‘Repugnant’, ‘uninspired’ and ‘awful’ – works hated by their own composers

Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March, a fixture at the Last Night of the Proms, but a work disliked by its composer. Photograph: Dan Chung/Guardian

Photograph: Dan Chung/Guardian

From Beethoven to Ravel, and Elgar to Saint-Saëns, 10 of the best-known pieces that their composers disowned despite – or perhaps because of – their popularity

Beethoven: Wellington’s Victory

Written as a favour to the inventor of the metronome, Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, Beethoven’s dire but highly lucrative potboiler noisily celebrated the Battle of Vittoria in the Spanish war of liberation. This was the battle that elevated the British general Sir Arthur Wellesley to the title Duke of Wellington. Beethoven was well aware of its total lack of subtlety, but was nonetheless sensitive to its critics: “What I shit is better than anything you could ever think.” Full story.

Anthony Bateman (The Guardian) / June 25, 2015

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