind as
>exceptions. A few of these have written for "musical theatre". Would
>you consider that music "serious".
I meant the last 50 years literally: since 1958. West Side Story came
out in 1957. There were a few melodious shows since, in the sixties.
Sondheim's great tunes seem few and far between. I like "Send in the
Clowns" and "Johanna. Webber the robber doesn't count. I'm sure there
must be many nice tunes others are familiar with in recent shows that
are worthy in a classical sense, but I don't know that repertoire well.
Since 1958, the few great melodies that come to mind that might grace
regular concert programs are:
---Barber: Piano Concerto, 2nd movement
---Bernstein: Mass, "Sing God a Simple Song" (Also his Chichester
Psalms, 2nd movement)
---Kvandal: Violin Concerto, themes for first and second movements
---Hoiby: Piano Concerto no. 2, second theme, 1st movement
---Blake: The Snowman (separate piano piece, for a recital encore)
---Corligliano: Piano Concerto, 2nd theme; Red Violin Chaconne
---Daugherty: Violin Concerto, 2nd theme
Unfortunately, most of the fine melodies have been relegated to films.
Is a fine melody somehow unworthy of a serious composition nowadays, so
that composers are afraid they'll be branded as film composers if they
use it? John Williams has written many, and of course there are other
fine composers of his ilk which try to shoehorn film music into serious
scores, with greater or lesser success. Also, composers like Kernis,
Harrison, Hovhaness and many others have written good tunes in their
works since 1958. I'm sure there are those out there who would like to
mention others. I wish they would, because if I don't know them, I'd
really like to hear them--I'm new-tune starved!
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