Saturday 29 December 2012

2012 concerts by composer

Having set myself the challenge, and a number of more pressing demands notwithstanding, I decided to count composer appearances in 2012 concerts too. (For operas, click here.) Even leaving aside what I suspect will prove to have been questionable arithmetic, this is a more approximate business. I have simply counted a composer once if he, or very occasionally she,  appeared in a programme, whether for its entirety or for a more Webern-like moment. Encores have not been counted. Nor have operas in concert performance, since they are included in the other list.

1.       Beethoven (15)

2.      Mozart (14)

3.      Schubert (11)

4.      Mahler (10)

5.      Schumann (9)

6.      Liszt (8)

7.      Debussy, Brahms (7)

8.      Strauss, Haydn (5)

9.    Berlioz, Boulez, Purcell, Wolf, Bruckner (4)

10.    Berg, Knussen, Elgar, Szymanowski, Mendelssohn, Chopin (3)

11.    Rihm, Zemlinsky, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Tippett, Birtwistle, Ligeti, Bartók, Goehr, Prokofiev (2)

12.    Weber, Schreker, Pfitzner, Rameau, Schoenberg, Nono, James Clarke, Hans Abrahamsen, Rebecca Saunders, Andrea Gabrieli, Sciarrino, Monteverdi, Larry Goves, Christian Wolff, Gesualdo, Morgan Hayes, Evan Johnson, Michael Finnissy, Bach, Ravel, Handel, Britten, Duparc, Joseph Horovitz, Poulenc, Messager, Cole Porter, Vernon Duke, Ben Moore, Webern, Walton, Holst, Messiaen, George Benjamin, Carter, Scriabin, Nancarrow, Hugh Wood, Clara Schumann, Turnage, Peter Maxwell Davies, Colin Matthews, Jonathan Harvey, William Lawes, Fauré, Honegger, Dowland, Dvořák, Scarlatti, André Previn (1)

Beethoven’s pole position owes not a little to the superlative symphony cycle at the Proms from Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Boulez’s inclusion owes literally everything to the same series of concerts. I was delighted to see Liszt appear more highly than I had expected. The final set of composers presents something of a rag-bag, some composers included only because they were part of a programme that otherwise interested me. (I shall exercise a little self-restraint and forego naming them.) The composer I was genuinely shocked to discover there was the greatest of all, Johann Sebastian Bach. Poor Schoenberg, entirely absent from the list of operas, also scrapes but a single performance, likewise Webern. Moreover, I have only just realised that, greatly to my surprise, Stravinsky is entirely absent. I shall hope, then, for a 2013 with less 'authenticity' and more dodecaphony...