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I am interested in learning about classical music. Who are some real life composers who have put out music in the style of Richard Halley?

asked Jan 02 '11 at 20:02

DarthGalt's gravatar image


edited Jan 03 '11 at 10:15

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

I can't really answer the question (I don't think it's possible), but many Objectivists seem to like Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky. They're even mentioned in The Fountainhead. Personally, I like Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, Beethoven's Ode an die Freude (Ode to joy) and Pachelbel's Canon. I imagine (and it's only that) that the Canon is farthest away from Halley's music, and the last moves of the Overture might be closest to Halley.

(Jan 03 '11 at 07:35) Selfmadesoul ♦ Selfmadesoul's gravatar image

A more contemporary Romantic that I enjoy is the bassist Edgar Meyer. Check out his base concerto and the Heartland recordings. I also like the composer for The Red Violin, John Corigliano, who also wrote a fiery and dramatic violin concerto of the same name.

(May 13 '11 at 14:28) Marnee Dearman ♦ Marnee%20Dearman's gravatar image

I'll tell you my favorites and recommendations. Beethoven has some truly heroic and passionate music, as Selfmadesoul mentions. One of my favorite that I think captures Halley-like spirit is the 3rd movement of Piano Sonata No. 14 (aka the Moonlight Sonata). From the wikipedia entry: "Of the final movement, Charles Rosen has written 'it is the most unbridled in its representation of emotion. Even today, two hundred years later, its ferocity is astonishing.'" If you want one person's performance to look for, I recommend Bruce Hungerford. His speed and passion with this piece is nearly super-human! I can say that because I've learned to play this piece myself, but nothing like him.

Another classical composer who wrote consistently wrote music with an exuberantly positive sense of life is Rossini. When I listen to William Tell overture, the Thieving Magpie, The Barber of Seville, the Silken Ladder, as just a few examples, it's what I would call music "that knows no pain, guilt, or shame." I'm baffled why Ayn Rand never mentioned him as a great example in any of her writings. For one reason, much of it could be called tiddlywink-like music with its playfulness and instrumentation.

Then I will mention a modern composition that was inspired by Ayn Rand and Richard Halley, John Mills-Cockel's Concerto of Deliverance. It's not what I expected, but there are some very beautiful passages. It has a large variety of styles within it so there could be something in it that resonates with you.

I have my own song that I think could qualify as a Concerto of Deliverance, but it isn't finished yet. In the meantime, one of the songs on my debut album Preludes and Reflections has uplifting and rising notes, "Thinking of Her." That's track #4 and you can download that from the CDbaby site I linked here, or on iTunes. Another uplifting and popular song is track #3, "Springtime Prelude." My music can be called classical (or more accurately contemporary classical), and no doubt influenced by my philosophy and sense of life, but most of the songs on this album are serene and mellow; not what I would say is in the style you'd probably expect for Richard Halley. Unless he also wrote sad, pensive songs! ;-)

answered Jan 03 '11 at 10:36

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QEDbyBrett ♦

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Asked: Jan 02 '11 at 20:02

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Last updated: May 13 '11 at 14:28