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Composers who repeat themselves

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:16 pm
by Timtin
If you feel like having a moan about a particular composer because you feel that he or
she seems to repeat themselves excessively in their music, this is the place to do it.

Here are a few possible candidates to get the discussion/debate started (hopefully):-
Telemann, Vivaldi, Schubert, Bruckner, Satie, Glass.

Re: Composers who repeat themselves

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:36 am
by ilu
I like Fibich compositions, and I consider that he would be another candidate.



Re: Composers who repeat themselves

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:28 am
by timgill
Beethoven, whose opening Fate motif appears in various guises throughout his 5th symphony.

Re: Composers who repeat themselves

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:56 am
by Timtin
As regards Fibich, I must admit to not knowing much at all about the
man or his music, so can't really comment. But the mere mention of his
name will be sufficient for me now to dig much deeper!

As regards Beethoven 5, I wouldn't disagree at all, and would venture to
suggest that 6 and 7 also appear to say the same things over and over again.

Other repetitive symphonies seem to be Schubert 9, and Bruckner 7 (especially
that Scherzo) and 8 (where one passage is so repetitive that on hearing it
for the first time, I genuinely thought that my LP had got stuck in a groove).

Several of Schubert's piano sonatas also seem very repetitive. For Glass,
endless repetition is his trademark, and Johann Strauss II wrote his
Perpetuum Mobile - surely the ultimate in musical repetition.

Re: Composers who repeat themselves

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:14 pm
by Arjuna
Peter Sculthorpe is constantly reusing themes from earlier works but undoubtedly the master of repetition in Akira Ifukube, though I would NEVER moan about his music - it's too wonderful.
(I'm not counting Steve Reich in this since his music is based on repetition. I think it's beside the point, in his case)

Re: Composers who repeat themselves

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:24 pm
by M.J.E.
     It's well over a year later - so I don't know if I've missed the boat on this topic. Anyway (for whatever it's worth)...
timgill wrote:Beethoven, whose opening Fate motif appears in various guises throughout his 5th symphony.
     But isn't one of the trademarks of a great master the ability to be so repetitive at the motif level, yet produce a piece of music that keeps you interested, and doesn't get boring? (Beethoven's 32 Sonatas for piano were my main musical diet as a boy, so I'm not going to find fault easily with him! The only problem with the 5th Symphony may be that extreme over-exposure to it may have worn off some of its magic. I often think the very famous pieces are heard far too often, and some of the more obscure ones not nearly often enough.)
     If this is a light discussion, it may be fair enough to examine repetitiveness in a composer and question whether this is a fault; but on a serious level I don't think the mere repetition of an idea within a piece, no matter for how long, is necessarily a problem it itself - it's how it's done. A really good composer may sometimes be as repetitive as a mediocre composer trying to fill out their composition - but the difference is that the good composers know how to do it the right way. And I can't even say what the right way is - if it were as easy as that to define, I suppose all composers could be great composers, simply by following the formula.
     For example, I have read a number of times that extreme repetition is often considered a fault in Schumann's Piano Sonata no. 1 in F# minor, Op. 11, so it seems to be sometimes held up as an exemplar of too much repetition - yet I have no problem with that, even, and I do like that sonata. And when I first got to know this sonata around 1970, following my listening with the score (as has been my life-long habit), it never occurred to me that it was overly repetitive; I only read that idea many years later, and disagreed with it because I had got to know it earlier and hadn't found that a problem. Similarly with Schubert's "Great C major Symphony" (no. 9) - I've never found it too repetitive.
     On the other hand, if I happen to hear music by Philip Glass (which I can assure you is always by accident), I unaccountably find myself starting to feel irritable and annoyed - and I cannot figure out why, except to presume that maybe Philip Glass's music tends to have that effect on me. I guess he has his fans; but for me, he lacks whatever it takes to keep you interested in music so that you forget about time, no matter how repetitive it may be.

Regards, Michael.

Re: Composers who repeat themselves

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:29 am
by Jeux_d_Oh
The Raff symphonies!

Re: Composers who repeat themselves

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:38 am
by jessicasimpson
I also refer to Fibich compositions, he could be a possible candidate for this list of repeatedcomposers