Taking a break from my recent shameless self-promotion

I would like to share the music of Frederick the Great’s nephew prince Louis Ferdinand. If you have not heard of him ( I came across him accidentally myself), he was an AMAZING composer, I think surpassing his uncle who was also a talented musician. He had a very interesting and tragically brief life, was probably bipolar if the description of his behavior in the Grove’s article below is characteristic, and died in battle at age 33, probably as a result of “suicide by Napoleon”. He had only 13 piano/chamber ensemble published works. Although he died in 1806, much of his music reminds me of Schubert, Chopin & Mendelssohn, who would not begin composing until several years later. He was also a virtuoso pianist (as can be attested to by the piano parts in his music) as well as a friend of Beethoven, who even dedicated his 3rd piano concerto to him.

His complete works are recorded here:


I am especially impressed with Op.1 & Op.6; the opening theme of the latter has become an ear-worm for me! Hope you enjoy them as much as my wife & I have.


Grove’s dictionary of music and musicians (1916):

(entry for him begins at the bottom right of the page and goes on to the next)

(Hope it is readable)


Thank you for sharing this FANTASTIC resource on Prince Ferdinand’s music!!!

We have never heard of this composer’s works, and we listened to some of his pieces and found them absolutely delightful. We will listen to more, and thank you for bringing this to our attention!

We are amazed with all the great composers that we’ve never heard – often local orchestras keep circling through the same repertoire, the same composers…

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Glad you liked it! I am a fan of obscure composers, especially in the classical/early romantic period. Some are deservedly so, but many (like the Prince) have written wonderful music which, while perhaps not as original or powerful as the ‘greats’, still deserve to be heard and enjoyed, and which can broaden our musical horizons beyond the usual war-horses!

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That was quite captivating. I’ve always been a fan of Johann Nepomunk Hummel.

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He’s a good fugue composer as well:


I am so glad you appreciate him as I do. I hope others in the forum will as well. I think that if he had lived longer and was not otherwise occupied with military, governmental, and personal issues, he could have developed into one of the “greats”.
I agree about Hummel, and not just his famous trumpet concerto. He wrote some wonderful chamber music too. I hope musically inclined Gizars will check out other lesser known masters as well, such as Krommer, Mercadante, Crusell, Ries, Czerny, Pleyel, Clementi, Arriaga, Kuhlau etc, etc…, all fine composers and underappreciated!

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Many thanks for sharing some of your favorite “obscure” composers, especially of the classical era! They deserve to be better recognized, also in the music schools, and we shall look up some of the ones we don’t know that both of you have mentioned in your posts.

I sometimes ponder how it is that we allow beauty to become obscured, out of the public consciousness. We enjoyed reading Dr. Farrell’s ideas in Microcosm & Medium, especially how the ugly stuff (e.g., Schonberg, harsh rock bands, etc.,) was deliberately pushed on the public consciousness.

I’m an accordion enthusiast, and despair that many of the modern accordion concertos that are currently presented to the public are harsh and ugly and completely and utterly unpalatable. And I wonder why? The accordion has such rich possiblities for the expression of beauty, just by its design, through expert working of the bellows. Accordion repertoire contains much that is beautiful, and yet, lately, it’s the ugly stuff that the public gets to hear.

Many years ago, we purchased a CD called “Peter Soave & Symphony Orchestra”.
On that particular CD was a piece called “Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra” (in 3 movements) by Carmine Coppola. I have listened to that gorgeous concerto over and over, and never, ever tire of it.

What is interesting is that the composer, Carmine Coppola, was a well-known Hollywood film composer. But no one has ever heard of his extraordinary accordion concerto, which is a beautiful piece of music. Very few symphonies have ever performed this work, and Peter’s CD (which has one of the few recordings of this work) has long been out of print.

It is hard to find Coppola’s piece listened to anywhere, and I dug up the first two movements from an archive of an obscure Vancouver community radio show called “Accordion Noir”, in case anyone is curious how beautiful an accordion (in expert hands) can sound with an orchestra. This belongs in the category of “ultra obscure”…

  1. First Movement (Allegro)
    Timestamp: Begins at 17:14 into this recording:
    Accordion Noir radio playlist 2010-06-23: Kim Darwin Plays The Accordion And Is Friendly | Accordion Uprising

  2. Second Movement (Andante)
    Timestamp: Begins at 35:46 into this recording:
    Accordion Noir 2016-10-05: Autumn Leaves : Accordion Noir radio : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive