Showing posts from September, 2015

In the shadow of a genius.

Recently, I have discovered a fascinating revelation about the composers we admire so much.  That behind many geniuses, there usually is a predecessor lurking in the background.  It reminds of that often quoted phrase by Picasso
good artist borrows and great artist steals
Now, I am not suggesting that the composers who I mention are stealing peoples' ideas - there is no evidence to support that fact.  However, I am suggesting that the idea of a genius who came from nowhere may not be accurate.  Let's take the case of Ernest Fanelli.  Who? You might ask.  He is a significant but unknown person in the development of impressionism.  He is an Italian born composer living in Paris.  He composed a good deal of 'new' music at the end of the nineteenth century.  His ideas were quite radical; his instrumentation included harmonics, sul pont., he used wordless choruses.  Unfortunately, he wasn't as talented a composer as Debussy and his music wasn't played as often.  …