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Greatest composers #2814881 02/13/19 11:52 PM
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JoelW Offline OP
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In your opinion, who are the 10 greatest composers in history? Order doesn't matter.

Bonus: your greatest 5 (if you can)

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Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2814887 02/14/19 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JoelW
Order doesn't matter.

Yes it does. grin

1. Chopin

That's what I thought when I was a teenager.
Then I matured (as if were) ha and I was "mature" for many years.
But now I've come back to where I started: Chopin is #1.
Sorry. grin

2. Bach
3. Beethoven
4. Mozart (sorry for the Eurocentricism; I'm afraid I just don't know enough about any others)
5. Schubert
6. Brahms

After that, I'm at a loss, because I think the rest of the top 10 are composers that I either don't know well enough to rank (like, all the opera composers -- like Wagner, Verdi, maybe Rossini -- and many of those who composed mostly orchestral music, like Berlioz) or composers whose music I don't love enough to want to rank them (e.g. Debussy, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Schönberg), and really I suspect that I'm not doing some of those composers justice by not having them in the top 6.

If I'm just listing composers that I do know well enough and love enough, here's the next 4:

7. Schumann
8. Tchaikovsky
9. Scriabin
10. Haydn
"Honorable mention": Scarlatti, Liszt, Scott Joplin

BTW, this old thread may be of interest:
"The Top Composers, to be selected by NYT critic"

Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2814888 02/14/19 12:10 AM
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You can start and end this list with J.S. Bach, I know you asked for ten but if I could only have one this is who it would be.


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: Greatest composers [Re: Mark_C] #2814891 02/14/19 12:19 AM
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JoelW Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by JoelW
Order doesn't matter.

Yes it does. grin

1. Chopin

That's what I thought when I was a teenager.
Then I matured (as if were) ha and I was "mature" for many years.
But now I've come back to where I started: Chopin is #1.
Sorry. grin "The Top Composers, to be selected by NYT critic"

You don't have to apologize for that. He's on the same plane as the holy three in my opinion. Just take it from Debussy. “Chopin is the greatest of all, for with the piano alone he discovered everything.” Is he wrong?

Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2814895 02/14/19 12:31 AM
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JoelW Offline OP
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I also think Chopin has the highest ratio of inspired to uninspired works of any composer. Granted, his total output was much less than most, but he never wasted a note. There's almost never any fluff in his music anywhere after his adolescent period. His mature works, even the larger ones, are inspired all the way through. This is something most composers seem to be able to do here and there, but he did it basically every time.

Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2814912 02/14/19 01:49 AM
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Bach
Mozart
Beethoven
Schubert
Chopin
Schumann
Brahms
Wagner
Debussy
Stravinsky

And if I could add four more....
Haydn
Mendelssohn
Verdi
Tchaikovsky



Last edited by Carey; 02/14/19 01:50 AM.

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Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2814921 02/14/19 02:21 AM
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In my personal chart, the "Pakparade", the following "classical" composers made it to the Hall Of Fame.

Category A:
L.v.Beethoven
G.Rossini
J.Haydn

Category B:
W.A.Mozart
C.Orff
F.Schubert

(A is higher than B. An artist who enters the Hall Of Fame enters in category B and can later progress to A)

Not in the Hall of Fame, but still with victories in the Patparade:
D.Shostakovich
G.Eisenhardt
C.M.v.Weber

Of course, what a "classical" composer is, is a matter of opinion. What about A.L.Webber (category A) or P.D.Q.Bach (category B)?

Last edited by patH; 02/14/19 02:29 AM.

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Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2814959 02/14/19 05:39 AM
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J.S.Bach
F.F.Chopin
L.van Beethoven
R.Wagner
J.Brahms
W.A.Mozart
M.Ravel
G.Puccini
R.Strauss
A.Bruckner


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2814969 02/14/19 07:05 AM
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ermak Offline
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J.S. Bach
Mozart
Beethoven
Schubert
Chopin
Schumann
Tchaikovsky
Debussy
Prokofiev
Shostakovich

Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2814971 02/14/19 07:08 AM
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My list in order:

Beethoven
Bach
Mozart
Schumann
Wagner
Ravel
Handel
Chopin
Monteverdi
Schubert

Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2814980 02/14/19 07:33 AM
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NobleHouse Online Content
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My list in no particular order:

Bach
Beethoven
Mozart
Liszt
Chopin
Verdi
Puccini
Donizetti
Tchaikovsky
Wagner


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Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2814983 02/14/19 07:42 AM
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Tricky, because there are plenty, but here goes - in no particular order:
Beethoven
Mozart
Chopin
Mendelsson
Dvorak
Sibelius
Tchaikovsky
Bach (J.S)
Rachmaninoff
Puccini


regards
Pete
Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2815002 02/14/19 08:27 AM
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Palestrina
Monteverdi
Bach
Mozart and Beethoven can fight it out for 4 and 5
Haydn

Idk from there. Handel?

Any list that doesn't include Palestrina and Monteverdi... Well, I just heard an unbelievable performance of the Pope Marcellus Mass in an incredibly beautiful church, and I was truly beside myself. And without Monteverdi there is no Bach.

Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2815005 02/14/19 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by JoelW
I also think Chopin has the highest ratio of inspired to uninspired works of any composer. Granted, his total output was much less than most, but he never wasted a note. There's almost never any fluff in his music anywhere after his adolescent period. His mature works, even the larger ones, are inspired all the way through. This is something most composers seem to be able to do here and there, but he did it basically every time.


I agree with you here. I'd say Ravel also matches this description; I can't think of a single moment in any work of Ravel that isn't outstanding. His "fluffiest" works are Tzigane and Rapsodie Espagnole, but those are still masterpieces. Of course, Ravel's output was even smaller than Chopin's (I think? I could be wrong)

Last edited by Orange Soda King; 02/14/19 08:30 AM.
Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2815050 02/14/19 09:37 AM
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I base "greatness" on the extent of their influence upon subsequent generations. So here are my Top Ten, pretty much based on chronology:

Palestrina
Monteverdi
Bach
Handel
Mozart
Beethoven
Chopin
Brahms
Debussy
Stravinsky

I do feel the need to add "honorable mentions" in addition,though:

Haydn
Schubert
Schumann
Ravel
Prokofiev

Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2815080 02/14/19 10:14 AM
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Chopin
Beethoven
Rachmaninov
Schubert
Prokofiev
Stravinsky

That's six! I'm tearing my hair bringing them into an order that I'm really 100% behind (apart from the top 2, that's unlikely to change ever), let alone all the rest of them!

It's like that other impossible question, "what are your favourite authors" - arrrrgh smile


Sibylle


"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
Re: Greatest composers [Re: NobleHouse] #2816174 02/16/19 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse
My list in no particular order:

Bach
Beethoven
Mozart
Liszt
Chopin
Verdi
Puccini
Donizetti
Tchaikovsky
Wagner


Thank you! At last.

For me :

Bach
Beethoven
Schubert
Chopin
Liszt
Debussy
Prokofiev
Rachmaninoff

I'm finding it hard pressed to make it up to ten. I have developed an interest in Sorabji recently although I'm not sure he's one of "The best" so to speak, but interesting nevertheless.

I'm not a particular Mozart fan, unfortunately.

Could probably think of a couple more if I tried hard.Nothing coming up for now, though. Scriabin? Handel? Haydn? Not a massive fan of Handel or Haydn, probably prefer Handel. Scriabin's cool if you're in the mood.

Actually, could one whack Scarlatti in there? I was very impressed by the Jean Rondeau CD, I think it was CyberGene who first pointed that out on this forum, and yes I do now like Rondeau's rubato. Apologies if it wasn't CyberGene, but can't be arsed to look it up.

Re: Greatest composers [Re: JoelW] #2816189 02/16/19 01:45 PM
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Doesn't most of this result in just a popularity contest? Whom do I like better or best?

Regards,


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Re: Greatest composers [Re: BruceD] #2816191 02/16/19 01:48 PM
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Some (most) things in life are not a competition.


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Re: Greatest composers [Re: BruceD] #2816205 02/16/19 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Doesn't most of this result in just a popularity contest? Whom do I like better or best?

It's a hybrid of that and that, isn't it?

I answered in terms of a hybrid, not exactly intentionally but unavoidably.
If I were answering just in terms of what I like better or best, my list would have been different.
Maybe some people are doing the list almost entirely according to their own likes. It seems to me that most aren't.
I don't think it's possible, though, to be totally objective about it.

Actually it's a good question: Is it even theoretically possible to attempt a list of "greatest" without including a factor of personal liking?
I think not, because even if one did it just by some objective criteria, the choosing of the criteria would necessarily reflect subjective preferences.

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