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Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
BDB #2036504 02/20/13 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by EdwardianPiano
There will never ever be another Beethoven- he was in a class of his own.

That is true of everyone who ever lived!



Not of me it isn't LOL.

Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
theJourney #2036505 02/20/13 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by theJourney


However, that is not the question posed by the thread. In fact, the question posed is not even " Do you think that there will ever by another great classical composer" but " composer " in general.



Thank you for the lecture on neo-classic music. I'm aware there are many ways to classify genres, which is why I framed my opinion with definitions and assumptions. This is the essence of debate.

But the OP does not mean composer in general.

"And when I say "composer", I mean contemporary-classical composer. ...... do you think there will ever be another 'great' composer in the classical scene?"

So, again I assert, No. There won't be another neo, contemporary, "in the style of", orchestral, piano, etc. composer that will be recognized as 'great' by my personal definition of greatness. That is, little children learning his/her songs at the piano bench 100 years from now and studying their biography. One mans humble opinion on the original question. PW can be a prickly place. Nice thoughts. Cheers!


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Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
Kreisler #2036531 02/20/13 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
A better question to ask might be:

If another great composer appears, will anybody bother to notice?

Great points about the performers. I think, though, that this question tends to lead us down the road to, "What defines greatness?" Is it some internal thing that is great no matter how many or how few people appreciate it? Or is it defined by massive popularity, enjoyment, and leaving a lasting impression that stands the test of time?

And I know we've tried to define that before to mixed results, so... whistle


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
JoelW #2036538 02/20/13 06:02 PM
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I have the greatest respect for those very few musicians who are total musicians.

John Williams stands out in that regard since he has done just about everything. When he was in his 20's he was a studio jazz pianist and was on the Henry Mancini Peter Gunn LP (among many other recordings). He conducts, composes, orchestrates ... what have I left out?

While I'm not a fan of Marvin Hamlisch, he also would fall under that total musician label.



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Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
JoelW #2036541 02/20/13 06:04 PM
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Great composers are like saints, they usually have to be dead awhile - - -


Slow down and do it right.
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Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
RealPlayer #2036549 02/20/13 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by RealPlayer
I wonder if the OP could tell us the name of the most recent composer he knows of that he considers great.
Exactly what I was wondering.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
Derulux #2036552 02/20/13 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Derulux
and modern sonata form didn't truly exist before Beethoven.


I'm curious. What would "modern sonata form" be? Is it recognized as such, or are you simply referring to the various latter day compositions called "sonatas?"

TomTomasino
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Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
Dave Horne #2036558 02/20/13 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne
I have the greatest respect for those very few musicians who are total musicians.

John Williams stands out in that regard since he has done just about everything. When he was in his 20's he was a studio jazz pianist and was on the Henry Mancini Peter Gunn LP (among many other recordings). He conducts, composes, orchestrates ... what have I left out?

While I'm not a fan of Marvin Hamlisch, he also would fall under that total musician label.



Actually, there are many classical musicians who do all that and a lot, lot more. Lenny Bernstein did it, performed and recorded Mozart concertos as well as Rhapsody in Blue conducting from the piano, plus wrote West Side Story (probably the greatest musical ever) and several symphonies - not to mention Prelude, Fugue and Riffs (a written-out jazz piece with contrapuntal ingenuity that wouldn't have disgraced the great JSB: http://youtu.be/FD-Wa6RyLbk ), conducted some of the best Mahler performances ever with the Wiener Philharmoniker (the Symphony No.5 especially), gave a series of classic lectures on music etc, etc.....which puts Williams quite in the shade.

Among living pianist-composer-conductors, Thomas Ades stands out - he was a child prodigy as a pianist, winning the piano section of the 1990 BBC Young Musician Competition playing a Bartok concerto (as well as his own compositions in the semi-finals), then became more well-known as a composer (his first opera Powder Her Face being a very modern take on contemporary trashy 'culture'), directed the famous Aldeburgh Festival - all the while still performing as pianist and conductor.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
JoelW #2036607 02/20/13 08:48 PM
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John Williams - Andre Previn - Bernstein. Haven't they composed for movies, broadway, shows? Isn't attending classical programs sort of like going to a museum?


"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
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Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
daviel #2036639 02/20/13 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by daviel
John Williams - Andre Previn - Bernstein. Haven't they composed for movies, broadway, shows? Isn't attending classical programs sort of like going to a museum?

I'm glad you didn't say cemetery. ha

Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
JoelW #2036641 02/20/13 11:12 PM
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Among American popular music, I'd offer up Henry Mancini as a great composer.

Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
JoelW #2036675 02/21/13 12:58 AM
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Stephen Sondheim has taken the musical back to its opera roots, but he is not as great as some of his musical predecessors.


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Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
JoelW #2036684 02/21/13 01:20 AM
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I would nominate Nicolai Kapustin. For most of his career he has been almost as unknown as Bach was, he creates/writes often using classical forms but with a Jazz idiom, many of his works are difficult, tours de force for the pianist, interesting to the analyst or theorist but, at the same time, very listenable and accessible for the casual or general listener.

Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
stores #2036689 02/21/13 01:28 AM
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I'm working on it. Don't rush me! laugh










Originally Posted by stores
No.


hey, stores is back!

Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
JoelW #2036695 02/21/13 01:47 AM
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I'll cast a vote for Alan Menken.

Sondheim is brilliant (I'm conducting Forum in May!), but I think Jonathan Tunick deserves some credit as well. (For those who don't know Tunick, he orchestrated many of Sondheim's musicals, including Sweeney Todd, Company, Into the Woods, and A Little Night Music.)

I was thinking about something today - many of the composers we regard as great were masters of a particular musical structure and venue. For Beethoven and Brahms, it was sonata form and the concert hall. For Chopin, it was the salon and dance/story forms. For Schubert, it was the salon and song. For Bach, it was counterpoint and the church. For Puccini, it was opera. For Haydn, it was the symphony and string quartet in the court. Mozart could pretty much do it all. Stravinsky had ballet. (Yeah, he did lots of other stuff, but let's face it, his fame rests largely on Rite, Firebird, and Petrushka.)

Today, the structures and venues have changed. John Williams writes a great film score. Sondheim writes a great musical. Jason Robert Brown writes a great cabaret song. Pink Floyd was a master of the album. The Grateful Dead and Phish mastered the jam band.

Today's "classical" scene is fractured. There's no single structure or venue. Symphonies are freer in form, as is solo piano music. Composers experiment more with different ensembles (thanks in large part to Pierrot Lunaire.)

This makes it far more difficult to compare composers. We can say that Beethoven is great in part because lots of composers wrote symphonies and his symphonies, by comparison, are deemed artful. We can say Chopin was great because lots of people wrote waltzes and mazurkas and etudes and, by comparison, his are deemed artful.

But it's very difficult to say that someone today is a great composer of piano sonatas because very few are doing it, and the form isn't standardized. It's difficult to compare the piano sonatas of Tippett, Vine, Liebermann, and Hough because they aren't structurally similar (at least not in the way Beethoven's sonatas were similar to Haydn, Mozart, Dussek, Kuhlau, Field, etc...)

Anyway, it's getting late and my mind is starting to poke gigantic holes in my own theory, but hopefully some of that drivel will generate some food for thought. (And you have to at least give me some credit for finding a way to mention Mozart, Menken, and Phish in the same post.)


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
Kreisler #2036700 02/21/13 01:56 AM
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Great post.

Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
JoelW #2036711 02/21/13 02:58 AM
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One should also remember that many of the composers who are thought of as composers of other genres also wrote things that were closer to what are considered classical forms. Charles Mingus wrote Epitaph, a multi-movement piece. Duke Ellington wrote sacred concerts. Dave Brubeck also wrote sacred choral music.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba has written a series of small piano pieces, which he told me he could not play anywhere until the local jazz powers allowed him to play them here, which points to another problem in trying to restrict composers so tightly to certain genres. Composers who may have started with one genre may not stay with it, but because they get typecast, they are not considered to be another type of composer, even when they are writing different kinds of music.

There are composers of what is considered contemporary classical music that I have enjoyed very much. But they are, as I said, minor league players with limited audiences.


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Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
JoelW #2036718 02/21/13 03:05 AM
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Much of what Kreisler has said makes sense but imho it only goes to show that it's basically pointless to try to name contemporary composers that may one day be recognized along with names like Mozart, Bach, Beethoven etc. There are many more names to consider than there ever were two centuries ago. Everyone can come and and add their own bunch of names to the list but no-one is any wiser.

Still, that doesn't mean we can't argue over every single one to the death and beyond, does it? :]


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Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
Clayman #2036725 02/21/13 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Clayman
Much of what Kreisler has said makes sense but imho it only goes to show that it's basically pointless to try to name contemporary composers that may one day be recognized along with names like Mozart, Bach, Beethoven etc. There are many more names to consider than there ever were two centuries ago. Everyone can come and and add their own bunch of names to the list but no-one is any wiser.

Still, that doesn't mean we can't argue over every single one to the death and beyond, does it? :]

I think there are probably the same number of names, or perhaps even more names two hundred years ago. What we have left is, largely, the cream of the crop. Who knows what music was lost to us forever because someone randomly deemed it wasn't worthy enough to save?

Just look at music from the 50's and 60's. If you ask average kids today who the Beatles were, just about everyone could tell you. If you ask them who the Drifters were, you may get some responses, but not many. If you ask them who the Brooklyn Bridge were, I would be willing to bet not one kid under 25 has ever heard of them. You could probably do this with music as late as the 80's and get the same result for kids born in the 90's and later.

Now, compound that over 200 years, and make it even worse by talking about an era before recordings ever existed, and we may very well be surprised to see just how many other composers there were back then.


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Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
Kreisler #2036734 02/21/13 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
....Today, the structures and venues have changed.

Yes

Quote
....Today's "classical" scene is fractured. There's no single structure or venue....

Yes

Quote
....This makes it far more difficult to compare composers.

Yes

Quote
....it's very difficult to say that someone today is a great composer of piano sonatas because very few are doing it, and the form isn't standardized.

Yes (I guess, although I have to admit I didn't exactly know that) grin

Quote
Anyway, it's getting late and my mind is starting to poke gigantic holes in my own theory....

..............NOT! smile

Originally Posted by JoelW
Great post.

+1!

Originally Posted by Clayman
Much of what Kreisler has said makes sense but imho it only goes to show that it's basically pointless to try to name contemporary composers that may one day....

No, it all makes sense! grin
But I'm with you that we can rarely if ever know until time has passed, and Frycek may be right:

Originally Posted by -Frycek
Great composers are like saints, they usually have to be dead awhile - - -


BTW, great quote by Harold Schonberg in "The Great Pianists," about BACH's reputation as a composer in his time:

Originally Posted by Harold Schonberg although not really "posted" :)
He was, after all, known in Germany as the greatest of organists, the most brilliant of clavierists, and a composer second only to the mighty Telemann.


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