Repertoire Report season is nearly at it’s end. A number of you have emailed recently to say you are working on a report- it’s now or never, my friends!
Meanwhile, we thought it might be interesting to compare the reports of four of this year’s conductors side by side. We’ve combined the Reports for Semyon Bychkov, Paavo Jarvi, Leonard Slatkin and me here. It’s a relatively small sampling of musicians, but still, the comparison might tell readers something about who is doing what and how much.
It won’t surprise most readers to know that Beethoven had the most works played of any composer, and his works appear more times (29) than anyone else. However, if you take away Paavo Jarvi, who did a complete cycle of the symphonies and quite a few overtures, that gives you 16 fewer occurances of Beethoven, leaving just 13 Beethovens. Take away Ken’s 9 Beethovens as well and Beethoven falls out of first place, with just 4 occurances between Leonard and Bychkov. Compare that with 11 Rachmaninovs, 5 Shostakovich’s, 6 Tchaikovsky’s etc just from Leonard and Bychkov.
It was a banner year for Rachmaninov- 14 appearances if you add in Ken and Paavo. Schumann did do very well in his anniversary year with 20 appearances putting him in 2nd place, in spite of the fact that Leonard did no Bobby Schumann at all in 2010, sticking to the “other Schuman, William, whose music deserves all the advocacy Leonard can give it.
What about the other birthday boy, Gustav Mahler? Well, surprises all around: he appears only 6 or 7 times (depending on whether one includes the 6th on my list, which was rehearsed in 2010 for a 2011 performance- I’m inclined to include anything that’s “in rep” as on the list). Take away Ken and you’ve only got one work each from Paavo and Bychkov, and none from Leonard. I would never have dared hope the year would come when I would get to do so much more Mahler than three conductors of their stature, and record a Mahler album. I shall savor my victory while I can, and they can enjoy the bitter aftertaste of envy while they sip their Bollinger in their mansions. I have a strong feeling that balance will shift a lot in 2011, which is, after all, the second year of the Mahler biennium. I expect we’ll see some complete cycles from at least one and maybe more of them, while I’m reduced to last place.
How about new music? 11ish newish pieces (works by living or very recently deceased composers) for me out of 91-2. Actually, not bad considering I don’t have a new music ensemble I get to work with regularly. 6 out of 103 for Paavo. 3 out of 50 for Semyon. Then there is Leonard- 27 out of 90 works if you don’t count William Schuman, 31 if you do. And Leonard is not doing most of this at new music ensembles, but at mainstream symphony orchestras in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Lyon. His service to the composers of our time is pretty inspiring. Someone like Leonard has the pull in the industry to get these new works onto programs in a way that someone like me does not.
Finally- what’s not on the list? Well, it looks like I’m the only one doing much Haydn out there. Leonard did an excerpt from The Creation, and that’s it for everyone else, while I felt guilty about only doing 4 pieces, down quite a bit from last year.
Radio 3 may have just played the complete works of Mozart, but his music looks less-than-central on this list. Bychkov conducted none, Leonard only 2 things, I did 3 and Paavo 4.
Finally, it is interesting to see that so-called warhorses didn’t do all that well. Beethoven 5 (the ultimate so-called warhorse) and 9 each only appear once. No piece appeared four times (ie, once on everyone’s list). Nobody played the Jupiter Symphony or the Messiah. Dvorak 7 and 9 appear on my list, Paavos’s and Leonards, and the Rachmaninov 3rd Piano Concerto was played by everyone but me.
What trends to you see? Whose music isn’t showing up on these lists that should? What surprised you? Please share your comments.
We’ve made a new comparison document including the recently received Alan Gilbert Report, which you can see here. Alan gives the total combined outlook a stronger contemporary music profile, as he comes in 2nd behind Leonard Slatkin for most modern music, but a very different profile- more hard core modernism and less American tonal music. He also breaks the spell for Mozart 41.
And, I just have to point it out- even with Alan on the list, I still did the most Mahler….. 🙂